1776. Elites and governance

The 1776th post. A famous year..

Elites have always managed the process of how to govern. They yielded downard from chief to ministers to parliaments, not under political pressure alone but by the pressure of size and complexity. This is still the truth, but may be under new extreme pressure. Social power  leads to money power and those with money will demand a similar amount of political power to match their wealth. When the French middle class was expanding, but power remained with the aristocrats, we got the French Revolution. When real power was shifting to industry and factories, the workers had the power because neessary to society, to strike, but were co-opted by demagogues for war.

One could say that we now have the politics of billionaires because – we have billionaires -and they want the proportionate power, proportionate to their wealth. The drift of both Democrats and Republicans to represent wealth has been one of the reaosn why both candidates had  such low attraction for voters.

Trump is a bit different because his wealth might be more in his leverage than in solid assets and bottom line billions. But the demand is there for power as a right of property.

But elites are always remote from the people and hence do not get good feedback on the state of the world they lead.

So in the near future, the balance among

  • money power
  • political ower
  • military power
  • good thinking
  • the human heart

will shift, and we don’t yet know quite how. But do something about it.

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