That is indeed an accurate characterization, although I prefer to think of it as satire.
In my original comment, the one that instigated this conversation —
“I am more concerned about how much I and my family are making than how much Trump and his family are making.”
— I might just as well have stated —
“I am more concerned about how much I and my family are making than how much any politician and his family are making.”
— or, more generally —
“I am more concerned about how much I and my family are making than how much anyone anywhere is making”
The specific reference to Trump appears because my comment was responding to a statement that made a reference to Trump —
“Trump and his family are making more millions every day he is President.”
I was intending to make a general statement regarding a principle that I follow, using Trump as a metaphor for politicians in general.
I don’t envy what others have. An appeal to envy is not an effective way to influence my choice of candidate.
Trump would be making millions every day whether he was president or not. It is not uncommon for presidents to profit from their presidency. Most have the good sense to wait until they leave office, having used their position in office to create opportunities to prosper afterwards. Trump is not a polished politician; he could learn to put some shade on it.
“Trump is one hell of a cheater and opportunist and a con…”
In other words, a typical politician.
Trump has already done the job that I hired him to do. He defeated Hillary. Many years ago Hillary disqualified herself from being eligible to receive my vote. I waited 25 years for the opportunity to vote for her opponent and I was not going to let any Donald Trump deprive me of that satisfaction.
“But it is in fact what you voted for, so now what?”
In the effort to topple Hillary I had to grab a tiger by the tail. Now, I’ll just have to hang on and do my best to control the wild beast.
“A lot of this is quite outrageous. I’d be surprised if you think it’s not.”
It is no shock to me when someone who is known as a thief steals something, or when a known cheater cheats, or when someone I know to be a liar lies. The appropriate steps should be taken, then move on.
“I largely don’t get into the political game of rooting for one or the other, because they all feed the same machine in different ways.”
The United States has two major political parties. They are in perpetual conflict with each other over what is the best way to introduce tyranny and who gets to be the tyrant.
People operate systems. People are susceptible to corruption. Therefore, human systems are corrupt.
“…in America we have all got a front row seat.”
…then let’s relax and enjoy the show. Would you care for some popcorn? The Ringling Brothers recently closed their circus. Somebody had to replace them.
“The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light”
Might be an interesting read. “Why the West Rules — For Now” by Ian Morris covers the same time period, but from a different perspective; it compares the development of Western civilization with the development of Chinese civilization.
It is not clear to me why women in particular would be the creators of surplus. I can guess why men in particular would be the protectors. Protectors ultimately becoming rulers is a common historical pattern.
I would be curious as to the author’s definition of “power.” How is power measured? What criteria are used to determine its balance?
“…what if there were no laws? No police? No lawyers? No mechanisms in place to keep your surplus relatively safe, from those who might want it?”
With no order there would be no surplus produced so none to protect. Eventually, order emerges. Humans are predisposed, as a result of evolutionary forces, to interact with one another; order emerges from interaction. That is why you will rarely see a human population that does not have some kind of orderly structure.
“…we have created a system that allows someone like that to flourish…”
“We” have not created the system; the system is emergent. The Machine is an emergent structure. It has no intentional design. It does not conform to the will of any individual or collective.
“It seems like western ones are falling…”
Welcome to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
“…true power lies with whoever controls the army?”
…or as Mao Tse Tung would express it:
“And to think of how quickly Trump realized that.”
…at least as quickly as you, I, Chairman Mao, and many others realized it.