Think of it this way. Anyone who has ever been in charge of a group of people, officially or in an informal role, instinctively reaches for more influence, more authority, more power, not necessarily because they are even greedy or malevolent or bad, but because that’s your fuel as a leader. You turn consent into action. That’s what leaders do....

... Think about all of the presidents going back and back and back, about Obama or about George W. Bush. Sure, mistakes were made. Bad decisions. Atrocities. All that stuff. But most of them reached for more power because they were thinking of the interests of the empire that they were charged with governing. Most of us would, even without meaning to, follow a similar path. We would grow the mechanism that allowed us to turn consent into action....

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... So, they’re trying to build something and they make a bigger and bigger hammer. Perfectly reasonable, right? Except, when they leave office the hammer stays behind, and because the system has become so reliant on its daily use, the next person tries to make it a bigger and better hammer. And if you get someone who is dishonest or hungry for power, that hammer stops building things and it starts smashing them....

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... That’s what you’re seeing now. It’s not ‘Trump is dangerous’ (he is dangerous, and these ARE extraordinary times), but that you are seeing the results, the consequences, of decisions that were made even centuries ago. Every little thing ever surrendered to build that bigger tool is now being felt as that tool is converted into a weapon....

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... That’s how authoritarianism grows. It’s systemic and it stretches far backward in time. The time to stop Trump was when the federalists and anti-federalists were arguing in a sweaty room without electricity.

My point is that the system doesn’t need to be made bigger and more powerful after all of this is over. It needs distributed reform, away from concentrations of wealth and by extension political influence.

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