Life at № 42
“To understand that, we can turn to an instant classic from a few years ago, Jeffrey Winters’ Oligarchy. Winters argues that the key to oligarchy is that a set of elites have enough material resources to spend on securing their status and interests. He calls this “wealth defense,” and divides it into two categories. “Property defense” involves protecting existing property – in the old days, this meant building castles and walls, today it involves the rule of law. “Income defense” is about protecting earnings; these days, that means advocating for low taxes.
The challenge in seeing how oligarchy works, Winters says, is that we don’t normally think about the realms of politics and economics as fused together. At its core, oligarchy involves concentrating economic power and using it for political purposes. Democracy is vulnerable to oligarchy because democrats focus so much on guaranteeing political equality that they overlook the indirect threat that emerges from economic inequality.”
A very interesting article citing a couple of, what seem to be, fascinating books. A few days ago I gave myself the task of exploring the concept of contentment – yes, Hariod, your contentment. More so, if the essence of that means acceptance. And more frighteningly, to what degree? Does true contentment mean we stop fighting? Stop trying to swim against the current? Is that the secret? Is that what terminates angst? Should we stop reading The Guardian? Buy stocks in companies that produce terribly flammable cladding? Just go with the flow?