The main idea of this book is to provide kind of guide to contemporary finance, its professions, operations, and objectives. It divided into part I describing who does what and part two pretty much describing positive and negative consequences of these actions and motivation behind them. The bottom line: finance is necessary and effective tool of economy without which contemporary world would be impossible despite all problems it causes and generally negative attitude of the public caused by recent financial crisis and bailouts.
Part One Roles and Responsibilities
- Chief Executive Officers; 2. Investment Managers; 3. Bankers; 4. Investment Bankers; 5. Mortgage Lenders and Securitizers; 6. Traders and Market Makers; 7. Insurers; 8. Market Designers and Financial Engineers; 9. Derivatives Providers; 10. Lawyers and Financial Advisers; 11. Lobbyists; 12. Regulators; 13. Accountants and Auditors; 14. Educators; 15. Public Goods Financiers; 16. Policy Makers in Charge of Stabilizing the Economy; 17. Trustees and Nonprofit Managers; 18. Philanthropists;
The first part is somewhat trivial going through 18 different types of participants in financial operations and creating necessary framework for such operations: from education, lobbying, and regulations all the way to actual operators such as traders, bankers, and investment managers. Probably the most interesting part of these small narratives is description of incentives that people have in each of these professions that more often than not deviate quite considerably from formally advertised objectives of organizations that operate in each area.
Part Two Finance and It Discontents
In part two author goes into somewhat philosophical review of financial operations, their meaning, and positive / negative outcomes.
- Finance, Mathematics, and Beauty
This is about the beauty of mathematical representation of finance. It is mainly based on ideas of the beauty of symmetry. Too bad it remains purely theoretical because real world includes all kind of imperfections that pretty much make this beauty not really applicable.
- Categorizing People: Financiers versus Artists and Other Idealists
This is about type of people who are doing finance. Contrary to usual few of it being area of either boring and honest types or cunning crooks author provide examples of financially effective artists, revolutionaries, and philosophers.
- An Impulse for Risk Taking
This is about risk taking opportunities provided by finance and type of people who take it.
- An Impulse for Conventionality and Familiarity
Correspondingly this chapter is about financial types that counter risk taking by conventionality and familiarity. In a word it is about security provided by finance so it contains a piece about entitlements such as social security.
- Debt and Leverage
This is about the logic of debt and leverage and how it used in finance. Quite appropriately it discusses financial crisis of 2007 and dangers of overleverage. Interestingly author tries to establish new notions of odious and salubrious debt one if detrimental to social welfare and another promoting it. By adding moral dimension to a debt, author calls for more regulations required to use it to assure prevalence of salubrious debt.
- Some Unfortunate Incentives to Sleaziness Inherent in Finance
Obviously author had to address typical approach to finance as something sleazy. He does it here by comparing it to gambling, but at the same time trying to explain that some financial operations look sleazy only because people do not understand their meaning and purpose. He practically begs not to overreact to sleaziness, by restricting financial operations to the level of understanding of regular people.
- The Significance of Financial Speculation
This is an attempt to explain merits of speculation as financial tool that is necessary to improve functioning of markets. He discusses various corporate forms that limit liability and makes suggestions how to improve existing process by regulation.
- Speculative Bubbles and Their Costs to Society
Obviously it is not possible to discuss finance and not discuss financial bubbles, which author does in this chapter. As it seems to be usual for him, he sees remedy in regulations by wise bureaucrats who somehow superior in judgment to market participants.
- Inequalities and Injustice
This is discussion about how finance lead to inequalities through compensation bubbles, supporting family dynasties, and just plainly benefiting rich for being rich. He gives a nice example of book by rich that are immediate bestsellers because they are written by rich (Trump, Oprah). He suggests usual remedy against inequality: progressive and estate taxes.
- Problems with Philanthropy
This is about financial implications of philanthropy and its limitations. It is mostly about tax exemption and other initiatives to do it.
- The Dispersal of Ownership of Capital
Here author discusses government policies to disperse capital starting with land allocation policies and then going through support for home ownership, retirement accounts, and employee ownership of business. He believes that it support dispersal of capital that prevent concentration of economic power.
- The Great Illusion, Then and Now
Here author discusses what he calls the great illusion: idea that military power provides for national advantage. He looks at history and practically expands this idea to cover all forms of aggression including in business and life. At the same time he stresses that interconnectedness implied in finance if the way to counter aggression by presenting much better return on effort than aggression and wars.
