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Is the US an Oligarchy?

Billo_Really

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Oligarchy is a political regime where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy
Is this what we have become? If yes, what do we (the American voter) do about it?
 

Comrade Brian

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Yes, though we have been one for many years. The reason why I say this is because businessmen control private property, as in means of production, and businessmen represent a small perentage, this hereby gives them effective control over the economy. Now one who controls the economy also effectively controls political power. Not to mention most politicians are bribed and bought. Also the state serves the interests of the ruling class, and businessmen are currently the ruling class.
 

Simon W. Moon

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In effect, yes.

The system is set up so that lobbyists have more influence than other mere citizens of the republic.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by Simon W. Moon
In effect, yes.

The system is set up so that lobbyists have more influence than other mere citizens of the republic.
What do you think of the concept of the super-citizen? What I'm talking about is the Congressional act in the mid-1800's of giving corporations the same rights as a living, breathing human being.
 

Simon W. Moon

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Billo_Really said:
What do you think of the concept of the super-citizen? What I'm talking about is the Congressional act in the mid-1800's of giving corporations the same rights as a living, breathing human being.
I think that artificial persons should not be allowed to lobby legislatures, nor shoulw they be allowed to contribute to election campaigns or political parties.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by Simon W. Moon
I think that artificial persons should not be allowed to lobby legislatures, nor shoulw they be allowed to contribute to election campaigns or political parties.
I'm in complete agreement here.
 
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Of course we're an oligarchy. What do we do about it? Get abused by the people in power and hope that one day we're one of the few who gets to trickle on the poor. Try anything else, and you'll be ostrasized as a radical liberal and loose any hope of ever getting political power.
 

Kelzie

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galenrox said:
yeah, I say we should ban campaign donations over $50. We should also ban the use of over $100 of your own money on a campaign, and ban 527s. Every candidate with the sufficient amount of signatures on his/her petition should get $50,000 from the government, and that's it.
Hey that's my idea! Thief. :lol:
 

Ahem

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The US system of government could, perhaps, be described as a: "Duopolistic Elective Oligarchy" or, in the case of the US or France where the Prez has significant power, "Elective Dictatorship".
In fairness, so could just about every other so called democracy on this planet - and how many are there in that gallimaufry of one or two hundred thugogracies in the "United Nations" - two dozen? three dozen?
Even elective oligarchies with proportional representation form multi polar elective oligarchies 24 hours after the scheduled election. (thanks for voting us in, suckers, see yah in X years).
"The People" exercise power only on the day of the election.
The Mainstream Media, despite having a dimishing amount of influence with the advent of the net, still wields enormous power as far as politicos are concerned, simply because it's visible to the passer by.
Banner headlines in newsagents frighten politicos and the MSM would continue to have this effect even if tabloid and mag circulations went down by a further 50%
Apart from the excessive influence of the MSM, lobbying, and that includes street demos (that occasionally lead to civil turmoil) are the only ways to attract the attention of the politicos in between elections.
Only thieves get involved in peaceful lobbying and only thugs get involved in the street demo kind.
Civilised people are left out in the cold between elections.
"The People" as a whole have no representation once election day is over.
That is how it was designed to be by the politicos who developed various "democratic" constitutions.
In the American context, consider the contempt the "Founding Fathers" had towards the people's "passions" and the need to develop a constitution that would prevent common people to have a direct say in approving laws.
(Please. Pretty please. Desist from the tedious: "We Are A Carnstitooshanal Republic, not a Democracy" stufz).
 

aquapub

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We HAVE become a judicial oligarchy. The Supreme Court and federal courts have been egregiously usurping their authority and violating their role as detailed in the Constitution for quite some time now.

What to do? The Constitution gives Congress the power to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction and other powers. Clinton used his influence to get Congress to protect Medicare from Supreme Court jurisdiction. Tom Daschle passed a law forbidding the Supreme Court to hear any cases on brush clearing. Republicans also used this Constitutional Congressional right to protect DOMA.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by aquapub:
We HAVE become a judicial oligarchy. The Supreme Court and federal courts have been egregiously usurping their authority and violating their role as detailed in the Constitution for quite some time now.

What to do? The Constitution gives Congress the power to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction and other powers. Clinton used his influence to get Congress to protect Medicare from Supreme Court jurisdiction. Tom Daschle passed a law forbidding the Supreme Court to hear any cases on brush clearing. Republicans also used this Constitutional Congressional right to protect DOMA.
What is DOMA?
 

danarhea

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Billo_Really said:
Is this what we have become? If yes, what do we (the American voter) do about it?
Actually, what we have become is a kakistocracy (rule by the incompetent).
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by danarhea
Actually, what we have become is a kakistocracy (rule by the incompetent).
When you see that the average household watches 8 hours of TV per day, I can see why.
 

Connecticutter

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The answer to this depends on your point of view. I don't consider checks and balances having to do with the senate, congress, president, and supreme court to be anti-democratic. Even the electoral college ultimately chooses the cheif executive through the will of the people.

And courts are not supposed to be majority rules - not even in a democracy. In fact, our constitution forbids bills of attainer, which boils down to a trial and punishment by the legislature (reps of the people).

Now the lobbyists are a different story, and I think they act like Oligarchs. All the campaign laws we pass just change the form of the influence these lobbyists have. Even if we ban all contributions, these lobbyists would still run ads for various candidates on their own accord - and we won't be able to stamp that out without repealing the first ammendment!

Our founders started this process by banning bills of attainer and forbidding a nobility class. We need to finish it somehow by forbidding congress to grant certain economic favors. Without those favors, there would be no point to having a corporate lobbyist group.

I don't really know the best way of taking this power from congress, or whether it would require an ammendment.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by Connecticutter:
The answer to this depends on your point of view. I don't consider checks and balances having to do with the senate, congress, president, and supreme court to be anti-democratic. Even the electoral college ultimately chooses the cheif executive through the will of the people.

And courts are not supposed to be majority rules - not even in a democracy. In fact, our constitution forbids bills of attainer, which boils down to a trial and punishment by the legislature (reps of the people).

Now the lobbyists are a different story, and I think they act like Oligarchs. All the campaign laws we pass just change the form of the influence these lobbyists have. Even if we ban all contributions, these lobbyists would still run ads for various candidates on their own accord - and we won't be able to stamp that out without repealing the first ammendment!

Our founders started this process by banning bills of attainer and forbidding a nobility class. We need to finish it somehow by forbidding congress to grant certain economic favors. Without those favors, there would be no point to having a corporate lobbyist group.

I don't really know the best way of taking this power from congress, or whether it would require an ammendment.
I'm actually learning a few things in politics in this thread.
 
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