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Recommended reading at this time: "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty", by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.
Their thesis is that "extractive" social systems (wherein elites rule over and exploit others, extracting wealth from others) fail, while "inclusive" ones thrive.
I am sad for Americans, who are fundamentally decent people. But they've also bought into propaganda and let the country become "inverted totalitarianism" (Sheldon Wolin's terminology).
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