Epilogue: Finance, Power, and Human Values
At the end author discusses relationship between financial wealth and power and how over XIX and XX Centuries power moved from hands of aristocracy into hands of the rich. Actually it seems to be not that bad in terms that it is much better when power struggle occurs not at the battlefield, but on financial markets leaving to mainly bloodless financial battles transfer of power between players, especially when this process often increases overall wealth creation for everybody. Author believes that the future prosperity depends on maintenance of existing and creation of the new forms of financial institutions that would help to resolve existing contradictions and provide supporting system of democratic finance for individuals to achieve their goals.
MY TAKE ON IT:
It is 30 thousands feet description of finance, its role in society, and players who fulfill this role. Overall I think it is a very good idea to move as much as possible human interaction related to creation, distribution, and exchange of resources to financial area where it could be done peacefully, effectively, and even relatively fair. The only serious disagreement that I have with author is his highly positive attitude to bureaucracy and regulations. I think that any regulation is limiting ability for business to function effectively and efficiently. Instead of reliance on wise bureaucrats to make decision and setting framework for decisions that people are allowed to make, I would rather limit bureaucratic interference to enforcing contract with specific designation of some contracts that would not be enforced. I would also leave to government power to obtain financial and other business related information and provide estimate of honesty and trustworthiness of economic players. In other words I would leave all decision making with people and use bureaucracy only for contract enforcement and effective informational support of decision-making both of which require ability to use violence or at least threat of it.
The main idea is that contemporary computer technology dramatically decreased cost of distributing ideas, accessing information, communicating, and organizing collective actions. All this together leads to dramatic changes in society including methods of organizing groups, setting their objectives, and achieving results. This change is occurring right before our eyes.
CHAPTER 1 – IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO FIND A PHONE
It starts with the story of lost cell phone that finder refused to return. The well educated and reasonably well to do owners started campaign on Internet shaming the finder and even initiated legal action. This resulted in eventual arrest of the finder and return of the phone by police. The story is used to demonstrate the ease of access to distribution of information and ability to communicate to practically infinite amount of people without high cost as long as communicator has ability to attract attention and stand out in huge flow of information. The main point here is that technology practically not only removed limitation on one to many type of communications, but also converted it to many to many type of communications with the power residing with communicator most capable to bring people to his/her side by own personality and content of communication.
CHAPTER 2 – SHARING ANCHORS COMMUNITY
This chapter look at another huge change in human ability collect and use information, make decision, and organize synchronized actions of multitude of people. It starts with analysis of two way communication network between individuals and then proceeds to describe spontaneous generation of visual report about Mermaid parade in New York with pictures provided by multitude of independent individuals using organizational website. The resulting report was by far more detailed than anything provided by professional reporters without any significant loss in quality of pictures. The second part of chapter looks at managerial history from initial organizational charts and strict hierarchical structures that supported practically all activities of industrial age and concludes that it is rapidly becoming outdated, opening way to the new organizational structures based on peer networks. The hierarchical structures of industrial age were effective in organizing collective actions of multitude of people, but they also carried huge cost of professional bureaucracy and deterioration of information during transfer from one level of bureaucracy to another. New peer networks have practically no costs and transfer information without any distortions.
CHAPTER 3 – EVERYONE IS A MEDIA OUTLET
This starts with the reference to cost of publishing in newspaper age, stressing positive side of it: high levels of professionalism that resulted from very limited access to ability publish one’s opinion. Internet removed this cost, allowing everybody to publish own opinion regardless of the quality. The interesting deviation here is reference to medieval scribes and their currently lost skill of calligraphy, killed by printing press. The eventual result of printing press was wide availability of high quality reading material and disappearance of profession.
CHAPTER 4 – PUBLISH, THEN FILTER
This chapter is about another side of the process. During industrial age with its high cost of publication the filtering of information and quality control was done upfront before publishing. Now it is turned upside down because compression of time: it is so easy to publish that any delay puts one behind the curve, consequently it makes sense to publish first and only then filter. All this causes revolutionary changes in culture that are currently in process with very unclear future outcome.
CHAPTER 5 – PERSONAL MOTIVATION MEETS COLLABORATIVE PRODUCTION
This chapter is about interplay between personal effort/motivation and resulting collaborative production. Author uses example of Wikipedia to analyze individual contribution and quality of interaction in what he calls unmanaged division of labor. Two graphs nicely illustrate his points:
CHAPTER 6 – COLLECTIVE ACTION AND INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES
This is about challenges that spontaneously organized groups could pose to legacy institutions and organizations. It starts with the story of Boston Globe uncovering evidence of catholic priests molesting children and being covered up by the church. It caused lots of publicity, but real change occurred only when self-organizing activist groups put pressure on the church. The main point here is that molestation and cover up went on for centuries, but there were no organized power to counter it. Only when technology allowed easy organizing the power of multitudes become overwhelming and forced action.
