Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on October 5, 2011
Democracy – Republic – Plutocracy – Oligarchy – Corporatocracy – Polyarchy – Central Government
A friend of mine made an interesting statement: he said that democracy and capitalism need to go hand-in-hand. Capitalism without structure (read: regulations) will run afoul, just as it has in this country and across the pond.
Anything taken to extremes is then extreme. The original plan or concept can not be sustained indefinitely when it tries to work to the exclusion of other options. As a side note, this is how depression occurs: when people see no other options, they become depressed.
That is why no single type of government will remain intact indefinitely. Originally, this country was designed as both a Republic and a Democracy. Republic, meaning a country where a majority of citizens exert control over their government, and Democracy, meaning all people have a say in their government.
Now it could be argued that our country fits more into one of these categories:
Plutocracy: ruled by the wealthy
Oligarchy: where power rests with an elite class, whether royalty or wealthy
Corporatocracy: where wealthy corporations are in bed with government
Polyarchy: where a group of people have most of the power
Central Government: the U.S. has a federal government, at the level of the nation-state, but without the ethnic identity of other countries
In my estimation, we are a mixture of all of these types of “governance” whereby wealthy corporations have undue influence in our government, which is run by the elected few. There is still a semblance of Democracy in the Polyarchy framework, but we have ceded power to those who would take it by numbing our sense of our own power as a collective majority. We can blame the media for this “numbing,” or a sort of brainwashing of the feeble minded, or we could blame ourselves for our complicit attitudes and behaviors.
Rather than casting blame, I say it is time to put thoughtful consideration into the type of government we want or need. If we want to return to the original framers’ idea of a dual system, we need to move away from the other types listed above with methodical planning.