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US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study

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posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 02:00 PM
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BrianFlanders

The authors of this historically important study are Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page


I just have one simple question. How do these distinguished scientists pay their bills? I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess they have jobs that are related to their scientific expertise.

Gee. What is a respectable scientific opinion worth?


I already posted a link to their positions/faculty pages on this thread. You must've missed it.

Gilens is a professor of politics at Princeton University, where the average salary for a professor is around $200k a year. He has also authored a few books. scholar.princeton.edu...

Page is a professor of Decision Making at Northwestern University and a faculty member of the Institute of Policy Research. The salaries for professors at Northwestern range from around 100-250k. Page has also authored numerous books.
www.polisci.northwestern.edu...

Now if you're implying that these two learned professors, both of whom are employed at respected universities, are being paid to write this paper that basically reveals the inordinate policy making power by the economic elite within the US, then I'd have to ask who do you think would be paying them? The economic elite? They'd want something like this published? That doesn't make sense, does it?




posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 02:21 PM
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MOMof3
reply to post by alldaylong
 


Yeah, but what other country had such wilderness and magnificent places for the poor to explore, hunt, track and settle.



Where settlement was encouraged by the government through such things as the Homestead Act of 1862? If you do a quick read of the wiki article, it points out that those who could actually take land allotments. There were a few requirements--1. you had to be 21 years of age or older, 2. a head of a family, and 3. must never have taken up arms against the US government. Great deal for some but also a political punishment for those who participated in the Civil War against the Union.

Before that one, they had the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 to encourage settlement of the Oregon Territory (Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Idaho). George Abernethy was sent by ship to the Oregon Territory where he was immediately place in charge of the area's mercantile business on the very day he arrived and had ties with the Hudson Bay Company. Think about that for a second. Guy goes on a costly ship ride to the Oregon territory, immediately is placed in a position of power upon arriving and starts building up things needed for trade with the Hudson Bay Company...

Another fellow involved with the settlement and development of the Oregon Territory was John McLoughlin. John McLoughlin was the chief factor in the area for the Hudson Bay Company before it began. Hudson Bay Company didn't want settlers in the area initially and McLoughlin actually went against them. Interestingly enough, he lost his land in the Donation Land Claim...to George Abernethy. LOL


One critic referred to Abernethy and his associates as a "class of mungralls [sic], neither American nor anti-American—a kind of foreign hypocritical go-between."

www.oregonencyclopedia.org...

History is written by the victors.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


Great post. See, what I missed out on not getting an education. Trying to make up for it during my retirement. Love ATS for information.

In my mind, I was referring to the first settlers. We have a family genealogy book from my mother's family that starts in 1669, "John Bounds landed in Somerset County, Maryland across Chesapeake Bay from Northumberland County, Virginia, 1669." The book goes on for 11 generations, giving brief descriptions of the family migration south. They were farmers, not tobacco plantations.

Now, my husbands family was part of the 1860's land acts and still have that land today in Washington State.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Yep, it indeed is a Plutocratic Oligarchy. No doubt about it.

Still wonder if this was peer reviewed?



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by MOMof3
 


Thanks.
I'm not trying to say that the US was entirely formed solely by these wealthy merchants but they did have an inordinate amount of influence and power even back in the day. My roots are mixed--one half was the uber wealthy mercantile class with noble lines and the other was poor Scandinavian (Sami, no less) farmers. We still have homesteads as well.

If it makes you feel better, I didn't question any of what I was taught either until just a few years ago when I had a political science professor really shatter our perceptions with reality. He forced us to read the Federalist Papers and really think about them and spotted out some buried history. It was devastating really. One of the things that I've been doing over the last few years is trying to basically dig up and out those things that are not discussed as part of our country's history. Those stories become our collective memory of who and what our nation is. It's a loyalty builder and the US certainly is not the only country that engages in these omissions to create a desired narrative. USSR did it, too.

On my more cynical and rather bitter days, I see it as being not that much different than the catapulting into perfection the founding fathers of dystopian societies as a sort of Ministry of Truth. That's depressing. Personally, I'd rather the full history, both good and bad, be taught in the public school system so that we can stop repeating history and actually learn from it.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 

That's like a big duh! Many people believe a great many things which are just not true, or only exist in there heads, even if a great majority of people believe it, even if they were willing to die for it. It in all, no way, no how, really changes certain things, there are a great many things which make America great and what it is now, very few of them is anybody actually aware of them. And when the whole ride is over, and that which actually holds the whole thing up moves on, the whole house of cards will fall faster then people can imagine, and they- the people, rich and poor alike, just may eat eachother in the streets, but only one type and class would be ready for it, the ones with the most funds.

