Is the US an Aristocratic Oligarchy?

Take a look at our political system. We have two ruling classes, Democrat and Republican, that manipulate the laws to keep themselves in power. It is impossible for Joe Citizen to be a President/Reprenative, you first need to be accepted by the ruling class, Democrat/Republican. Take a look at our politicians. We have liniages of politians passing down the crown in the ruling class families. The ruling class pretends to have your intrest at heart but then when their power is threatened the true intent becomes clear.

Yes! Citizens of the US unite! You have nothing to lose but your manipulative Reprenatives!

But WiredGuy, please let’s be precise. The US is not an Aristocratic Oligarchy. Instead it is an Oligarchic Aristocracy. We must know our enemy.

Viva la revoluccion!

Wiredguy - I’m waiting for your explanation of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Under those terms every ordered society is an aristocratic oligarchy or an outright monopoly. I think this is unavoidable so long as the government takes an active role in the economy.

I wouldn’t say that the dems/repubs manipulate laws to keep themselves in power, but manipulate the people who vote them there with propaganda. Either way its hogwash IMO. But I’ve found very few people who are willing to trade the “security” of a government controlled economy for the “freedom” of passive govrenment action.

“Ask not what your country…etc” seems to have gone the way of the dodo, as far as dems are concerned, since they fight largely for welfare-style programs and are big union supporters. In other words, they get the people who want something for nothing on their side, as well as the people who are blind to government stealing. The repubs, on the other hand, are pretty lousy for having a stance at all lately. They resort to "me-too"ing the dems, or just make dubious remarks. They still seem to fight to keep a weaker federal government, but not like I feel they should. We’re essentially stuck with fighting long-term statists (repubs, who end up me-tooing democrats) or short-term statists (dems, who feel that everyone has a right to survive at the behest of someone else already surviving). We still have a relatively “free” economy, but I can see that changing even more within the next two elections (not including this one). Health care is the start, and I think we’ll be following the so-called English Socialism or perhaps even Canadian systems. Shame, IMO.

Incidentally, are there any non-republican or non-democrat senate or house members? Which state(s)?

I agree.

Umm, most union members (myself included) want something for doing their work. Whatever your views on welfare and national health care may be, this does not strike me as an unreasonable position.

I think you already do get something for your work.

But, this isn’t a union thread. If one gets started I’d be happy to meet you there.

Reagan’s father was in the Franklin Roosevelt Adminastration working on the New Deal. He was aslos a campaign slave for both the Democrat party and then the Republican party.

Clinton didn’t have a liniage into government but he was also a campaign slave for the Democratic party.

The only way to be a viable politician is to sell out to a party. Yes there will be a few people who mange to represent the public without being a part whore, jesse ventura, but those are very few.

Take a look at where your politicians went to school. I bet they went Harvard/Yale/Princton, breeding grounds for the establishment.

Not nearly so bad as it used to be, but still needs work.

Case in point: college education. A while back, a college education was pretty much proof of your parent’s membership in the priveleged class, they could afford to send you to school. The ruling class jobs were then defined as requiring a college education. Not that upper management jobs required a working knowledge of Hume and Locke. They required proof that you are One of Us. This was the origin of the myth of education as a ticket to success.

The G.I. Bill allowed untold numbers of working class veterans a chance at an education they could not possibly have gotten before (as well as keeping them from surging into a post-war economy that had no place for them).

Even today, parents fret over getting thier children “an education”, because the myth remains. Which is why so many cab drivers have Ph.D’s.

As long as an obscene worship of $$ remains part of our national culture, there will be an aristocracy, save only that you cannot inherit a title, but you can inherit the money. Hence so many jerks born on third base who want to tell you how they hit a triple.

Note to Aynrandlover: First walked a picket line when I was three years old, Grandaddy was a Teamster. The Union/Labor movement in the US has done more for economic justice in this country than any other single group of people, and they paid for it with thier blood, tears, and patience. God bless 'em!!

A CEO suit deserves 100 times the salary of his lowest paid worker the day he (1) walks on water or (2) raises the dead. Outside of that, his economic status is an insult and a theft.

Or the day 100 of his lowest paid workers can manage the company as effectively as he does. Although with some CEO’s, the team of 100 blue-collar workers couldn’t do worse . . .

Referring to the OP, perhaps we should bear in mind that the Federalists and Whigs were once as dominant as either of the major parties today, and their hold on power was broken. There is nothing to say that the same cannot happen to the Democrats or Republicans today. Probably the U.S. political system will always tend to gravitate to two parties, but neither history nor law says they must always be the same two parties.

