'...We’re not living in the country many of us imagine, but in something like an American klepto-state. Corruption, it turns out, doesn’t just devour the lives of people in far-off nations. Right now, it’s busy shoving what’s left of our own democracy down our throats... ordinary citizens live in fear of venal police forces that suck them dry by charging fees for services, throwing them in jail when they can’t pay arbitrary fines or selling their court “debts” to private companies. Meanwhile, the country’s infrastructure crumbles. Bridges collapse or take a quarter-century to fix after a natural disaster, As Machiavelli wrote so long ago, people will put up with a lot — torture, mass surveillance, even a car full of clowns masquerading as candidates for president — but they don’t like being robbed by their own government. Sooner or later, they will rebel.