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July 25, 2011

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Alain

What you say here reminds me of something from Aristotle's Politics: I don't recall the exact passage but he says something to the effect that there are basically 2 types of constitutions, of which all others are mere variations: democracy and Oligarcy. The Rich and poor will always and eternally remain irreducible to each other and conflict between tem is unavoidable. He seems to suggest that one solution to this conflict is to create something like a "middle class" (my term not his) The middle class is like a mean between the two extremes, identifying their socio-economic position with the political center (I was always reminded of Schlesinger's term of the "vital center"). But he also recognized how fragile this political and economic mean actually is - it is always under threat to be wiped away by either extreme.

Until the last 30 years, it seemed that the United States had tried an experiment in the spirit of Aristotle's description. But now the middle class is largely a fiction, or is about to become one.

I really look forward to the new book - no matter how long each chapter is.:)

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