Tag Archives | oligarchy

From Dictatorship to Democracy

Screen shot 2014-10-30 at 4.49.09 PMFrom Dictatorship to Democracy

Last night, whilst watching TV, a very interesting documentary was on, called How to Start a Revolution. I had never heard of the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” before, nor how it had been instrumental to the Velvet and Orange revolutions of Eastern Europe, not to mention several other popular uprisings around the world (Arab Spring, etc.). The methodology in the book are tried, tested and have worked all around the world.

The 198 rules (in the appendix) are a road map to peacefully overthrowing a repressive regime and may represent human-kinds last best hope of changing our seemingly inevitable course towards climate induced species extinction.

This should be required reading for anyone who has any wish to change the current oligarchical status-quo of psychopathic elites willing to kill us all for a few more dollars.

You can read the full book here

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The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

"Bedsheet banner" by Charles Hutchins via Flickr.

“Bedsheet banner” by Charles Hutchins via Flickr.

Report by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities suggests that US political system serves special interest organisations, instead of voters.
The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.
The report, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the US political system.
After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.
The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

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“The Good Fight” warns of rise of business oligarchs

the-good-fightAustralia’s former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan outlines the growing oligarchy in his newest book.

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via The Guardian:

Vested business interests helped destroy the former Labor government and are now trying to run the country, according to the former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan.

Quotes from Swan’s book, The Good Fight, have been published in the Australian Financial Review, ahead of its release next week.

The paper quoted Swan as saying a small but growing group of “oligarchs” were trying to run the country, and that this was clear from some of the policies in the Coalition’s budget.

“Vested interests, backed by the ­current government, have prevailed, much to the detriment of our people and our nation’s future,” he said.

“In their world, a high-quality ­universal education and health ­services are a drain on the budget, not a platform for a fairer and more prosperous ­economy.”

“At the time of writing, the very people I have discussed … are now running the Abbott government.

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Craig Hulet: Corporatocracy Dictatorship is the Next Step

Africa_satellite_orthographicCraig Hulet has been laying it out about the corporatocracy and economic fascism for thirty years. His most recent interview was particularly trenchant. Topics covered include African land and resources grabbing, oligarchy, the pointlessness of elections, Putin, Snowden, the possibility of revolution, fascism, corporatism, etc.

Craig Hulet 05-23-14

Craig Hulet radio interview archive

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Plutocrats vs. Oligarchs

PIC: Lihatria007 (CC)

PIC: Lihatria007 (CC)

David Rosen writes at CounterPunch:

Oligarchy is defined as “government by the few” and came into English use around 1570.  The term derives from two Greek words: oligos meaning “few” and arch for “rule”; similar English-language terms include monarch or hierarchy.  Plutocracy is derived from the Greek ploutos meaning “wealth” and kratos for “govern.”

Today, both concepts — plutocrats and oligarchs — refer to the growing influence the rich – and especially the superrich – have on the national (and international) political economy.  Oligarchs are plutocrats who use their enormous wealth to further a particularly conservative, if not rightwing, agenda.

Thomas Piketty’s study, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, reveals that the U.S. – along with much of the advanced capitalist world — is returning to what economist Paul Krugman calls the “new Gilded Age.”  Piketty finds that that in 2010, the top 1 percent controlled 20 percent of U.S.

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That ‘Iron Law’ Of Oligarchy Is Back To Haunt Us

The word “oligarchy” has finally come home.

For years, it was a term only used in connection with those big bad and sleazy Mafioso-type businessmen in Russia.

Russia had oligarchs; we didn’t. That became a big difference between the official narrative of what separated our land of the free and the home of the brave from THEM, the snakes in the shades and private planes, in the post-Soviet period.

Actually, I first heard the term oligarchy when I was studying labor history at Cornell a half a lifetime ago. We were taught about something called the “Iron Law of Oligarchy.”

It was a concept coined by Robert Michels, a friend of sociology guru, Max Weber, way back in 1911. Here’s how it was defined in that relic of another age: The Encyclopedia Britannica:

“Michels came to the conclusion that the formal organization of bureaucracies inevitably leads to oligarchy, under which organizations originally idealistic and democratic eventually come to be dominated by a small, self-serving group of people who achieved positions of power and responsibility.  This can occur in large organizations because it becomes physically impossible for everyone to get together every time a decision has to be made.”

So, oligarchies have been with us seemingly forever—it’s an “iron law,” says he–but in current usage the term references the small elite—the 1% of the 1% that dominates economic and political decision making.… Read the rest

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Scientific Study Says the US is an Oligarchy (In Other Breaking News: Water is Wet!)

Pic: PD

Pic: PD

The Daily Kos has reported on a new study (courtesy of researchers from Princeton and Northwestern) which claims to demonstrate, via science, that the US is an oligarchy:

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.”

This news shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention, though it is encouraging to see that more people are beginning to wake up and acknowledge these facts.

Another disturbing aspect which the author points out:  “the data used for this study was drawn from study of public policy 1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002.… Read the rest

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It’s Not the Economy Stupid, It’s Your Stupid Foreign Policy: How to Get Rid of Our Oligarchs

via chycho

oligarch

Isn’t what’s going on in the Ukraine, this attempt at regime change, which is unfortunately on the verge of turning into a full blown proxy-civil war (2) threatening to bring about the Balkanization of the region, the same game that has been played out in countless other countries for the better part of the last century?

I. 1953 Regime Change in Iran

It was the 1953 CIA instigated coup of the democratically elected government of Iran that really began the regime changing endeavors of the Western superpowers.

The first attempt of a Middle Eastern country to free themselves of Western control of their resources occurred with Iran in 1951 when the democratically elected president, Dr. Mohammed Mosaddeq, nationalizated Iran’s oil industry. Unfortunately, however, Western powers would not stand idly by while Iranians took control of their own resources, which is why in 1953 the CIA, following instructions from Britain, organized a coup against Dr.

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Russian Corruption ‘Out of Control’

Via Al Jazeera:
Valery Morozov, a successful Russian businessman has been granted political asylum in Britain after exposing an alleged corruption scandal involving officials and police in Russia. Hoping to build a hotel in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he says he paid about $10.5m in bribes to keep the contract from a competitor with close ties to the government, contributing to an estimated $300bn in bribes paid by Russians every year, according to the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International.
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