A political hypothesis

Hypothesis: Refuse to accept any individual or group as a political villain unless they routinely issue very large campaign checks. Under this, we get

possible villains: the NEA, CALPERS, Goldman Sachs, the members of our national insurance cartel, Mark Zuckerberg, the NRA.

not possible villains: Radical Islam, immigrants, American overconsumption, Leftists on campus, SUV’s, and (as a rule) all individual politicians.

The rule will miss a few obvious villains (corrupt city councils, ideological judges) but the spirit of the rule is to only vilify beings that have direct control (even if not total control) over the levers of power.


  1. PG said,

    November 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

    This depends entirely on your definition of a lever of power. The particular definition assumed by this hypothesis focuses only on direct financial influence. It almost completely ignores (for example) other cultural influences such as those who contribute to the formation of the political beliefs of future generations, whether through direct teaching (say, at a university), or through more ambient influence such as media and peer pressure. These are “levers” that can be manipulated without direct financial contribution to any explicitly political entity.

    • November 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      I’m fine with the definition. I’ve had the other kind of power you talk about and it isn’t able to write much legislation. As for media power, I buy Chomsky’s account that it is largely instrumental to moneyed interests.

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