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Democracy is just the cover story, the more important question is what kind of oligarchy are we? Critique is impossible without language and typography, this essay provides it

Guardian - Ganesh Sitaraman - How the oligarchy wins: lessons from ancient Greece

Winters argues that there are four kinds of oligarchies, each of which pursues wealth defense through different institutions. These oligarchies are categorized based on whether the oligarchs rule is personal or collective, and whether the oligarchs use coercion.

Warring oligarchies, like warlords, are personal and armed. Ruling oligarchies like the mafia are collective and armed. In the category of unarmed oligarchies, sultanistic oligarchies (like Suharto's Indonesia) are governed through personal connections. In civil oligarchies, governance is collective and enforced through laws, rather than by arms.

With this typology behind him, Winters declares that America is already a civil oligarchy. To use the language of recent political campaigns, our oligarchs try to rig the system to defend their wealth. They focus on lowering taxes and on reducing regulations that protect workers and citizens from corporate wrongdoing.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 10:46:14 AM EST
*oligarchy, *archy cannot alter the object of discourse which is irreducible oligarchy. Nor does it dispel the category error engrossed by the most invidious neologism of them all; that is to construe, any form of oligarchy is demarchy ("democracy") ... regardless of the exemplary practices purportedly invented in the Golden Age of Greece, the  republic of classical Roman, or the modern-post-industrial-globalized age of social network telecommunication.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 02:57:21 PM EST
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Guardian - Ganesh Sitaraman - How the oligarchy wins: lessons from ancient Greece
At the same time, they sought to destroy monuments that were symbols of democratic success. Instead of public works projects, dedicated in the name of the people, they relied on what we can think of as philanthropy to sustain their power. Oligarchs would fund the creation of a new building or the beautification of a public space. The result: the people would appreciate elite spending on those projects and the upper class would get their names memorialized for all time. After all, who could be against oligarchs who show such generosity?

Possibly related diary:
Why I don't do charity - Jerome - November 2006

Plus ça change, etc...

by Bernard on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 04:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a good reminder...

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 20th, 2017 at 06:06:20 AM EST
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