Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Plutocracy/Polyarchic Democracy

I was posting at my favorite forum and thus was thinking about the causality vs. casualty (I would say correlations) paradigms and thought I would talk about one.

Plutocracy or sometimes replaced with Polyarchic Democracy of course has been bandied around in that forum since before I even got there. But I find the causality weak at best for the basis of these theories. "In a plutocracy, power and opportunity are centralized within the affluent social class."

First how do we define the "elite"? Could I not consider Noam Chomsky as part of the elite? I mean he is a wealthy man that has has achieved success in his chosen field and is a highly regarded individual that is supposedly is the most often quoted living intellectual of our time. Could we also not say the same about Ralph Nadar?

Secondly, do people vote for losers? I mean the people that can show success in our society tend to be the cream of the crop and as such people are more inclined to look favorably on them. Success can mean many things but we live in a semi-capitalist system so it is natural that we reward those that do well in the system. I mean do we ever elect dog catchers?

Thirdly, people that are successful are also highly motivated people, thus there is some self selection process going on. Many have shown a desire for Donald Trump to enter politics. Again he has shown his skills in business and having a little necessary traits of narcissism, he could be a good candidate. He has shown his ability to adapt and to accept new challenges and even take risks that most people avoid. It seems there is an obvious risk to running for election.

This leads to fourthly, we like people that have the traits such as Donald Trump and people that are highly motivated to take office. Which was a complaint about Fred Thompson. But we do not want to feel like we were bought out. Many wealthy politicians have learned too late that just because they have money they can not buy their way in. They actually need the fund-raisers to get people excited enough to spend money and thus to create a legitimacy. So the ironic twist is that not all money is equal-as rightly it should be.

So I reject Polyarchic Democracy as a valid causality effect from nihilists.

PS: America: Land of Pessimissm? has an interesting passage that seems to go along with the above post...
We’re still the only nation on earth that can will ourselves to become a different place just by changing the political scenery. It’s not so much which party comes to power as it is the feeling of turning over the sod and refreshing the soil. It’s almost as if changing the party in power gives us permission to change our outlook, to begin to look to the future again with optimism and hope. It’s happened many times before. There’s no reason to believe it won’t happen again.
While to some the differences may seem minor, in reality they can mean a difference in attitude and thus direction.

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