Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Endless Cycles.

Mouth Of The Mob: At the end of the Ancient Greek historian, Polybius', anacyclotic cycle of political decline, a demagogue, more skilled than any of his predecessors, attracts sufficient support from the state’s angriest and most fearful citizens to overturn the institutions of democracy and govern without them.
 
IT’S UNNERVING to discover that today’s headlines are best explained by a man who died in 118 BC. Perhaps it’s the extreme unpredictability of global events – especially the Trump Presidency – that makes this possible. So many people are disorientated and dismayed by their discovery that the news no longer fits into the explanatory frameworks they have relied upon to make sense of political and economic behaviour.
 
This is where Polybius comes in.
 
Polybius was an historian who looked for patterns in the chaotic spectacle of human affairs. He was interested especially in the way people governed themselves. There were, he said, three “benign” forms of  government: Monarchy – rule by the one; Aristocracy – rule by the few; and Democracy – rule by the many. Unfortunately, these three benign forms were dogged by their malignant shadows: Tyranny – misrule by the one; Oligarchy – misrule by the few; and Ochlocracy – misrule by the mob.
 
Surveying the history of his own era (Polybius was writing at the time when the Greek world was fast giving way to the upstart Roman Republic) he identified a pattern of political stimulus and response which gave rise to a recurring sequence, or cycle, in human affairs. Polybius called this cycle “anacyclosis”.
 
In the simplest terms, anacyclosis evolves as follows: monarchy declines into tyranny; aristocracy degenerates into oligarchy; democracy disintegrates into mob rule.
 
Polybius, like so many of the ancient writers, was a fatalist. The historical cycle he describes is explained as the unavoidable consequence of human-beings inability to resist the tendency of power to corrupt all those who wield it. Over time, he argues, regimes instituted with the objective of making life better for everyone, inevitably succumb to the temptation to unfairly advantage the one, the few, or the many – at the expense of everybody else.
 
Converted into a straightforward historical narrative, anacyclosis goes something like this.
 
A mighty warrior and his army leads his people to independence, whereupon his family, and the families of his key supporters, are entrusted with the task of ruling the new state. For a while all goes well, but as the powers of kingship descend through the generations, the mighty warrior’s successors abandon all pretence of ruling for the public good and begin to wield their inherited authority capriciously, corruptly and, ultimately, violently.
 
Convinced that their persons and property are no longer safe, the wealthiest and most militarily accomplished families unite to depose the tyrant and assume the responsibility of providing just and effective government themselves. As the years pass, however, the opportunities for enrichment, which control of the state offers, prove irresistible. Increasingly, the mass of the people are forced to offer up more and more of what little they have to satisfy the greed of their masters.
 
Exhausted and outraged at being sucked dry by these parasitic oligarchs, the people rise up in revolt and establish a system of popular government. It does not take long, however, for bitter disputes over how the wealth of the (now democratic) society should be distributed to tear the new state apart.
 
The wealthy fear for their property. The poor demand a share of it. In short order, both parties become the prey of political demagogues skilled at whipping up the basest emotions of the people in order to secure partisan advantage. The democratic institutions of the state are paralysed by intractable factionalism and deliberately incited rancour and recrimination. Debate degenerates into disorder and violence. Civil war beckons.
 
At which point a demagogue, more skilled than any of his predecessors, attracts sufficient support from the state’s angriest and most fearful citizens to overturn the institutions of democracy and govern without them. Backed by his fanatical followers, and with sufficient armed force at his disposal to overcome all resistance, the demagogue arrogates to himself the powers of a king.
 
And so Polybius’s cycle begins all over again – albeit at a lower (and ever-declining) level of morality.
 
Only last week, the radical American writer, John Michael Greer – who has a strong scholarly interest in the writings of Polybius – was blogging about the relevance of anacyclosis to contemporary American politics.
 
The United States, he writes, is now in the “crisis phase” of the cycle:
 
“[W]hen power has become so gridlocked among competing power centres that it becomes impossible for the system to break out of even the most hopelessly counterproductive policies. That ends, according to Polybius, when a charismatic demagogue gets into power, overturns the existing political order, and sets in motion a general free-for-all in which old alliances shatter and improbable new ones take shape. Does that sound familiar? In a week when union leaders emerged beaming from a meeting with the new president, while Democrats are still stoutly defending the integrity of the CIA, it should.”
 
