The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
This has been floating around the interwebs for the last couple of days. The reaction of myself and many others has been basically “No shit! And you mean to tell me water is wet too?”
The fact that we’ve known this for a while doesn’t make it any less painful though.
Of course, we’ve never been a democracy. We are supposed to be a representative republic. In a way we still may be, except that our representatives are mainly only representing the oligarchs these days. At least at the federal level.