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Have we replaced one type of aristocracy with another

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by kiwitt, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    I would disagree with you in regards to the inevitability of an oligarchy. Rule and governance by a few with power (which is what oligarchy is) is I think inevitable in any society or organisation of significant scale, as per the iron law of oligarchy.

    As to ensuring an oligarchy is benevolent there is indeed no way to guarantee that. Thus the necessity of the voting system or if you happen to not be in a democracy revolution to reset the system.

    Oh and name for me one country which is not ruled by some form of oligarchy for example?
     
  2. Lone Cat

    Lone Cat Warlord

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    There was. in Thailand 1933.

    The 'monarchy' was replaced by what the revolutionaries called 'democracy' but the fact it was 'aristocracy'.. well all of them are aristocrats by then!
     
  3. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    That would make sense if the richest people didn't keep changing every few years.

    That really wouldn't help much. Most of today's ultra-rich weren't born Ultra-Rich.
     
  4. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    It's a conceptual rather than merely terminological issue, I would say. An "aristocracy" is typically concienved of a a formally or informally exclusive caste with a hereditary monopoly on political-economic power, which, at least as far as I can see, has certain implications as to exactly what form criticisms of this monopoly takes, specifically, that it represents a lack of modernity, rather than being- as in the socialist critique- the very embodiment of capitalist modernity. This necessarilly dictates the approach which we take to the issue, and so, yes, is overwhelmingly pertinent to the discussion at hand.

    That seems a fairly superficial comparison, though, because it doesn't take into account the vast differences between the economic form taken by the old aristocracy and the modern capitalist class: the property forms they embody, how they extract value from the process of production, how this value is disposed of, and so on. GeneriCorp and the Compte de Generique may both have engaged in some questionable behaviour, but it does not seem immediately obvious to me that we should criticise the former in the terms of an existing criticism of the latter, rather than constructing a seperate, specific critique that takes into account the distinct- in my view fundamentally so- character of this new class.

    I have a room full of people named "Fred". Find me one of them that is not named "Fred". Can't do it? Good, we've concluded that all people, everywhere, are named "Fred".
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Why make up new terms to confuse the issue when the old terms are sufficient?
     
  6. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    You are saying there could be countries not ruled by oligarchies on other planets elsewhere?
     
  7. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    Source?
    You don't recall the age of the Rockefellers, etc...
     
  8. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    "Aristocracy" is a nice emotional word for the people to be enraged at. Nobody needs nuance. Yeah, "Bourgeois" can be an emotionally charged world, too, but you don't want to sound like some kind of communist, do you?
     
  9. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Blood Elven Ghost Agent

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    The capitalists are the new aristocrats of the modern era.

    Sadly.
     
  10. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    This makes no sense at all, can you please clarify your point?
     
  11. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Public policies are driven by societal values, and vice versa is almost never true. This is because societal values generally only change if society changes the way it thinks, and practically the only way to do so through politics is to impose totalitarianism. Societies usually change by technological advances and changes in social conditions, however.
     
  12. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    That's a very novel way to think of things.
     
  13. GamezRule

    GamezRule Inconceivable!

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    Define Capitalist.
     
  14. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Society changes what it thinks all the time depending on what are they being fed by the media. It is why FOX news keep running, if you repeat something enough times your brain remembers it and the brain likes those well-founded synapses because it is a lazy bastard. We don't really ever change the way we think, those in charge or whoever wants to be in charge just changes their methods. Communism is a curious thing, somewhat rational in origin but driven by so much emotion. Brute force is one way, yes but I disagree it is the only way through politics. Rather it is the back and forth of Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment ways of thinking. Hopefully soon enough the scales will tip back to Enlightenment.
     
  15. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    He's pretty much right though.

    Society has changed its views many times in history, its just they've never changed their views that society should have classes.

    I personally believe that we, as a species, simply weren't biologically made to really be egalitarian and no amount of social engineering is going to change that.
     
  16. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    You are probably right.

    There always need to be leaders, however it is the huge differences now between the top and bottom compared to what it was a few decades ago.

    A CEO can get $100,000,000 p.a. these days and a decade or so back, I thought $2,000,000 p.a. was excessive. Its definitely not inflation as the average annual pay rises to these types of execs has been in double figures for a long time now. In contrast the employee has probably moved up about 20-30% in that time or conversely he is just as likely to have gone backwards, with redundancies and layoffs and had to take lesser and lesser jobs with less benefits each time. ( Note: some, like myself can move forward.)
     
  17. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Distributism is the answer
     
  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I think that the only way to keep money (and power) from accumulating with a few (orat the top) is to impose restrictions on the accumulation of wealth. Human nature fosters a hierarchical structure in what we do and people have to collectively oppose such structures by imposing some sort of redistribution. When the rich and powerful get too rich and powerful, the only way to "fix" the problem tends to be violent and nasty. Technology is the new spoiler in the game because it can be a strong tool to keep the rich and powerful rich and powerful.
     
  19. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    See, now this is where it all falls apart, since Human nature fosters a hierarchical structure in what we do, people are going to collectively oppose it. The majority of people want the chance to be on top some day and when they are, they don't want restrictions on them.
     
  20. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    ah, but I could then go to another room elsewhere to search for the man not named Fred since there is more than just a single room.

    In regards to my question however you can't just go elsewhere to determine if a society of any significant size is devoid of oligarchy, its a general question encompassing the sum total of humanity.

    Either way my point was that in all large-scale societies some form of oligarchy has been universally applied and to this day no nation state is genuinely devoid of an oligarchy. Ergo the evidence on the ground favours the iron law.
     

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