At which point of Polybius’ cycle would you locate New Zealand?
 
This essay was originally published in The Press of Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

33 comments:

sam bdb said...

Thou shall not go to Te ti marea to Celebrate Waitangi Day but celebrate it anyway. That shows a thick background of unwritten rulz disintegrating similar the fall of the Greek and Roman empires, and soon to be the fate of the American Empire of debt.

sam bdb said...

Thou shall not go to Te ti marea to Celebrate Waitangi Day but celebrate it anyway. That shows a thick background of unwritten rulz disintegrating similar to the Greek and Roman Empires and soon to be the fate of the American Empire of debt

pat said...

pre crisis (but not by much...easily tipped) oligarchy....however with climate/population pressure we may skip democracy and plunge straight to anarchy.....either way we won't be wearing shades because the future is bright.

http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Joo_Janta_200_Super-Chromatic_Peril_Sensitive_Sunglasses

David said...

Plus one should remember that when countries build walls, it is always when they have recognised the limits of their power to conquer - China, Hadrian, Israel, the United States.

Nick J said...

Im not sure that history repeats exactly, nor that Polybius or Marx really get the predictive recipes correct. I am a great fan of Greer who himself has his own theory of societal collapse, "Catabolic collapse" which has some substance being linked to resource depletion and other environmental determinism. It states that collapse is not linear in its downward projection but rather stepped i.e collapse, part recovery, further collapse etc. Others like Dmitri Orlov have documented their own theories of collapse, most take their lead from the works of Jarod Diamond, Jack Lovelock's Gaia theory and the works of the Club of Rome on resource projections in the 1970s.

Im really uncertain where Trump lies in any of these theories, one thing is for sure: he has become PrezDT at the moment of peak bloody everything, debt, oil, minerals, environmental destruction etc etc. In a world of expansion of human enterprises based upon more and more future resources a more hopeful narrative would have brought to power a Kennedy with a "New Frontier", a Johnson with a "Great Society", or even Reagans "Morning in America".

The above narratives are no longer possible, I get the feeling that Trump was elected by the part of America which has already lost its' certainties, its' direction. He is opposed by another section of America that has failed to see the damage that they inflict on the former because for them everything is still OK. It is not and won't be.

I cannot help but believe that the "progressive" agenda, the ultra social liberalism of identity groups is only possible in a society with "growth and plenty". In a more Maslovian society there is no room for that that does not feed, clothe and shelter. Hence the voting pattern for the hope Trump brought to his voters. They will no doubt be disappointed because Trump cannot magic up resources any more than the worlds debt can ever be repaid or more credit created.

Relevance for NZ: huge. We need to understand that the future is about preserving what we can, especially in rebuilding a social contract between all to share what we can in a declining world. That puts all past "certainties" back on the table for debate and decision.

Polly said...

Well we are certainly getting a history lesson in the reading of your latest blog, in addition we also get a written test on the state of the Nation of New Zealand. In my humble opinion, we are not at a prominent stage in any of the three stages of political function and then disintegration which Polybius called anacyclosis.

We are a functioning democracy, with accepted standards of voting age, eligibility for everyone to have a vote, the holding of fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power our political history.

In my opinion America, which has similar political standards, is at the stage where they could, under the Donald Trump Presidency, transform into a Oligarchy, whereby the country is run by Presidential appointed business people under a fast track Presidential decree. It will not be easy and people may get killed/ jailed.

Long way from that now, but this guy likes to make quick decisions.
Stop the world I want to get off.

David Stone said...

