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Tyrant or oligarch
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Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
posted
quote:
If the choice comes down to tyrant or oligarch, we must choose the latter. But our democracy would still be in peril


quote:
Make no mistake: the frustrations and insecurities that fueled Trump’s rise – and are still the basis of his support – have their origin in this power shift, which has left most Americans with a small slice of the nation’s prosperity and almost no voice in its politics.

A half-century ago, when America had a large and growing middle class, those on the left wanted stronger social safety nets and more public investment in schools, roads and research. Those on the right sought greater reliance on the free market.

But as power and wealth have moved to the top, everyone else – whether on the old right or the old left – has become disempowered and less secure. Today the great divide is not between left and right. It’s between democracy and oligarchy.

Bloomberg is indubitably part of that oligarchy. That should not automatically disqualify him but it should set off alarms. If the only way we can get rid of the sociopathic tyrant named Trump is with an oligarch named Bloomberg, we will have to choose the oligarch. Yet I hope it doesn’t come to that. Oligarchy is better than tyranny. But neither is as good as democracy.


https://www.theguardian.com/co...residential-election


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Keep calm and don't forget to be awesome.

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Posts: 26969 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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I’m a bit of a language purist at times but “oligarch” needs to mean something other than “really rich person” or language itself has lost a useful concept.

The guy was more or less anonymous prior to running for mayor, and he has very little influence on government. He’s just not a member of an oligarchy.
 
Posts: 32091 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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Agree ... none of the American mega-billionaires fit the “oligarch” definition, at least not at the federal level.


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Posts: 11397 | Registered: 01 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Beatification Candidate
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How about those that use great wealth to either gain access and control over people in politics, or in other ways skew the process to benefit a wealthy minority?

The Koch brothers jump to mind, but it seems there are others...


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Posts: 6433 | Location: chicagoland | Registered: 21 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
I’m a bit of a language purist at times but “oligarch” needs to mean something other than “really rich person” or language itself has lost a useful concept.

The guy was more or less anonymous prior to running for mayor, and he has very little influence on government. He’s just not a member of an oligarchy.


We live in the Age of Trump, and you wonder whether people share common meanings for words?
 
Posts: 43977 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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It’s not that. And I felt this way in the Age of Obama too.

People like to take a word with a particular set of associations and apply it to a different concept in order to stink it up with those associations. I understand the motivations behind it, but language and to an extent, thought are the casualties of it.

For a different example, we can use the phrase ‘white supremacy’ to mean both Bull Connor’s hoses and the wrong choice of words from a well meaning middle-aged white woman, but it seems there really is a useful distinction between those two things and maybe our language ought to be able to capture it.

Another recent casualty is ‘mass incarceration’. It used to mean incarcerating groups of people wholesale, without even charging or trying them individually. Now it means ‘having too many people in jail’, regardless of the process that got them there. There is no longer a succinct phrase to describe the former. Our language is diminished for it.
 
Posts: 32091 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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And our ability to discern in a dialogue.


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“Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.” - David Icke

 
Posts: 11910 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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Guess my definition of oligarch is broader than jon's.

More like what's described in this Wiki article.

quote:
The modern United States has also been described as an oligarchy because economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy


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Keep calm and don't forget to be awesome.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 26969 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Republican Party identification has begun requiring intellectual vacuity.

-- Jennifer Rubin (she's a conservative for those who don't read much)
Beatification Candidate
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By that definition, the US has always been an oligarchy and we can drop the term "modern." I can't think of any major international power today that is NOT an oligarchy by that over-broad "definition."

With a definition that broad, the term simply becomes a tool to express your dislike of someone. It isn't a meaningful way to draw distinctions that need to be drawn.
 
Posts: 9098 | Location: Williamsburg, VA | Registered: 19 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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