September 09, 2003

klep·toc·ra·cy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (klp-tkr-s)
n. pl. klep·toc·ra·cies
A government characterized by rampant greed and corruption.

[Greek kleptein, to steal + -cracy.]

klepto·crat (-t-krt) n.
klepto·cratic adj.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

While I definitely dig where this article by Jim Hightower in The Nation is coming from, I have one point of contention with him.

In my mind, the idea of America has always been greater and loftier than Americans themselves. Consider the Founding Fathers: the ideals put forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were not really indicative of their lives, given that the vast majority of them where extremely wealthy landowners (or, in some cases, slave-holders). I suppose the trajectory of the American dream is some great asymptotic curve, always reaching for perfection, but never quite reaching it.

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