." So many people are disorientated and dismayed by their discovery that the news no longer fits into the explanatory frameworks they have relied upon to make sense of political and economic behaviour."
Yes Chris. These people are called the "neoliberal settlement" that you have been publicly and eloquently railing against for the past 40 years.
I realise that it is unbearable to the 'left' ( I know many people who read these comments think that's me) that the long awaited realignment of the western world's economic management to an orthodox common sense nationally oriented system that shares the wealth of the nation fairly among it's people should in the end be enacted by Trump; The absolute epitome of a rich, bombastic, egotistical, chauvinistic , misogynist spoiled brat . But I am a sorry ,but that's what's happening. And furthermore he wants to bring peace to the world , not war.
I also question the view of Mr Polybius. I think what happens is that when a despot, who has wrested power in his youthful vigour and savagery matures, and his enemies seem quiescent , and order and peace settles into his realm, he mellows , or the offspring who take over are mellow anyway,and he drop's his guard. He thinks he is secure because his people are better off than they have ever been, he allows a measure of freedom and democracy to his people. That's when like Gaddafi, like Husain , like the Russian Tzars, he is overthrown, by co-opted misled hoodwinked rebels to install a new despot.

I don't think there is a parallel in New Zealand. We are a functional democracy , but we are all just a bit confused, like headless chooks.
Cheers David J S

Jens Meder said...

Chris - on the basis of your story, I would place NZ close to where the wealthy begin to be concerned about their property because of the widening poverty amidst plenty the voice of the poor is getting stronger for "their share of wealth" -

but not yet in a "crisis phase" - and thanks to the lessons of history we now have the knowledge how to break the sequence of Polybius' cycles:

Perpetuate true democracy by reducing, eliminating and preventing the emergence of a "property-less proletariat" without the direct responsibilities and benefits of wealth creation, ownership and management.

Capital ownership and management responsibilities are just as essential for the survival of modern (not a slave owning) democracy as universal literacy, because without either, the emergence of an embittered "underclass" in accordance with Polybius' cycle is natural, inevitable.

Hopefully there will some here to debate the pros and cons of the Ownership Society prospect for a more constructively stable future of human history - and if we establish it here in New Zealand, we won't have to worry about Trump - Americans (and the whole world eventually?) will follow us.

David Stone said...

having said he want's peace I have to refer readers to the first two items on Information Clearing house. That's no good.
D J S

aj said...

Great writing Mr Trotter.

http://www.anacyclosis.org/content/ourmission/

Victor said...

David

Neither Hadrian's Wall nor the Great Wall of China kept the 'Barbarians' out for ever. Nor, for that matter, did the latter wall bring about a permanent end to Han Chinese expansion.

Israel's wall has, thus far, reduced terrorism but not eliminated it. And then there was the Maginot Line.......

Victor said...

Chris

I'm no classicist but wasn't Polybius writing, to some extent at least, about direct democracies rather than representative ones? Doesn't that alter things a bit?

Nick J

I too have my doubts about both Marxian and classical/recurrence theories of political change.

But I also have doubts over the narrative that annoints Trump as the unworthy and unlikely albeit effective champion of the dispossessed.

Firstly, many, perhaps most, of those voting for him would have voted for whomsoever the GOP chose as its candidate, particularly if he/she promised tax cuts.

Secondly, the poorest and most clearly dispossessed tended either not to vote or to vote for his opponent, often for those very identity-centered reasons that you seem to see as the purlieu of the less desperate.

Thirdly, the tiny but decisive majorities he chalked up in the rust belt states tell us a hell of a lot about the dire circumstances of those states (and the neglect thereof) but not a great deal about much of the rest of America.

Fourthly, his vote was skewed towards older age groups whilst unemployment,debt and homelessness tend more often, these days, to be the lot of the young.

David Stone

Who is the "Husein" to whom you refer?

If you're talking about Saddam Hussein, he was overthrown by an invasion of Anglophone powers and not by his own people.

I agree, though, that a weakening of autocratic rule is often the occasion for the overthrowing of autocracy.

Whether this is a good or bad thing will depend on the nature of the society concerned (e.g. the presence or absence of tribalism and/or religious strife), on the awfulness or otherwise of the preceding autocracy and on plain, old fashioned "events".

Polly

You're quite right. At a formal level at least, New Zealand is a very fine democracy, and all the more so since we introduced MMP (which I foolishly opposed to at the time).

The US is somewhat less of a democracy, because of the power of the lobbies, the mega-bucks needed to get elected and, of course, FPP. But it is a country ruled, ultimately, by "laws" rather than "men". Moreover, it's a country that reveres its constitutional arrangements with an almost religious fervour.

Yet things seem to be unravelling amazingly quickly there and the same could happen here before too long.

