Those who live under oligarchies are not citizens

Those who live under oligarchies are not citizens. By Angelo Codevilla.

What is the Biden Administration doing when it swears disinterest in “vaccine passports” to regulate ordinary people’s access to travel, careers, etc. but works with airlines, theaters, big retailers, and universities to help them impose such passports? Is the government—in practice, the political party that controls the government—fronting for corporations, or do the corporations front for the Party? …

Understanding what is happening in America begins with dismissing such silly questions. Focus, instead, on the fact that those who rule us in all these matters are essentially the same people. They are interchangeable, with near-identical interests, loves, hates, and tastes. Often, they are friends and colleagues, and are united about coercing whomever is not on their own sociopolitical side.



In 21st century America, this oligarchy erased the distinction between public and private powers, and replaced it with the distinction between those who are and are not part of the ruling class. The privatization of public power is oligarchy’s essence.

Because government is by the ruling class few, and is for that class’s interest, the oligarchs can wield the coercive powers of government without legal limits, as if they were dealing with their own private affairs.

Those who live under oligarchies are not citizens — because oligarchy validates itself, decides for itself, within itself, and because it is committed above all to negating the people’s capacity to rule itself.

Many conservatives still haven’t caught up to the new reality:

Americans struggle to understand what is happening because we still regard ourselves as citizens, and imagine that those who run our republican institutions still respect them to some extent.

We see persons whom the ruling class favors committing crimes with impunity, and complain of “a two-tiered justice system.” But this is not mere corruption.

We see corporations wielding government powers and complain that power is being franchised to favorites. But these are not mere favorites of the regime.

This is the new regime being itself. Such things are not deviations from republican legality. They are the assertion of oligarchic reality. This is oligarchic justice, oligarchic normality. The republic was yesterday. The oligarchy is today.