Is It Democracy or Is It Oligarchy?

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The word ‘oligarch’ is everywhere, with the title being maliciously applied to many or most of the very wealthy entrepreneurs who have fostered a new technological age as well as the appointed money launderers of the Russian dictator.

By most definitions though, an oligarch is a ruler, and people like Gates and Jobs, and Musk are no more rulers than were Ford or Edison, or Carnegie. Real oligarchs these days tend to be corporate, and even the not-for-profit kind. We’re less likely, especially as liberals to vilify them for being non-elected arbiters of the law, morality, and ethics, than for the jealousy we feel. We’re most likely to praise and forgive them for their trespasses in accordance with our prejudices.

According to my somewhat liberal bias, I see the opposition as having been created from pure propaganda and bigotry and misinformation, but propaganda is hardly the sole enterprise of the Right, nor are the oligarchs who run those enterprises.

Gun control advocates of many flavors as well as gun promoters are strongly involved in writing laws, for instance. Some have a lot of money, but what makes them oligarchs is their influence on lawmaking and an influence that can be at odds with majority public opinion. Take the question of legal abortion. The polls I see show a strong majority in favor of legality. The oligarchs opposed however have more power. Their coffers are their strength, not their numbers.

But of course, the corporate oligarch propagandists of all sides are equally capable of bullying the rest of us as well as lawmakers and judges by making often empty accusations and acting them out. viciously. It’s our moral and ethical passions, inflamed by years of noise in the streets and from the pulpits and in the news and classrooms as much as our ability to select and elect lawmakers that counts.

God, guns, and history make America amoral. The normal creation and enforcement of the law have become secondary. Republicans don’t care much if their beloved oligarchs steal their contributions, but neither do many Democrats. On the other hand, our chosen oligarchs must meet (or pretend to) strict purity standards. They have to hate the right people and things. Some have to hate Hillary without the facts. Others have to hate wealth and capitalist economic systems and publicly held corporations ( and all that advocate for them) without the facts. Corruption for the holy cause is overlooked. The TV Evangelist can be as wealthy as the captain of industry but he’s OK despite his wealth. The Africans-only civil rights corporations can steal contributions to buy up luxury real estate for their own use, they can support and defend against violence but it doesn’t matter and the ethics there are just as situational as anywhere else.

The one commonality is contempt. Our society, despite its self-proclaimed Christian principles, is cemented together by hate. Whether it’s big this or big that, This race or that race or this – the oligarch to whom we adhere is the winner of a battle, not an election. We are not a democracy, but a network of warring factions who fight to win by any means or any justification possible. Even our elections are determined by that battle of the Oligarchs.

About Post Author

Glenn Geist

Glenn Geist lives in South Florida and wastes most of his time boating, writing, complaining and talking on the radio
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2 months ago

I would be quite happy being an oligarch who believes in democracy. God makes America immoral!

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