It's all too uncomfortably reminiscent of the awful second quarter of the twentieth century.

David Stone said...

Victor

Sorry about my spelling. A fair element of external interference in all examples I think, and maybe this is common. But yes , an invasion rather than an uprising in his case.
D J S

Jh said...

This explains what is going on

http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~jessegra/papers/haidt.graham.2009.planet-of-the-durkheimians.proofs.pdf

Nick J said...

Victor, I dont disagree with your analysis of who voted Trump, in fact from what I have read it was as much in many states a rejection of Hillary by the middle classes.

I was referring to something far more discombobulating:certainty and direction. The events tell me that people saw no certainty with the Washington establishment, the press, the media, the whole political economic establishment. They had tested reality against received wisdom and rejected the latter. They saw no valid direction that tbey wanted from the Dems so either voted Trump or stayed home. The world was broken, one person took advantage.

mikesh said...

I'm not sure that Michael Hudson http://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/ doesn't provide a better explanation. But perhaps his 1explanation is not inconsistent with that of Polybius.

Olwyn said...

The interesting thing about Polybius's analysis is that the status of the public good is central to it - any of the three forms of government he considers is capable of either upholding or abandoning the public good. It is worth remembering that in the early stages of neoliberalism, it was claimed that privileging the return to the shareholder was a better way of guarding the public good than aiming at it directly. Wealthy, well-paid-and-housed non-socialist countries were lined up as examples.

There are a few problems with this idea, but I will just mention a couple. Firstly, by the time the population realises that the public good has been sidelined, the oligarchs have all the levers. Secondly, you cannot hold leaders to the public good if it is meant to be a side-effect rather than a core commitment. This by itself weakens the structures that one might use to prevent the rise of a tyrant.

As to New Zealand, it is a young country with a background of settler colonisation, and I do not think its democracy runs very deep.If it did, we would not have followed the neoliberal model to the extent that we have.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/01/totalitarianism-in-age-donald-trump-lessons-from-hannah-arendt-protests
the

adam said...

Call me old fashioned, but I would have thought in many ways the Byzantine Empire was the death of this idea. A Empire which lasted for almost a thousand years. Yes it had it's swings and round abouts, but it rocked on through them all, always balancing the desires of the mob, the will of the Emperor, and the force of the church.

Just thinking out loud.

vol said...

Isn't the underlay of the carpet of democracy wealth, Chris?

Genuine enquiry.

Given how rare it has been.

Isn't tosh the primary theme since the hunter-gatherers.

Aren't we all operating against the great bullshit-splatterer of the subjective human consciousness. Thus, nae hope.

pat said...

"We are a functioning democracy, with accepted standards of voting age, eligibility for everyone to have a vote, the holding of fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power our political history." Polly 31/1/17 16:48

But are we?..At first glance we certainly present democracy until you scratch beneath the surface to find a quarter of the population disengaged from voting in general elections (a cynic may say actively discouraged), policy formed by lobbyist think tanks, referenda non binding and ignored and the active governing for the benefit of certain segments of society to the great disadvantage of others.....and all ignoring the cost to future generations . That doesn't sound like a "functioning" democracy to me, perhaps a dysfunctional one at best.

Whereas the power of corporates, the influence of vested interests/monies and the disparity of treatment on that basis certainly fits the description of oligarchy....when we slid from one to the other hard to pinpoint exactly but there is no doubting the current administration has corrupted our democratic institutions like none before them....and have perhaps destroyed any vestige of what was best and beneficially unique about NZ. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on

jh said...

Paul Spoonley
PS: New Zealand is absolutely better off with immigration, it's connecting us with parts of the world that are important to us for economic reasons and also making us a more diverse society. Can you say that diversity is of benefit to New Zealand? No, probably not. But in terms of innovation, in terms of skilled labour and in terms of making us a more exciting, dynamic place, I think you can say immigration is definitely making New Zealand better off.
........
http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11788667

So his answer hinges on excitement and dynamism. I recall Winston Peters being button holed by Campbell Live: "where's Sin City Mr Peters?", "where's Sin City Mr Peters?" (like a parrott).

jh said...

