In Lewis Lapham’s book “Age of American Folly” he references observations made by Aristotle many centuries ago. The ideas seemed pertinent to the U.S. today. Aristotle’s hypothesis that “forms of government follow one another in sequence as certain as the changing seasons: Monarchy dissolving into despotism, despotism overthrown by democracy, democracy degenerating into plutocracy (oligarchy), plutocracy prompting a return to monarchy.” Aristotle goes on to say that “government is the means by which a privileged few arrange the distribution of property and law to the less fortunate … many are oligarchies.” He goes on that “oligarchies bear an unhappy resemblance to cheese. Sooner or later they go rancid in the sun. Wealth accumulates, men decay … just government acquires the texture of the ‘prosperous fool’ a class of men so besotted by their faith in money that they therefore imagine there is nothing it cannot buy.” Sound familiar? Welcome to our new America.
Glen Boland, Meridian
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