The rule of the people Vs The rule of the elite
The key to understanding the way the world is run begins and ends with this one fundamental struggle which has waxed and waned over thousands of years.
There are many stories around which illustrate the dynamics at work inside modern democracies and you will find a few on this site written by some brave and determined men and women who have risked their lives in the hope that the rule of law and justice will somehow prevail. Their stories shine a light on the worlds political and economic plumbing as it is today. Ranged against them are secretive, sinister forces which seek to protect and nurture unaccountable pools of wealth, power and influence, on a vast scale. Surprisingly to the person in the street they do a lot of this through governmental institutions at a global and national level.
Aristocracy is government by a small ruling class of privileged, usually very wealthy, politically powerful men and women. A member of this ruling class is an aristocrat.
Many people confuse aristocracy with royalty and while Emporers, kings and queens are part of the aristocracy you don’t have to be a Royal or royally connected to be an Aristocrat but it doesn’t do any harm.
Crucial to understanding the Aristocracy is that you can’t get rid of them. The term aristocracy comes from the ancient Greeks defined as ‘the rule of the best’, maybe the definition held then but not now. Despite the best efforts of Robespierre in the Terror of the French Revolution no matter how many Aristo heads he chopped off he created a new aristocracy even as he did so. Himself and his band of bloodthirsty cutthroats! The irony oh the irony!
I think an update should be made to the Greek definition of Aristocracy in the modern age as “the ruling class who think they are the best regardless of what the people think”.
Aristocracy is a feature of all societies through all ages, we need leaders and always will but as we all know perfectly honest and virtuous leaders are rare indeed, corruption is almost inevitable. The problem with Aristocracies is whenever and wherever they grow they become, arrogant, overpowerful and downright dangerous to all people. After you get rid of one ancient, twisted, gnarly lot, the next one comes along fresh as a daisy, grows horribly for a few years or centuries then gets overthrown. It is the ‘grows horribly’ bit that does all the damage.
Aristocracies can be local, national or the most dangerous phenomenon of all, global. An aristocracy of aristocrats who think the sun shines out of their collective backsides.
In Britain we have a parliamentary Democracy, we the people elect 650 representatives to speak and act on our behalf. Thats the theory anyway. It is an elected aristocracy. Remember aristocracy is supposed to be ‘the rule of the best’. The government is chosen from the elected representatives, ‘the best of the best’ which creates another layer of privilege and power one more step removed from the people, and then we go global. One more step removed from accountability to the voters again.
In theory Democracy is the rule of the people. In practice we the people know there is a lot of jiggery pokery going on behind the scenes in the aristocracy – sordid, corrupt, fraudulent and unlawful – which undermines, dilutes and devalues the whole concept.
Now and then the cloak of carefully crafted secrecy the aristocracy draws over its nefarious doings is thrown back for all to see. The current crop of aristocrats have more in common with their feudal pioneers from centuries past than anything to do with Democracy. ‘The rule of the worst’ would be a more accurate representation of todays ruling class.
It depends on your point of view
If you are living on the dole, getting your food from food banks your expectations of government would be considerably different from that of a City trader picking up £millions in bonuses every year it all looks very different again to the billionaire owner of the City firm paying the bonuses.
The following quote comes from marketwatch.com website it shows the way the world’s aristocracy is changing the worlds political and economic governance to its advantage:
“There are a number of reasons why profitability increased and is likely to remain at these somewhat elevated levels, according to Grantham.
Increased globalization, which increased the value of U.S. brands, paved way for tremendous growth in size, allowing firms to accumulate power and influence over politics and policy along the way.
The result is that corporate profitability is achieved without corresponding growth, which helps explain the reluctance by large corporations in the last several years to boost capital expenditures. – Jeremy Grantham, founder of asset manager GMO. – Article: Value investing isn’t what it used to be, says Jeremy Grantham
Basically he is saying global corporations are making more money, more easily by influencing governments (poncing on taxpayers) than investing in and making things. Global corporations end up with trillions in offshore tax havens and taxpayers with, debt, a reduced quality of life right down to grinding poverty. In the past we used to look for new products, innovation and better management to produce value, with the advance of globalization, parasitism is a growing addition to the global aristocracy’s arsenal of preferred investment tools.
Why bother investing in plant and machinary to turn a profit when you can influence/corrupt so taxes are reduced and turn the same profit? If you get this point you get what this website is about.
This is not capitalism with a social conscience which I support, this is crony capitalism or government by a ruling class of privileged parasites which I don’t.