All forms of government were set up so that the few would have more leverage over the many, it is what the whole point of it is, the magic there in is convincing people that it was about anything else. Among humans, in this dimension, it is the only thing that is possible for them, it is the road it will always travel and the end it will always reach. No matter what you make and create, it will only go so far and be as great as the material it is made of.

A house of cards will always fall, just like castles built on sand will always disappear when the tide comes in, and a government made of playdough will always be about as malleable as the material its made from, ie the people which it is made of, each and everyone of you. As above and so bellow. As the late great sage George Carlin once said, " garbage in garbage out" Everybody is merely there for there own benefits, they have all just merely and over time, and through practice over the years, thousands and thousands of years, learned to disguise that unalienable fact and truth. What it has become is one giant and highly elaborate dog a pony show, always leading to that which they like to call there unalienable rights.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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With politics, much like anything else, there's no pleasing everybody. That's common sense.

However, when there are two dominant political parties in a country, the population will be split, those for republicans and those for democrats.

Therefore, any time an election happens, close to half the population will be disappointed.

I am not a republican, nor am I a democrat. I believe both parties have good ideas, as well as both parties having bad ideas. This is why I believe it's time to do away with our current system.

I think it was Bill Gates, while speaking in the Middle East, who said you're not utilizing half your talent, so how can you expect to compete? (speaking about women working in the Middle East).



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 04:38 PM
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Welcome to capitalism.

You though all those super rich individuals are your friends.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 05:06 PM
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I just wanted to say this thread is pointless.

Is it oligarchy or democracy?

How about both and about ten thousand more words that describe it. I do not see any point to in saying country has some business with oil.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 05:56 PM
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HauntWok
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Yep, it indeed is a Plutocratic Oligarchy. No doubt about it.

Still wonder if this was peer reviewed?


If you read the OP article, it stated that the paper in question is slated to be published in the peer reviewed academic journal, Perspectives on Politics, this fall in the very first paragraph...

That particular journal is a quarterly one, which should explain the delay. Gilens previously authored a book on a similar subject matter called "Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in the US". Gilens received the 2013 Woodrow Wilson Foundation award and this book was cited as one of the top 25 outstanding academic titles by the American Political Science Association. Considering the similarity of subject matter, I imagine that this latest look will probably have a similar reception or methodology questions:

press.princeton.edu...

Interesting article from the Washington Post on the subject: www.washingtonpost.com...



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 05:59 PM
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I started to reply that at one time the US was a democracy and now we are slipping, but that would be a lie. So far democracy has always just been a concept, I don't know of any true current or past examples of it, although maybe some European countries have come close imho. I'm starting to come to terms with the "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." saying. Even when people in power do things with the real intention of helping others, someone innocent is getting screwed in the process. Whether you have a communist, capitalist, monarchistic etc government, or even true anarchy, no matter what you can guarantee it won't ever be exactly what it's supposed to be. Humans are full of beautiful ideas and ambitions, but also inherently flawed and incapable of really embodying those ideas and bringing them to fruition. And political idealism, with all it's passion and virtuous intentions, is flawed in the sense that it carries a belief that there some form of government that will actually work. I am a Libertarian, and although I believe with a true Libertarian framework(the constitution is damn close) of government, life could be as good as it gets, but I don't kid myself into thinking grave injustices will ever cease to exist. Being human comes with inevitable human error, incompetence, and selfishness that no one is above at one time or another. But the awesome flipside to that is that those of us with hope will never, ever, ever stop fighting to counterbalance the evil in this world. It's a constant battle...and I truly believe that things are getting better in the grand scheme of things, not worse. The PTB are being spotlighted like never before, and the really evil ones are no doubt genuinely scared, as they should be. In all of our known history there has never been a time like we are living in right now. There is so much doom and gloom, and yes there is without a doubt an "illuminati" elite with plans for world domination and mass genocide, but it's never been harder for them to carry out their evil than it is right now.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


America was NEVER a democracy and always has been an oligarchy and plutocracy, or put simply a Plutocratic Oligarchy. We call it the 1 percent where the billionaires hire puppet politicians to run the country. And also hire philosophers and academics to deceive the people in educational institutions that they live in a democracy.