CHAPTER 7 – FASTER AND FASTER
This chapter is about speed with which people can organize into a group cooperatively acting to achieve some specific objective using Internet and communication tools. The examples reviewed are: flash mobs in Belorussia demanding political change, protests in Philippines, on the flight organizing of stranded air passengers who managed to reach CEO and force actions, and blitz information distribution about the arrest of Egyptian activist. The tools and speed which they could be used are continuously improving, which changes nature of cooperative actions regardless of their type.
CHAPTER 8 – SOLVING SOCIAL DILEMMAS
Here author looks at possibility that new technology could optimize solving of various social dilemmas by increasing speed and scale of iterative solutions. Another point here is that new capabilities allow much better opportunities for socializing. One does not need to leave house to meet multitude of people, discuss something with them, and agree on some actions. It all could be done online now. Author also looks at downside: losses from substituting professional work with unpaid amateurish work, damage to existing social bargains, and finally the most harmful – empowering terrorist and criminal networks to collect and distribute information and disinformation on the mass scale in order to achieve their objectives.
CHAPTER 9 – FITTING OUR TOOLS TO A SMALL WORLD
This is elaboration on interconnection of the world with stress on the quality and diversity of connections. Instead of complete interconnection, in reality it is more like connection of clusters. It has a nice graphic representation of this:
CHAPTER 10 – FAILURE FOR FREE
This is another very important point: due to the decrease in cost of publishing and overall information processing, the cost of failure is also decreasing, opening huge opportunities for trial and error methodology of discovery that was not available before. In the past high cost of attempt inevitably led to significant part of any effort being planning and modeling. With current environment it could be substituted with actually trying.
CHAPTER 11 – PROMISE, TOOL, BARGAIN
This chapter is about use of social tools and issues that arise in process of their use. Author discusses some of these issues, especially issue of governance using example of “White bicycle”, LA times website, and a few fan groups of TV shows.
The final word here is to stress value of social networks and technology that made them possible. At the same time it stresses needs for managing, however loosely, such networks and danger of government interference. It also discusses future of collective actions: spontaneous organizing of people around some issue that become possible due to technology, stressing that it is much easier to do for protesting, than for productive cooperation.
MY TAKE ON IT:
This is a very nice review of issues related to newly created abilities to generate and distribute ideas in process creating groups of self-selected individuals based on interests with no relation to location of its members, their wealth or lack thereof, their background and anything else. This is something new in the history of humanity and I believe it will lead to dramatic changes in how society works, opening way for a lot more free society than it would be possible to imagine before. Obviously this would require new methods of resource generation and distribution because current methods are becoming increasingly obsolete, not capable to provide level of resources people consider appropriate, and consequently could loose legitimacy much faster than ever before due to tremendous increase in flow of information between people that makes any notion of accepting one’s place in the society as given outdated.
The main idea here is to review balance of power between genetic makeup of humans and cultural constructions that they create and internalize via socialization. Based on the review of history of human biological and cultural development author proposes general solution to the problem of creating stable and effective society through self-organization of free individuals with common objectives and shared results.
INTRODUCTION: The Gamble
At the beginning author provides an interesting summary of culture: everything that humans do and monkeys don’t. After that, however author moves to clarify that he sees humans as carriers of two somewhat supplemental, but somewhat contradictory informational sets: one defined by genes and another defined by memes or in other words by culture. The human history could be seen as process of change of balance of power between these two sets with culture slowly taking upper hand not only by defining human actions, but also by creating completely new artificial environment that did no exist in nature. This fact should be considered the main differentiation of humans: other animals mainly adapt to existing environment, while humans consciously build their environment within framework of nature. Author introduces notion of small tribe as cultural survival vehicle built on the top of human bodies that are physical survival vehicles.
PART I • Mind Control, Protection, and Prosperity
This part is to answer question of how our cultures have been able to organize us into small tribal groups: cultural survival vehicles.
