Oligarchy - 'a small group of people having control . . .' (Oxford Dictionary)

Plutocracy - 'an elite or ruling class whose power derives from their wealth' (Oxford Dictionary) 

Politics. Probably the most annoying thing everywhere, forever. And what's more it's so very predictably an obviously bad idea (because no good ever comes from trying to tell other people you know better when they're already busy trying to do the same to you.)

The interesting (while still consistently annoying part) about politics is that you never hear the words oligarchy and plutocracy thrown around. No.

In modern politics we get told the world is full of democracy and communism and socialism (with a few naively honest dictatorships thrown in). Which, in concept, we all understand - they all describe (regardless of your favorite) ways in which, simply put, the many pick the few who then lead us. So far so good.

But. I say we understand them 'in concept', because I very much doubt the 'in reality' part. Whether you're reading this within a democratic or socialist (or whatever) country take a moment and consider the people running things.  You're going to notice a few suspiciously common trends:

1. There's always only very few of them with real power, who actually call the shots (the rest are just there to take the blame when things go wrong and smile in the group photo). 2. Those few people are never poor or even close to it. 3. What they want and need and decide has a very big impact on the individual lives of everyone else while what everyone else wants and needs and decides has very little to no impact on them as individuals in return. (I could go on but you already get the point.)

When viewed from this perspective most of the world isn't made up of the political systems they're advertised as. What a country calls itself doesn't matter. Most of us actually live in either a plutocratic oligarchy or an oligarchic plutocracy (which, you guessed it, is exactly the same difference).

Why don't we just all say so? That's the part I don't get. Why all the be-jargon-ed rhetoric and pageantry and speechifying from our leaders? Why the pre-election angst and bemoaning of fate from everyone else? They know. We know. And we both know we both know. So?

 

2 Comments