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Studies confirm: U.S. politics dominated by the rich

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Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 01 May 2014, 15:46
Although this is probably no big news for the comrades on this forum, with the U.S. midterm elections coming up I thought this article about the nature of American politics would prove interesting. According to recent studies, the average American has very little influence over politics, while elites have immense influence and dominate the political process.

While this may seem obvious to the people on this forum, many Americans are still in the grip of partisan politics and believe they have a say in how their country is run.

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/26/the_1_p ... ins_in_14/

I think this is an interesting issue. How do comrades here feel about this? Is there any way to avoid elite domination of political institutions? What do you think of the iron law of oligarchy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy
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Soviet cogitations: 14448
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 01 May 2014, 21:04
That law is simply overturned through purges.

As to the article: while it is not news to anyone on this site (plutocracy in America, go figure
) it is important that thing like this are getting American press coverage. So far the best thing to come from the post Cold War period has been the utter decimation of America's image.
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Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 02 May 2014, 14:45
Dagoth Ur wrote:
So far the best thing to come from the post Cold War period has been the utter decimation of America's image.


I agree with this. It is much harder for the U.S. to hide behind the argument that they are leading the "Free World" against the evil communists, so the nature of U.S. politics has been exposed in a rather glaring way.

That being said, I still think we are a long way off from Americans doing something substantive about it. I think many people are too tired or simply too afraid of getting in trouble. I sometimes wonder if our heated arguments about things like professional sports or partisan politics are just ways to let off steam but within the realm of "safe" subjects.
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Soviet cogitations: 28
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 25 Apr 2014, 11:15
Pioneer
Post 03 May 2014, 03:06
Piccolo wrote:

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/26/the_1_p ... ins_in_14/

I think this is an interesting issue. How do comrades here feel about this? Is there any way to avoid elite domination of political institutions? What do you think of the iron law of oligarchy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy


In short, the way to avoid elite domination is: more and true democracy.

Technically, I can think of a few ways:
1- Education: Education must be free so everyone has the ability to understand and change the world she/he lives in. And elite schools (best quality schools reserved for wealthy people) should be abolished.
2- Restricted financial support for political campaigns: Everyone can contribute but there's a limit. Otherwise if I were a billionaire, I would be able to donate thousands of times the amount of money workers can contribute to my favourite candidates. Guess who my candidates would work for once they get elected!
3- Non-elitist economy: More workers' cooperatives should be encouraged. Large corporations run top-down will produce the elite class in economy no matter if those are state-owned or private.

And I think people in the left (particularly the communists) should re-think Leninism. I've found this interesting article about Leninism, in which the author argues that the left should not think of Leninism as an elitist way of organizing the revolution (workers need to be taught and lead by some enlightened intellectuals): http://www.internationalsocialist.org/pdfs/DefenseofLeninism.pdf.

I'd love to hear more thoughts from everyone on this.
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