I suppose you know a secret method of running for office without anyone’s help?

Because if you don’t, than you’re just spewing nonsense. For a person to run for office - any office - he or she needs hundreds, if not thousands of people working for him. He needs money and a mechanism for generating more money. And he or she needs the backing of people that potential voters agree with. In short, your candidate needs an organization - a big, experienced, well-oiled organization. So what if he needs to gain the trust and respect of this organization (let’s call it a “political party”) in order to get their backing? In order to be good at politics, one has to be a good politician.

The Republican and Democratic Parties are not the tight-ranked, fascistic monoliths you describe. They are two large, decentralized umbrella organizations which cover a large range of (often overlapping) beliefs and opinions. You may have a problem with the fact that America is tradition-bound to two major parties - and I may agree with you. But they are by no means “Aristocricies”.

So, let me get this straight. You are disagreeing?

Worker management is a viable alternative, workers hire and fire management according to performance, rather than vice versa. Do you imagine being managing a business is more complicated than being, say, a farmer? Ha!

DUMP the suits! Let 'em try working for a living!

I see. Not in this thread. Please create a new one if you really want to argue labor unions and their social and economic effects.

Simply shrugging off the apparent upper-class status of politicians by pointing out the necessary cash required to run a successful (or unsuccessful!) campaign doesn’t remove the aristocracy at all, it merely justifies it. Feel free to justify political money, but then please leave the CEO’s out of it.

Tight-ranked, fascist monoliths? Hot damn. And here I am voting against things, trying to raise indignation at the way people are treated, and none of it matters. I suppose the day I get shot for dissent we can rightly call it fascist? How much pornography needs to be banned before we are approaching fascism? How many books get banned from school libraries before we’re fascist? How large does medicare and welfare need to be before we’re socialist? Not that I feel we are socialist/fascist now, I’d just be interested in hearing when anyone here draws the line. But that, again, is another thread.

I could have expressed that more clearly, but yeah, I was disagreeing.

Being a farmer is a business. It’s more complex than some businesses, less complex than others.

You’re right, worker management is a viable alternative. And in very large worker-managed corporations, the workers generally vote for a CEO who gets paid 100 times, or more, what their lowest-paid worker gets. The stockholders have to pay to get the talent, whether they’re workers or just ordinary investors.

I do.

I am by no means a fan of outrageous executive salaries, an enemy of all organized labor, or a denigrator of farmers. But I do believe that the issues involved in managing a multinational corporation are a bit more complex than those involved in managing a family farm.

re the OP: No.
Membership in a political party is not at all analogous to membership in a hereditary aristocracy. Nor is teh failure of a significant number of citizens to take advantage of their right to vote evidence for a form of government that disallows participation of the majority.

At first I was about to clarify that hereditary aristocracy was not implied, but in re-reading the OP I see that it was.

However, I can still see how one could put forth a non-hereditary aristocracy opinion for politics, though how non-hereditary aristocracies are necessarily bad is beyond me.

That said, 1984 gives an example of a really bad one. In real life? Well, some would argue that any power given to a group of people is bad due to conspiracies, secret societies, and other paranoid fantasies which replace heredity but maintain a set ruling class. On the other extreme, some feel that this sort of system is almost completely honest, short of a few bad apples, and any appearance of conspiracy is merely coincidence. I am of the moderate opinion here: there are conspiracies to keep certain people in/from power, but by and large political forces think they are benign. Being on the receiving end I don’t feel a whole lot of benevolence, though.

Ahh, spiritus :slight_smile: You love to catch those wild generalizations! I think you need to find a topic and just go crazy on it though, you’re such a moderate. :rolleyes: Good for the soul, haha.

Apparenty, I have been on my best behavior recently. [sub]Even counting the objectivism thread?[/sub]

Don’t worry. It can’t last much longer.

And pretty much the only way you can get to be a CEO is by “selling out” and working for a corporation for several years. What’s your point? That the politic parties don’t just hand out nominations for free? Oooh, big newsflash there! All your post establishes is that if you want to be presidents, you’re going to have to really work for it (or have your parents work for it). How does that make it an oligarchy? As for “aristrocratic”, the definition of “aristrocrat” is as follows: “A member of a ruling class or of the nobility.” So the statement “this country is run by aristrocrats” basically means “this country is run by the people that run it”. Really informative.