A friend sent me
The Oligarch Rewriting Machiavelli’s The Prince for Our Time
CHAPTER I: HOW MANY FORMS OF GOVERNANCE THERE ARE AND HOW THEY OPERATE
All states and all companies that rule and have ever ruled function and have functioned as oligarchies. While there are multiple forms of governance such as republics, principalities, and corporations, all operate through con- trol by a few.
Oligarchies are transmitted either by tradition, inheritance, or law, or they are new. In most cases, they are organized by agreement about principles and based on individual merit, but sometimes oligarchic power is inherited.
New oligarchies are either entirely new, as the United States of America was for Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, or they are created from established states and companies, as in the case of the European Union, pillared on trade and banking.
Some oligarchies operate through the illusions of autocratic form as in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin’s prominence conceals the cadre of oligarchs that runs the state and the economy. Other oligarchies live with the delusions of democracy as in the US, where the people have little control over their economic, political, and cultural fate, yet they insist they are free. In Russia, oligarchs use the autocracy to control and sequester financial and hard assets. In the US, oligarchs establish freedom of action for themselves to accumulate assets and control institutional processes. Freedom for the people means something quite different, as you well know.
OK, Now wat? Sems to me we depend on the good will of people at al levels of society to seek good and interesting times. How to ge there?
I just read In The Atlantic on Paul Manafort. Fits right in, but with a corruption level that shocks. Oligarchies tend to corruption but need not be there. Especially important if Sherry is right and one way or another it is wheat we get.
I would put this in comparison to George Soros at Davos.