Tag Archives: Staying in power – Struggle for control

A key problem that those that control productive + exploitative societies have is staying in power, which often means avoiding overthrow.  This is emphasized in societies where exploitation is important as the government is both a major source of income and a major source of control of the society.

Law as a weapon

Cover of Plaintiff in Chief Credit: Macmillan Publishers

Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits by James D. Zirin Reviewed by David Fahrenthold in If you can’t beat the case, beat the system Washington Post November 22, 2019

Law is usually viewed as a method of settling conflicts, but it can also be used as a weapon. President Trump is doing this now as he faces an impeachment inquiry and many lawsuits. This book shows how Trump has employed this strategy throughout his career.

Also see Law as a Weapon in Social Conflict Austin T. Turk Social Problems February 1976

Violation of laws and norms that form and strengthen democracy

The United States founding fathers, and many others over the years, have recognized the importance of specific laws and norms in order to make the functioning of a system of government more democratic. For example, the Bill of Rights, which became a part of the U.S. constitution, gives citizens basic rights and a means of legal recourse in case legislation may try to curtail these rights. Freedom House’s Methodology 2019 sheet for its Freedom in the World 2019 report gives a good idea of the factors that must be considered in evaluating a country’s political system in terms of the democratic freedom it gives the country’s inhabitants.

Standard economics, in its consideration of the government sector, essentially considers government as democratic, representing the will of the people. It may consider a few reservations about this, such as the paradox of voting or rent-seeking behavior. However the situation where a minority has control over the government and uses this control in large part for its own benefit is not discussed nor is it raised, as it should be, as a central question in public economics. As the Freedom in the World 2019 report notes, “between 2005 and 2018, the share of Not Free countries rose to 26 percent, while the share of Free countries declined to 44 percent.” Thus an important part of exploitation is diminishing the freedom of most people, and this is done in a wide variety of ways.

This page gives examples of how it was done in 2019. Also see Staying in power – Struggle for control

United States

In Trump’s Ukraine phone call, aides saw trouble Peter Baker New York Times September 26, 2019

Whistle-blower complaint transcript New York Times September 26, 2019
The complaint filed by an intelligence officer about President Trump’s interactions with the leader of Ukraine.

With ‘Spygate,’ Trump shows how he uses conspiracy theories to erode trust Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman New York Times May 28, 2019 (News analysis)

Trump fans the flames of a racial fire Peter Baker New York Times July 14, 2019 (News analysis)

One of the Hatch Act provisions prohibits political campaigning for most Federal workers while performing their jobs. Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Lisa Rein and Josh Dawsey Washington Post June 13, 2019

What Is the Hatch Act? Explaining why Trump was urged to fire Kellyanne Conway Neil Vigdor and Charlie Savage New York Times June 13, 2019

President Trump has made 10,796 false or misleading claims over 869 days Glen Kessler Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly Washington Post June 10, 2019

The first large protest in London against the Saudi bombing of Yemen, equipped and supported by the United Kingdom and the United States. March 7, 2018 Credit: Alisdare Hickson

73 percent of the world’s dictatorships receive United States military assistance

US provides military assistance to 73 percent of world’s dictatorships Rich Whitney Truthout September 23, 2017

Photo: The first large protest in London against the Saudi bombing of Yemen, equipped and supported by the United Kingdom and the United States. March 7, 2018 Credit: Alisdare Hickson

Cover of One Person No Vote C

One Person No Vote by Carol Anderson

How voter suppression threatens our economy (review of One Person No Vote) Timothy Smith Washington Post September 20, 2018

Our democracy is being stolen. It happens through election fraud and voter suppression. And Republicans are the culprits. Carol Anderson New York Times March 14, 2019

Image: Cover of One Person No Vote. Credit: Bloomsbury