I agree with Nick j. Is endless growth possible (or even desirable)? I think progress has stalled in line with ecological principles. Peaceful states are those where people and resources are in harmony, but also human nature likes to belong to a place and a group (change shold happend slowly with mutual advantage). The diversity thing is an unfortunate experiment pushed on the west by those who don't understand human nature.
.,,,,
BTW Waitangi - Gareth Morgan has bought the identity politics swampland.

2. All parties should present argument to the standard GM's party does.

greywarbler said...

This good message from NickJ:

"Relevance for NZ: huge. We need to understand that the future is about preserving what we can, especially in rebuilding a social contract between all to share what we can in a declining world. That puts all past "certainties" back on the table for debate and decision."


What went before this and what brings us to the need to rebuild - pat said:

Whereas the power of corporates, the influence of vested interests/monies and the disparity of treatment on that basis certainly fits the description of oligarchy....when we slid from one to the other - hard to pinpoint exactly but there is no doubting the current administration has corrupted our democratic institutions like none before them....and have perhaps destroyed any vestige of what was best and beneficially unique about NZ.
Fuck them and the horse they rode in on


And Olwyn explains the reasons and the results of why our democracy is struggling in the polls, and the people struggling in their houses which aren't homes, and the street people are struggling in the streets by-passed by plump-faced men in BMWs with their faces averted.

There are a few problems with this idea, but I will just mention a couple. Firstly, by the time the population realises that the public good has been sidelined, the oligarchs have all the levers. Secondly, you cannot hold leaders to the public good if it is meant to be a side-effect rather than a core commitment. This by itself weakens the structures that one might use to prevent the rise of a tyrant.

As to New Zealand, it is a young country with a background of settler colonisation, and I do not think its democracy runs very deep.If it did, we would not have followed the neoliberal model to the extent that we have.


And this from Olwyn's comment means - 'trickle-down': if it is meant to be a side-effect rather than a core commitment.
If we were a democracy with deep-thinking, realistic roots we wouldn't have had our childish, selfish belief in trickle-down benefits from the rich as we would have seen that clearly as being dependent on alms from the better-off (the wealthy and self-styled 'tall poppies').

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"BTW Waitangi - Gareth Morgan has bought the identity politics swampland."

Wha'? You use identity politics all the time. Or is this a case of the American acronym IOKIYAR? Or I suppose you could try to make the argument that white people don't have an identity? Yeah right.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"2. All parties should present argument to the standard GM's party does."
Perhaps you could take a leaf from their book then. Most of your stuff is incomprehensible, cut-and-paste, and completely out of context. Viz – you didn't even have a 1.

jh said...

"There were few obvious benefits for the majority of the population; unemployment was high, and there was considerable pressure to restructure the economy away from labour intensive manufacturing for the domestic market to capital intensive export industries. Given this, and given concerns about the diseconomies of growth so clearly indicated in the Whitlam years, and, most especially, given the lack of any widespread popular support for immigration, how was it that the Fraser [Liberal] Government was able to pursue its growth policy?
Perhaps it might seem more logical to begin by asking 'why', but this question has been well answered by Robert Birrell and his various co-writers. He points to a growth lobby centred around interests concerned with the growth of the domestic market in land development, housing, manufacturing and retailing, the interests of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in expanding its activities, the interests of some employers in migrant workers and, more recently, the interests of some migrant communities in pressing for family reunion. There are groups and individuals who have something to gain from population growth and their steady pressure provides an explanation for why immigration has proceeded. But why is it that groups and individuals who may feel that they pay the costs of growth have not organized themselves to try to block the programme? Why has there been no countervailing force? The absence of criticism and of organized opposition is the immediate answer to the question of 'how'; this book is an attempt to give reasons for the absence."
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc0104/article_56.shtml
And

"Parr (2000) writes “[T]he views of New Zealanders are not conducive to the population of New Zealanders becoming more diversified globally.”

From localism to globalism? New Zealand Sociology, 15(2), 304-. 335

Suggest Oligarchy – misrule by the few. Include "no comments policies" and permanent bans on popular blogs.

And I don't think we are seeing Ochlocracy, given a backlash in academia against Universities as agents of social change versus understanding human society. The latter have the better of the argument (based on evolutionary psychology rather than Marx).

