A Democracy? An Oligarchy? What’s the US? Scientists Say.
|May 12, 2014||Posted by Staff under Politics|
This 2014 excerpt of Common Dreams, Apr 14, is by Eric Zuesse.
A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, answers the question: “Who governs? Who really rules?” in the US.
Americans do enjoy regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject shows that the preferences of the average American have a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
The authors — Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page — in their article titled “Testing Theories of American Politics” note the data available are probably under-representing the actual extent of control of the U.S. by the super-rich.
The clear finding is that the U.S. is not a democracy at all, not part democracy / part oligarchy, but only an oligarchy.
The U.S., in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious “electoral” “democratic” countries.
Ed. Notes: Good to have more studies to go with the work of others such as G. William Domhoff on who owns America, which offers a deeper look into how policy gets made. But is any of this new? The US Constitution replaced the US Articles of Confederation as a favor to rich insiders. What could ever change this situation?
People must feel worthy of justice. And they must not worry so much about their political rights — we can vote, right? so? — as their economic rights. They should demand a fair share of the common wealth. That will show they have worth as individuals and help them feel real self-esteem.
Things will get better when enough people share the same vision of a better world and demand that government let — or help make — it happen. The key part is the vision, making it visible to a critical mass. That’s why it’s important for you to articulate a Citizen’s Dividend for everyone.