Friday, April 25, 2014

U.S. is an Oligarchy

Princeton and Northwest universities did a study recently of our government structure and economic state of affairs and determined our democracy has turned into an oligarchy. The report entitled, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens,” used extensive policy data collected from between the years 1981 through 2002 to empirically determine the state of the U.S. political system. The researchers concluded that the U.S. government policies rarely align with the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favor special interests and lobbying organizations. When a majority of the citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests they lose. Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote the books, “The Prince” and “The Art of War” around the year 1513, pointed out the three types of good government and how they can slip into a bad type of government for the masses. At this time we are an oligarchy form of government, which the study concluded. We have slowly slipped into an aristocracy from a democracy and then into an oligarchy at this time, but most of our citizens still think we are governed by a democracy and this is where we could slip ever further into an anarchy. When the masses realize that instead of having a democracy that we have already gone from a democracy to an oligarchy, they will wonder, “How did this happen?” There is plenty of blame to go around: apathy; ignorance; not paying attention; listening to oligarchy (Koch, Adelson, Murdoch) talking heads, such as Limbaugh, Beck, Glenn, Fox News, etc.; and watching reality television shows, idolizing useless people, like the Hiltons and Kardashians children and housewives of wherever—anything to distract us from what’s really going on. So, in order to change or get our government out of the death grip of the oligarchies, we must educate ourselves on how we arrived here and once we understand this, we can start to regain the government for the masses. A must read is the second chapter of “The Prince.” Also, we must understand ourselves and our enemy to have a chance of winning. “The Art of War” is also a must read, but a more recent book that helps explain the takeover of our government, not just in the U.S. but other countries, is by French economist Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century.”