Oligarchy is a philosophical word like democracy, authoritarian, and monarchy. Philosophical words are hard to illustrate in every day, what-does-it-do terms. However, thanks to the New York Times, an article appeared in the November 29, 2015 edition that captured oligarchy as a political operation that can be compared to political behavior readers are more familiar with from news coverage, elections, and economic headlines.
It is a must read for all readers. The article illustrates how very wealthy individuals band together, using immense amounts of cash and influence to interrupt what otherwise would be normal democratic elections. In the State of Illinois, backed by a group of billionaires primarily from banking and investment firms, Bruce Rauner was elected Governor.
“Unprecedented political spending helped
elect a fresh-faced financier. But his ideological
vision has unsettled many in the state.”
“….The richest man in Illinois does not often give speeches. But on a warm spring day two years ago, Kenneth C. Griffin, the billionaire founder of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, rose before a black-tie dinner of the Economic Club of Chicago to deliver an urgent plea to the city’s elite….
Their response came quickly. In the months since, Mr. Griffin and a small group of rich supporters — not just from Chicago, but also from New York City and Los Angeles, southern Florida and Texas — have poured tens of millions of dollars into the state, a concentration of political money without precedent in Illinois history.
….Their wealth has forcefully shifted the state’s balance of power. Last year, the families helped elect as governor Bruce Rauner, a Griffin friend and former private equity executive from the Chicago suburbs, who estimates his own fortune at more than $500 million. Now they are rallying behind Mr. Rauner’s agenda: to cut spending and overhaul the state’s pension system, impose term limits and weaken public employee unions…..”
This revealing article continues with charts, background interviews of the top 1%, and side articles expanding the subject of political influence by the extremely wealthy. As a movement, the super-wealthy are taking increasing interest in American politics. The reader – and any common citizen – will be alarmed at the brutality of their public policies on the American people.
The behavior of Oligarchy is clearly defined. Yes, a must read article. See: