Whenever I write about the failing of our democratic principles there will always be someone who, without an argument, wants to remind me that we are a republic not a democracy.
Yes we are a republic so then maybe we ALL should stop using the term “democracy” all together…..and stop saying we are promoting “democracy” around the world….apparently we are not.
I have had many conversations here on IST about the possibility that we are not a democracy but rather an oligarchy….
Oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía, from óligon, “few,” and arkho, “rule” ) is a form of government in which political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society. The term was used by Aristotle to refer to despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for often corrupt or selfish purposes. In most classic oligarchies, governing elites were recruited exclusively from a hereditary ruling caste, whose members tended to exercise power in the interests of their own class.
Oligarchies have sometimes been synonymous with aristocracies, which were ruled by members of a noble class, or with plutocracies, ruled by the wealthy members of a community. However, neither wealth nor noble birth are necessary conditions for belonging to the privileged group which rules an oligarchy. Historically, there have been organized oligarchies, and unofficial oligarchies in which a group of “advisers” dictated the policies of an official ruler. In practice, almost all governments, whatever their form, are run by a small minority of members of society, and it is necessary to further examine the ways in which these individuals acquire and retain power in order to correctly understand whether a system of government is a oligarchy.
A couple of years ago this supposition was covered by the New Yorker…..
From the Dept. of Academics Confirming Something You Already Suspected comes a new study concluding that rich people and organizations representing business interests have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy. After examining differences in public opinion across income groups on a wide variety of issues, the political scientists Martin Gilens, of Princeton, and Benjamin Page, of Northwestern, found that the preferences of rich people had a much bigger impact on subsequent policy decisions than the views of middle-income and poor Americans. Indeed, the opinions of lower-income groups, and the interest groups that represent them, appear to have little or no independent impact on policy.
Now a new study as confirmed our greatest fear…..IT is official!
The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.
After sifting through nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile), and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the U.S. is dominated by its economic elite.
You can sleep well tonight in knowing that our country is now in the hands of the oligarchy.