Historical trend or wishful thinking?
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21-04-2014, 01:09 PM
Historical trend or wishful thinking?
When I learn about past periods of our history, I cannot help noticing a sort of trend when it comes to the authority to rule. It is not a linear evolution, but it seems to me that, in ancient times, authority generally fell on small groups when not single individuals, whereas in more modern times, the tendency is to enlarge the groups who have the power to rule, at least in theory.

Is that trend an idea that can be extracted from our readings of history, or am I just making it up?

Thanks for any information on this subject. Have a great time!
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21-04-2014, 02:33 PM
RE: Historical trend or wishful thinking?
Quote: the tendency is to enlarge the groups who have the power to rule, at least in theory.


The US is now a pluto-kleptocracy - rule by rich thieves. I don't agree with your observation at all.

http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens...3-7-14.pdf

Quote:What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our Gilens and Page Testing Theories of American Politics findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.

Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system
, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

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21-04-2014, 02:54 PM
RE: Historical trend or wishful thinking?
(21-04-2014 02:33 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote: the tendency is to enlarge the groups who have the power to rule, at least in theory.
The US is now a pluto-kleptocracy - rule by rich thieves. I don't agree with your observation at all.
Funnily enough, I agree with yours. And sadly the US is not just an exception. In practice, the whole fucking planet seems to be a pluto-kleptocracy, with only small exceptional pockets of non-plutocracy.

But I did add that expression, "at least in theory". No modern constitution describes its corresponding nation as a plutocracy, but whereas ancient laws seemed to support the idea of one or more super-human rulers touched by their favourite gods, modern laws seem to support the idea of the people providing themselves with their laws.

In terms of actual ability to rule, I think it is those who manage to steal the most who are in a position to decide how other people will behave. But in terms of nominal authority to rule, the commonly accepted ideal seems to be that we, the people, are the ones who hold such "authority". Has that nominal authority to rule not widened over the centuries?

I am not sure I am expressing my question most adequately. I do thank you for your answer, though.

Have fun!
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