A society in a pre-revolutionary condition
Crane Brinton: Anatomy of a Revolution
CONDITIONS WHICH SEEM TO BE PRESENT AS CAUSES OF MAJOR REVOLUTIONS:
7. The government does not respond to the needs of its society.
8. The leaders of the government and the ruling class begin to doubt themselves. Some join with the
9. The government is unable to get enough support from any group to save itself.
10. The government cannot organize its finances correctly and is either going bankrupt or trying to tax
heavily and unjustly.
Mark Warren of Esquire interviews members of the Senate and House: HELP, WE'RE IN A LIVING HELL AND DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT
Not long ago, animated by the public mood about Congress and its current historic ineptitude and extremism, we decided to talk to members of Congress, from both houses and both parties, to find out what their problem was. And they started talking, often at length and in surprisingly thoughtful ways, about their jobs. I ended up talking to ninety members—a third of the Senate, more than a tenth of the House. They have all been eager to talk, as if they wanted to get something off their chest. They represent the full ideological spectrum, and the full florid bouquet of American accents, and an almost astonishing variety of biography. There are women combat veterans and Hindus and members who take their oath of office with left hand on the Bhagavad Gita—and all of that is just one congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. There are preachers and physicists and car salesmen and former All-Pro tackles and civil-rights heroes. There are hard ideologues and conciliators, partisan warriors and declared independents. Some are voluble, some are terse, some are jovial and defiant, some have just about had it and seem depressed. "That's what happens when you don't have meaningful work," says a Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham.
But who really cares about the sad plight of members of Congress? "I had $42 million dropped into my 2012 race by outside groups—$42 million—a record that will likely be exceeded this year in North Carolina, now that the Supreme Court has become almost an arm of corporate America. I'm not whining about this," says Sherrod Brown, Democratic senator from Ohio, "because nobody cares about the problems of people in our position. No whining on the yacht!"
Except, of course, that their dilemma is our disaster.
I had initially planned to ask for no more than ten minutes of their time, basically just to ask them why they were so bad at their job, but fairly quickly it became obvious that these were going to be richer and deeper conversations than I had bargained for. And along the way, something unexpected happened: I became less angry and more sympathetic to the thresher that all of these people find themselves caught in. They are not whining. They are crying for help. After only a few interviews, I stopped asking, "Why are you so bad at your job?" because it occurred to me that it was a cheap question, the kind of question that's not interested in an answer, which is just the sort of cultural deformity that got us into this mess. It's a terrible job, being in Congress in 2014.
They know they are enacting a farce, but are too weak to put a stop to it.
All the while there is a growing popular resistance.