CHAPTER 1: The Occupation of the World
This chapter starts with review of human biological history including multiple relatives such as Neanderthals then switching to history of humans expansion throughout the world and elimination of all competitors for the same ecological niches – the process accompanied by constant generation of new cultures and languages within confines of small tribes. Here author’s attention is directed at development of multiple cultures as survival vehicles based on genetic functionality of humans that allows acquiring language, ideas, and norms of behavior from whatever culture they are born into, essentially becoming an integral part of the tribe. Author also looks at culture’s impact on flow of genes and flow of information and ideas both inside and outside tribe. The final point is that humans not only were able to support demographic rule of two (meaning stable numbers of people in next generation), but dramatically exceeded it, multiplying all over the planet in nearly infinite number of local ecological niches.
CHAPTER 2: Ultra-sociality and the Cultural Survival Vehicle
This starts with discussion of visual theft when observers copy some invention or process without any benefits for inventor. Author calls this social learning and defines humanity as ultra-social species versus eusocial insects. From here author traces development of cooperation and its biological roots – all the way from DNA-RNA “cooperation” to complex patterns of cooperation and altruism between humans.
CHAPTER 3: The Domestication of Our Talents
This is somewhat unusual and interesting approach to role of individual within society. Author characterizes humans as domesticated to fulfill a specific role in the society mainly via division of labor, which opens opportunities for individuals to use their specific abilities to maximize both total resource generation in society and their own share of these resources. This follows by usual discussion about born vs. made with reasonable conclusion that it is both. The final part is about cultural impact on our genetic evolution and discussion of future technological feasibility to actually define our own genetic makeup.
CHAPTER 4: Religion and Other Cultural “Enhancers”
This chapter looks at what author calls cultural enhancers: religion, art, music, and such. All these enhancers create environment that provides necessary intellectual and psychological benefits (brain candy) from belonging to some specific cultural tradition. Author pays special attention to ideological, mainly religious part of culture to discuss potential pluses and minuses for individuals and, most important, cultural survival of the group as unique entity clearly distinct from any other similar entity of humans.
PART II • Cooperation and our Cultural Nature
This part is an analysis of cooperation between individuals often completely unrelated as key to effectiveness of culture for survival.
CHAPTER 5: Reciprocity and the Shadow of the Future
This chapter looks at reciprocity as a source of cooperation. Initially it is somewhat going into linguistics analyzing the phrase “God Save The Queen” as set of replicators where each word can survive only as a part of the phrase. After that it goes into 4 modes of being social: altruism, selfishness, spitefulness, and beneficial cooperation as in prisoners dilemma. Author highlights a strategy that he believes moved humanity for a long time: win-stay and lose-shift. Also the issue of fairness and trust is analyzed as a beneficial set of rules that support intragroup cohesion.
CHAPTER 6: Green Beards and the Reputation Marketplace
This is analysis of individual evaluation method of reputation as the tool necessary for cooperation. The analysis here is based on hypothetical scenarios such as green beard being genetically assigned symbol for specific behavior. The analysis goes through multiple behavioral patterns: nationalism, reputation development and marketplace, morality, shame, self-sacrifice, parochialism, and xenophobia. All these are tools used to achieve effective cooperation, which is the key to our success as species.
CHAPTER 7: Hostile Forces
This chapter is about conflict and it starts with an interesting idea that the main function of our big brain is to handle interactions and conflict of interests within and without groups of our species, rather than manage interactions with nature and environmental forces. Our huge advantage obtained from this highly expensive part of our bodies is ability for social learning and accumulation of knowledge and know how that allow us not only adjust to existing environment, but also change environment to adjust to our preferences. Author stresses two important characteristics of humans: the first is that social knowledge became so complex that nobody really has complete knowledge of any technology and the second that we are still in process of continuing evolution that could be accelerating with our newly acquired ability to consciously direct it.
PART III • The Theatre of the Mind
This part analyses how culture formed individual ability to use it in order to obtain advantage in resource acquisition.
CHAPTER 8: Human Language – The Voice of Our Genes
This is an analysis of human language and its use. An interesting point here is that humans are the only beings that have something to talk about: stories about past that allow reordering of experiences real or imagined, which in turn allow planning and design of future actions. Author goes a bit into biological details of DNA and their relation to language. There is also discussion about power of the language with reference to Cyrano de Bergerac and language role in forming and maintaining our identity. The final and quite interesting point is about extinguishing of languages and increasing use of English as lingua franca of the world, but not in its pure form, but as a skeleton language around which continuously growing flesh of adapted words and rules develops a natural universal language of humanity.