Victor said...

Nick J

As so often, I sort of half agree with you.

Even so, the question remains as to whether the US election result reflected a long term trend or was just an accident determined by "events, dear boy, events".

Here's just a few counter-factual narratives that might plausibly have led to a different outcome:

Firstly, Joe Biden's son does not pass away. The old war horse isn't stricken with grief and proceeds to throw his hat into the ring at an early stage. His links to Labor Unions, old time Democratic persona, back story as a widower, Irish roots, proven friendship with Obama and amazing dentistry combine to turn him into blue collar America's favourite son. And then he brings the coastal intelligentsia and the educated young on board by naming Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. I think he'd have romped home and would certainly have kept the Rust Belt blue.

Secondly, let's assume Hillary had not been ill/tired and had not ceased campaigning for nearly a month after the Convention. Let's further assume that she'd (horror of horrors) actually spent that month in the Rust Belt. And let's also assume she'd chosen a Hispanic running mate instead of a rather lack-lusture WASP, who happened to speak Spanish. It's reasonable to assume that she'd then have held both the Rust Belt and Florida.

Thirdly, let's assume that the FBI had not interfered in the election process by keeping the email farrago current (when it could probably have been cleared up in an afternoon). This too might have made a crucial difference.

Interestingly, on this last point, a friend of mine, who's a Country and Western fan, was attending a convention in Nashville, Tennessee (of all glorious places)just a few weeks before the election. As one of the few foreigners present, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that his fellow fans (mainly culturally traditional and from the heartland) were all appalled by Trump and convinced that Hillary was going to win.

Now, I understand the dangers of anecdotage and know all about the "Shy Republican" syndrome, but nevertheless suspect that something significant occurred in those last few weeks that kept Hillary's voters away from the polls, though not, of course, in sufficient numbers to deny her a firm majority of the popular vote.

By the way, I've ommitted Bernie Sanders gaining the nomination and going on to score a landslide from my list of counter-factuals, as, even more than Trump's factual victory, it would suggest a Sea Change and not a quirk.

But, of course, quirk or otherwise, Trump's victory has created a new and rather terrifying reality. The world IS now broken and it's going to take far more than a single electoral cycle to put it together again.

And to take back the White House and/or the Hill, the Democrats will now have to distance themselves from even the slightest hint of "capture" by a derided establishment. If they fail in this, the political map of America will change radically and, probably, not for the better.

Victor said...

Adam

I agree.

Very little of human history, it seems to me, can be described in terms of cycles of Aristocracy, Democracy and Autocracy.

I can't see that this particular cycle applies hugely to feudal Europe or to Indian or Chinese history, though these have cycles of their own, such as China's recurring battles between centrifugal and centripedal forces. Nor does it seem to apply to pre-urban civilizations.

Polybius's cycle certainly has relevance to an understanding of the politics of many city states, including those of Medieval and Renaissance Italy. And perhaps it also provides a very rough guide to the politics of the English Civil War and the French Revolution. This, though, might partly reflect the dominance of classical models on how historical actors saw themselves. Given the right education, you don't need a toga to think of yourself as Brutus.

My fear is that we're now living through a cycle determined by the economics of advanced capitalism, in which globalising liberalism with all its inherent faults gives way periodically to authoritarian nationalism with its maybe even greater inherent faults.

I hope I'm proved wrong.

Victor said...

Olwyn

Great to have a genuine classicist on the team.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jesus JH, I thought you might have at least addressed my criticism, but no – yet another cut-and-paste from some incomprehensible, nutty right wing hate group website. This is not an academic journal. It is not peer-reviewed. It is simply a series of opinion pieces. Why don't you go back to Alex Jones, he made more sense. Jesus wept, I wish I'd invested in tinfoil years ago.

Nick J said...

Nice Victor. On such fine run things can events turn. When back in the Jurassic I was at Uni we were made to read Toynbee and Braudel. Also Marx. It does incline you, even if you are against cyclical or linear predeterminism to look for megatrends. Zeitgeist. There is one I trend I will hang my hat on: energy and resource depletion. It is real and a certainty. It will drive events. Nuff said.

Victor said...

Nick J

We are of one mind on that one.

I hope there's room on the peg for a few more hats.