Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interesting, reading about Andrew Jackson

And the Jacksonian system. What seems to be evident is that during the Jacksonian "Democracy" period, we essentially had a strong man ruling in a way reminiscent of Napoleon, with the presidential election looked at as a plebiscite giving that gave the man and his cronies the legitimacy to do whatever they wanted. The Jacksonian period could be looked at one where elites started taking advantage of the new rules allowing for the direct election of the President by engaging in demagoguery and manipulation of the people in general, of talking in the language of populism while taking all the power for themselves. Graft was institutionalized, and patronage for most appointed offices the name of the game, and it was all covered up with appeals to the common man and workers based on opposition to elites. If Jackson and company were truly in favor of democracy, and against the elites, they would have promoted democracy at both the state and local levels, instead of initiating a concept of an imperial presidency, where a 'son of the people' and supposed regular guy acted would act as the charismatic leader of the nation.

In other words, with the rise of Jackson, our system of government had effectively collapsed and become extraordinarily dysfunctional. Government action was only restored to some sort of accountability with the rise of Lincoln.

I can't help but wonder how all of this would fit in with a Marxist analysis, based on the type of reasoning he used in his writings about Louis-Bonaparte in France.

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