CHAPTER 9: Deception, Consciousness, and Truth
This chapter uses quite interesting approach to use of language. It looks at it not as communication tools that supposed to transfer truthful information, but as cooperation tool that used to build believes and actions instrumental for our survival. Whether communications transferred between individuals are truthful, deceitful, or anything in between is actually irrelevant as long as objective of survival is achieved. Here author looks at stories of use of deception by criminals, spouses, and even by newly born babies. Babies’ deception is genetically based: all babies are born looking the same and only after few months of development they begin demonstrating individual similarities to their parents. It seems to serve purpose to prevent rejection by adult males who could have doubts about their parenthood. The baby who was able to hide similarities to other man from father of the family long enough to create reliable bond, has better chances to survive. Another interesting discussion here is about self-awareness and self-deception both of which could be powerful tools for survival.
PART IV • The Many and the Few
The final chapter is trying to understand how humans who are optimized for live in small tribal groups manage to create large scale stable societies that includes billions of individuals who generally accept rule of small elite and more often than not comply with rules established and directives issued by this elite.
CHAPTER 10: Termite Mounds and the Exploitation of Our Social Instincts
Author compares large-scale societies with termite mounds and tries to identify difference in mechanisms that make multitude of humans and termites work together. He looks at idea of trust to others, but rejects it as unrealistic. He seems to prefer explanation of cultural experience of interaction with others when people learned how interact by looking at interactions between others. Actually this is mechanism well developed in small tribal societies that practically scale-free. Typically we behave as is we live in small tribal society with dynamically changed personalities who behave according to specific roles. However author points out that our ability to create large-scale societies does not explains why they were created. After that author discusses role of local rules in self-organization of large-scale societies and economy of scale that seems to be promoting increase in size. Author also looks at mechanics of dictatorial regimes and their live cycles, especially revolutionary processes just before regime dissolution. Finally author discusses individual behavior in the group, specifically subordination to authority, rejection of authority and social ties between people that pretty much define societies. The final world about effective scale-free society construction is: “creation of strong clues of trust and common values and then encourage the conditions that give people a sense of shared purpose and outcome”.
MY TAKE ON IT:
It’s very nice review of cultural development of humanity with, also very nice, recommendations of what needs to be achieved. However it is not going into issue how to achieve it. The idea of continuing recombination of genetic and cultural characteristic in various forms of human society is quite interesting and could be a source of large-scale research on actual historical societies and how they were using specific genes and cultural memes during their live cycles. If it were done, we would probably find quite a few similarities in process of society formation, development, maturity, and eventual destruction, leading to better understanding of processes in our own society and, hopefully, better management of its live cycle.
The main idea here is that liberals and their democratic party lost their meaning as protector and supporter of lower classes and turned into elitist movement, which, while still using the same rhetoric, acts in the interest of educated elite and quite often doing it to the detriment of lower classes.
Introduction: Listen, Liberal
The liberals and their political organization – Democratic Party was losing its original position as defender of large masses of laborers, unions, and poor for a while, with Obama’s leadership being a big disappointment. Instead of reversing this process this administration had been increasing its speed. Author calls on liberals to listen to his warning because alternative will leave them in minority and away from political power when majority eventually understand that they become an elite party.
- Theory of the Liberal Class
Here author presents his understanding of Democratic Party, as Party that should be “Party of the people”, but turned into “Party of High born and Well Educated” that claims right to rule mainly based on their superior knowledge and expertise. Unfortunately it is more pretense than reality, which author quite convincingly demonstrates by analyzing track record of failures of the Best and Brightest.
- How Capitalism Got Its Groove Back
This chapter represents a brief history of change in Democratic Party that resulted from its failures in 1960s and 1970s that left country with ailing economy, defeat in Vietnam, racial riots, and overall doom and gloom. These failures gave opening for Reagan Republicans to restore some sanity and improve situation practically in all areas.
- The Economy, Stupid; 4. Agents of Change; 5. It Takes a Democrat
This part retells story of Clinton’s New Democrats who moved to supporting international capitalism, free market, and even declared the end of Big Government. Author clearly considers New Democrats as traitors of the liberal ideology and to working population that was traditionally democratic base. The treason in author’s opinion, also includes Clinton’s support of Law and Order that together with Welfare reform practically amounts to racism because it forced many blacks to work even if wage is so low that would not significantly exceed amount of handouts, plus many blacks were incarcerated for previously ignored or lightly punished crimes. Overall author characterizes Clinton presidency as “The Disastrous Success”.
