Solutions, or Rule by the Few?

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In my first blog I said, “Who do I mean by they when I say they don’t want us to believe there are solutions?” I’m writing this blog on the morning of Labor Day 2011 to address that question.

For awhile I figured the word was simply “them.” It’s a word people use all the time; it means those few who are running the show. I recently heard it used on a radio program. The host was interviewing young black activists about their take on the Obama presidency, and the host related a conversation he had had. An African American father told the host that for the sake of his son, he was very glad the U.S. had elected a black man as president, but even so, the father understood Obama was “one of them.”

If we had a monarchy, we would know kings and queens together with their troops and agents were ruling us. We don’t have a monarchy; we have a democracy, but it still doesn’t feel like majority rule.

Louis Brandeis, a Supreme Court Judge, said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

“Elite” is a word often used to describe those few, but I reject that word. “Elite” brings with it the idea of “the best.” If they were the best, we’d be getting better and better in the areas of health, housing, education, environment, jobs, justice and peace. But those things are currently getting worse. In Latin America, where the balance of power is shifting toward majority rule, many people use the term “escualidos,” meaning squalid ones, rather than “elite” to refer to those who would keep all the power and wealth to themselves.

“Plutocracy” means rule by the rich. “Theocracy” means rule by religion. “Corporatocracy” has been invented to mean rule by corporations.

“Oligarchy” is the word I’m going for, simply rule by the few. While some may say it has too many syllables, it has exactly as many syllables as democracy, and the same number as Republican and Democratic. I know we can handle it.

The members of the oligarchy are not all rich, religious, military, or corporate. Who makes up the oligarchy: government or the private sector?  The answer is “Yes!” Leaders of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party? Again, the answer is “Yes!”

The oligarchy is government and private sector working together to benefit a few. Bipartisanship is the game they play to keep the system in place.

The next question that comes up is, “Why?” as in “Why would Washington turn toward wars and Wall Street rather than toward the people who voted them in?” A future blog will address that question, but for now it’s important to realize what’s going on.

We have an oligarchy, a few who rule. Ironically, they are the few who know how powerful we many are, more than we know it. They don’t want us to know bipartisanship is the game they play to keep the system in place; they don’t want us to know how powerful we really are; and they don’t want us to know that there are solutions.

But I’m smiling, because we’re learning.

About Laura Wells: Solutions
I ran for Controller in California in 2014 on a State Bank and Tax The Rich platform. I am part of the “No Corporate Money” Campaign, in which candidates pledge to take no corporate money and voters declare our intention to vote for no-corporate-money candidates. As a Green Party candidate for Governor of California in 2010, I was arrested outside a gubernatorial debate for “trespassing at a private party.” But we won't stop, and so let's create a "public party" where we debate solutions to California's finances, like implementing a State Bank and taxing the rich -- to reduce the disparity and open up opportunities. Twitter: @LauraWellsCA

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