Next Meetup

Is plutocracy a permanent problem in liberal-democratic regimes?
This topic is inspired by a philosophy cafe Meetup in Berkeley. Here is the description and *optional* readings: "Plutocracy" means government by the rich, from Greek ploutos, meaning wealth. "Democracy", of course, means government by the people, from Greek demos, meaning the common people. Is there something inherent in democracy that turns it into plutocracy, to some extent or other? And if so, what can we do about it? Or would the cure be worse than the disease? Related reading: Two short articles by William Graham Sumner (1840 - 1910): "Definitions of Democracy and Plutocracy" http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/definitions-democracy-plutocracy "The Conflict of Plutocracy and Democracy" http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/conflict-plutocracy-democracy 2015 article by Jeffrey Edward Green of the University of Pennsylvania argues that inequalities in wealth necessarily undermine equality of opportunity: "Liberalism and the Problem of Plutocracy" https://www.sas.upenn.edu/polisci/sites/www.sas.upenn.edu.polisci/files/Green-2015-Constellations.pdf 2013 speech by Noam Chomsky: "The U.S. Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You'll Never Hear About It in Our 'Free Press'" http://www.alternet.org/print/visions/chomsky-us-poses-number-threats-future-humanity-our-youll-never-hear-about-it-our-free-press **** A minimum of an appetizer and beverage purchase is required. Each participant will receive a separate check for his / her meal order. If you RSVP, but need to change your plans, please make sure to come back to the meetup site to cancel your RSVP at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. **** All members are encouraged to RSVP. Please do so as soon as possible since spots fill up quickly. Please make sure to RSVP only if you are able to attend since RSVPs are limited. I look forward to seeing you!

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