When the word “oligarchy,” is mentioned in describing what the District of Columbia has become, many are disinclined to believe that things have really progressed to such a point. After all, the very term brings to mind makers of war who, after violently conquering a territory, hold it in a tight grip while ruling with a totalitarian thrust. However, there are several types of oligarchies, some of which require warfare and others that operate with more subtlety through the illusion of the ballot box and fair elections.
Recall that the powers that be, are aware that not all of the electorate is detached from current affairs, in what is known as the low-information voter, and that a rather large segment of the electorate is situationally aware of current trends, with many being highly educated and intellectually inclined. Thus, a more delicate approach is required to maintain power.
What we see today is, what author Jeffrey A. Winters calls, a “civil oligarchy,” wherein the ruling individuals visible to the public, “rule” by submission to an unseen bureaucratic influence. Additionally, a civil oligarchy is characteristically marked not by one supreme leader, but by an entrenched collective who often operates cooperatively but separately in pursuit of the same interests. Sound familiar?
These conditions occur when gratuitous quantities of wealth and its accompanying influential power, are accumulated by the disproportionate few. This power is often the type that has become so innate that it is impossible to remove from the setting because it cannot be fully filtered out. Considering the multifaceted attributes of our modern tech/media collective, this would seem to be the perfect description of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and all the other social media purveyors.
Civil oligarchs manage to obtain and keep great wealth and power while maintaining a somewhat low profile politically. That’s not to say they’re not famous, but they are much more powerful than they appear to be to the public. This is an intentional strategy: Protecting wealth requires either a firm hand in retaining it (strong, governmental rule) or a compliant, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” interaction with higher powers.
Those with great wealth often find that the right contributions, favors, or purchases in high places, afford them powerful friendships and wealth shelter. The governmentally powerful and the extremely affluent often become an intertwined class of characters who can’t easily be separated. Digest this... Between January 1, 2017, and November 23, 2020, Donald J. Trump R) had raised $785 million and Joe Biden (D), had raised $1.06 billion for a combined total of $1.85 billion dollars to run for office!
Similarly, those who obtain great prosperity also acquire great political power, despite their apparent uninvolvement in government such as Soros, Besos, Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Sundararajan, among others, and all of the leftist persuasion, interestingly enough. But I digressed. Their authority is derived via their commerce.
These are often people who pursue their agendas behind the mask of large enterprises, contracting masses of “worker bees” who, possibly unknowingly, labor for a deviant schema and a much larger machine than they realize, fervently working “year-round as salaried, full-time advocates and defenders of core oligarchic interests.” In such conditions, the most powerful people in the world are able to blend into the background, fueling the cycle but keeping a low profile.
As stated, oligarchs usually aren’t political leaders. They’re those who own or command such great resources that they can hold sway over countries with great influence. Consider what author Jeffrey Winters states regarding the concept:
“Oligarchs can be sole or controlling owners of corporations and can use them as personal instruments of power…corporations serve as vehicles to amplify the interests of the oligarchs who command them…[and can] be owned in ways that are highly diffuse and impersonal…run by managerial strata that sometimes include workers or the state.”
The idea of people who hold great power but aren’t political rulers goes way back. Winters states that the concept of oligarchy is far predated by corporations, and that they are merely newer tools to implement a much older strategy of influence. Thus, corporations are not oligarchies within themselves, but are “instruments” used by them. However, oligarchs have a great need to defend their accumulated wealth, so they often establish and rely on a multifaceted “power substratum” that may involve a political presence or involvement via influence, but often doesn’t include direct governmental involvement.
The current uprising civil oligarchy generated through Academia, Big Media/Big Tech and Entertainment, presents a setting wherein a select few voices are now positioned to influence all which inundates the population continuously and demands compliance—or it will silence them. This oligarchy steers the plot by which people think, choose, buy, vote, live, perceive truth, and so much more. And multitudes of tools and resources are available to these powers. Politicians are stationed strategically; media then reinforces ideas asserted in politics via TV shows, movies, and music.
It’s an attack from all sides. Society is malleable through intellectual conditioning, headlines, which is then reinforced by entertainment, then followed up politically or philosophically by the introduction of new, more “evolved” ways of thinking such as “woke.” The masses are persuaded that the assertion is the answer to their problems, and they take that brainwashing to the voting booth, to retail lines, to the streets and into every other aspect of their decision-making. Some may think this doesn’t sound controlling until they realize that, in this sequence, the oligarchy has utilized one of its most compelling and subtle, dual-level resources: mobilizational power.
This cunning tactic operates by stirring and manipulating the masses so they will rally to support an oligarch’s cause for them:
It refers to the individual capacity to move or sway others—the ability to lead people, persuade followers, create networks, invigorate movements, provoke responses, and inspire people to action—including getting them to take risks, make great sacrifices, and release kinetic energy if necessary, for the greater good, of course.