Why Democracies Evolve Into Oligarchies

Why Democracies Evolve Into Oligarchies. By Thorsten Polleit.

History shows that emergencies and crises strengthen the power of the state; and also that it is very difficult to ever take power away from the state once it has seized it. And the more powerful the state becomes, the more it will be used by resourceful special interest groups — such as the military-industrial complex, Big Banking, Big Tech — as the economic theory of so-called rent seeking would explain to us.

This development is accelerated in democracies, because democracies develop into oligarchies, as the sociologist Robert Michels (1876–1936) argues. Why is that?

In representative democracies, political parties are formed. These parties are organizations run by the most determined, power-hungry people. They become the “oligarchic party elite” and are in a position to set their own agendas, regardless of the will of the party base or party voters.

Various oligarchic party elite groups begin to work together, paving the way toward an “oligarchic democracy,” in which the powerful few rule over the many powerless. In other words: Michels argues that the idea of democracy is turned on its head. In fact, in an oligarchic democracy, it becomes possible for the political and corporate “elites” to effectively run the show, enforcing their favored political, economic, and social concept with joint forces.

Against this backdrop, the buzzwords “Great Transformation,” “Great Reset,” and “new world order” seem to be the brainchildren of today’s political and corporate elites, meant to replace what little is left of the free market system and install a so-called command economic system: While the institution of property is maintained in name, it is the central authority, the power elite, that determines what the owners of property may or may not do with their property.

Competition and the power of the market keep most people’s wages in check, particularly the deplorables. But those paid by the methods of politics (and that includes bureaucrats and most academics) are paid what that class think they are worth. As government influence grows, the free market shrinks.