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OLIGARCHY OR DEMOCRACY?

 

Where, oh where are our local statespersons?

Changes in the distribution of wealth produces political changes.  When those political changes produce an even greater disparity of wealth then democracy gives way to oligarchy.  Wealthy traders and bankers then rule the state.  Statesmanship, which is the ethical coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of party and the lust for the spoils of office.

The happy news is that every form of government tends to perish through its own excess.  Oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious scramble for immediate wealth.  In any event, the end is revolution.  Revolution comes from grave and accumulated wrongs.  "Then democracy comes:  the poor overcome their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing the rest; and give to the people an equal share of freedom and power."

  ---Plato

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 09:36AM by Registered CommenterLAUREN PAULSON | CommentsPost a Comment

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