- The Hipster and the Banker Should Be Friends
Here author looks at the current Democratic Party that lost its working class roots and become party of Blue Billionaires, Hipsters, and Artists. He discusses work of Richard Florida and his ideas of deindustrialized, “creative” economy based on financial services. Needless to say, that this vision went down the drain with crisis of 2008.
- How the Crisis Went to Waste
This is another aggrieving narrative of lost opportunities that author believes leftist had with crisis of 2008 when democrats had all legislative and executive power, but failed implement massive change on the scale of New Deal. The key problem here in author opinion was Obama and democrats become too cozy with Wall Street and practically betrayed working class in the interests of elite.
- The Defects of a Superior Mind
The “superior mind” is obviously Obama. Here author reviews main achievements of Obama’s brief (2 years) period of nearly complete control: Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and Stimulus. Quite surprisingly for the leftist, author seems to understand that government regulations normally created mainly in interest of big business and are pretty much negotiated deals from which democratic politicians get cover to present themselves as defenders of their voter’s interest, while established and well-connected business interests get opportunity to suppress competition. Author also complains that Obama and his administration were too “smart” to bring decisive changes and limited themselves to marginal tinkering.
- The Blue State Model
Here author responds on democrats’ claim that they do all that is possible at federal level where they are limited by republican opposition by looking at some states where democrats have unlimited control such as Rhode Island, Chicago, New York, and such. He does not really look at disaster of inner cities that are controlled by democrats for at least half of century, but rather concentrates on small upscale, elitist and very prosperous “innovative” part of population: people linked to elite universities, high tech enterprises and such. However he also points out to formerly prosperous, but now devastated manufacturing and services communities of low-tech middle class. Under democratic rule that these people voted for, they practically get destroyed.
- The Innovation Class
Here author looks in a bit more detail at “the innovative class” that become so prosperous under democrats and concludes that this prosperity came at the expense of old middle class because huge raise in productivity kills jobs. The interesting example is Wal-Mart that killed small retailed shops substituting middle class shop owners with low working class employees, which now in turn seems to be getting killed by Amazon that moves retail on line and substitutes low class retail employees with even lower class cheaper warehouse employees and robots.
- Liberal Gilt
Here author looks on seems to be standard pattern of democrats: enthusiastic idealism turning into disappointing results. He also goes a bit into psychology, pointing out liberal’s need to feel good about self and in this line he analyses Hillary as typical representative of this need. The interesting thing about it is that do-gooders are pretty good in convincing poor masses to vote for them, then do well by enriching themselves, feeling even more good, but in reality leaving poor masses even more poor after all said and done.
Conclusion: Trampling Out the Vineyard
Author restates the main objective of this book by picturing Venn diagram of interests’ intersection between Democrats, Plutocrats, and Meritocrats. He refers to Martha’s Vineyard as real live representation of this intersection of people and their interests. There is no place in Marta’s Vineyard for regular Americans either of middle or lower classes and this could doom the party and liberal movement. Author wants to change it, but could not come up with anything other then: “ Let’s strip away the Democrats’ precious sense of their moral probity” to force them understand how “starkly and how deliberately Democratic party political leaders contradict their values”.
MY TAKE ON IT:
It is a painful book for any liberal because it nicely shows that Democratic Party is just a corrupt machine, mainly serving needs of political bosses and connected to them plutocrats and meritocrats. I personally do not like term meritocrats applied to people main merits of which are credentials from top-level colleges, but it is not an important point. I also think that author misses on the very core constituency of Democratic Part that in reality provides most important support and controls it more than anybody else – bureaucrats. However putting this aside, it is a nice demonstration of the first part of revolutionary formula: the people at the top cannot rule as usual. The other part, mainly left outside of the scope of this book, is that people at the bottom do not want to tolerate it as usual any more. However there are quite a bit of evidence that it could be a situation that we are moving to. Historically speaking, thanks to democratic system of rule, America did not know violent revolutions (original revolution was against foreign power and civil war was actually a war between two societies with different cultures and economic systems). So I would take this book as another evidence that we are coming closer to typical American peaceful revolution in ballot box when election of significant majority of representatives of the new power nearly completely changes rule and function of the state, while maintaining formal structure of the system. Last time it was successful revolution of the new powerful class of bureaucracy against declining class of plutocracy known as New Deal. This time it could be a revolution of new increasingly powerful class of independent market participants against declining bureaucracy supported by desperation of lower classes whose quality of live dramatically deteriorated, similarly to the period just before the revolution of New Deal.