Here's how it goes:

In the political landscape of America, the wealthy plutocrats have a political game or charade, called the elections, where the mainstream politicians pretend to be independent candidates with an independent mind. Nothing is further from reality. The US presidential candidates are always handpicked by the wealthy plutocrats that choose them, usually at the yearly conference known as the Bilderbergers. This invitation-only conference, the Bilderbergers, is an annual secretive get-together at luxury hotels and resorts throughout the globe, of the most powerful politicians, as well as business and media magnets in the world. In the back rooms of these conferences, or at another luxury resort somewhere, the masters of the mainstream leaders, the plutocrats, guided by the multi-billionares, decide the fate of the world and where to place each mainstream politician in the external political world’s governing hierarchy. What is decided at events like the Bilderbergers rarely becomes known to the general public, as even the nosy mainstream media outlets won’t dare announce when the meetings are taking place, let alone what goes on inside the clandestine conference of the world’s most powerful. In the brandy and cigar-filled back rooms, the elite members of this pernicious oligarchy, choose the next political leaders of the world to play the election game-–it is a pure show for the gullible and ignorant public who are under the mistaken impression that these elections are legitimate. They are legitimate as far as any game, or charade goes. In the case of the American election for instance, the behind-the-scenes masters always give the chosen two candidates leeway to cheat as they see fit, lie as much as they can get away with, and within the tight parameters of what they allow--these elections have an appearance of legitimacy. Depending on what the plutocracy wants accomplished at any given four-year election cycle, will determine the winner, whether it be the bad cop conservative republican, or good cop democrat. International affairs are also dealt with at the Bilderbergers conferences and here is where the work of the elite think tanks like the American Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs bears fruit. The plutocratic cliques from America and all the foreign elite groups completely rule these think tanks, and at the Bilderbergers conference they combine to decide who will do what, who will rule what, and what the chosen leaders will do while they are in office.

Here they pat their puppets on the head and say
" Good job boy, keep up the good work"



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 07:56 PM
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qwerty12345
It's supposed to be a Republic not a democracy to begin with.


To further emphasize my declaration, A 'republic' is people representing you. You. Your ideas. What everyone around the country agrees with they should abide by that. It's that simple.



posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 10:54 PM
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qwerty12345
It's that simple.

That's actually oversimplified.

What you describe is also called "representative democracy".

That is also simple.



posted on Apr, 17 2014 @ 07:20 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Nice work. Interesting divergent interpretations and opinions, as always. Chomsky uses the term, "polyarchy" to describe a nation and political system established and run the by the cohesive elite, while the public remains fragmented. For me that sums it up quite plainly.



posted on Apr, 17 2014 @ 08:37 PM
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US is a oligarchy. All of authoritarian government falls under oligarchy: Communism, Fascism, Marxism, Putocracy, Monarchy. The all have one thing in common, they are ruled by a group of people.



posted on Apr, 18 2014 @ 07:41 AM
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I was in the classrooms in the 50's and 60's. The teachers and preachers of that time all made us kids feel patriotic how we were a democracy and how we need to spread that across the globe. So, they lied by giving us a War Cry to rally around. I see it now. Sent my husband and brothers to Viet Nam with that War Cry.



posted on Apr, 18 2014 @ 09:12 PM
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originally posted by: MOMof3
I was in the classrooms in the 50's and 60's. The teachers and preachers of that time all made us kids feel patriotic how we were a democracy and how we need to spread that across the globe. So, they lied by giving us a War Cry to rally around. I see it now. Sent my husband and brothers to Viet Nam with that War Cry.



I can relate to that. Patriotic fervor is a strong emotion that cloaks the most insidious social manipulations. Pearl Harbor and 911 can be correlated on two counts. In both cases, brutal assaults against America, inspiring the righteous indignation of national loyalty. And in both cases the US government had advance knowledge, but wisely chose not to intervene - for the sake of its strategic designs.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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Some questions come to mind for the defenders of our Oligarchy


How do those that support the constitution wherein we are supposed to be a representative republic for all people of this country reconcile the ability of corporations and banks to infringe on others rights to be heard when money= freedom of speech?


Why do some people think that those in the pursuit of wealth and power no matter the cost make good candidates for government positions, by giving them access to other people’s money?


Also, since the majority of American's are not being Represented based upon this data....

I recall something about a Revolution and No Taxation without Representation happening near the founding of this country.

This should be a pretty big deal for all American's in what is supposed to be a Representative Constitutional Republic.



posted on Apr, 19 2014 @ 03:56 PM
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originally posted by: jacobe001
Some questions come to mind for the defenders of our Oligarchy


How do those that support the constitution wherein we are supposed to be a representative republic for all people of this country reconcile the ability of corporations and banks to infringe on others rights to be heard when money= freedom of speech?


Why do some people think that those in the pursuit of wealth and power no matter the cost make good candidates for government positions, by giving them access to other people’s money?


Also, since the majority of American's are not being Represented based upon this data....

I recall something about a Revolution and No Taxation without Representation happening near the founding of this country.

This should be a pretty big deal for all American's in what is supposed to be a Representative Constitutional Republic.



Are you asking if it IS an oligarchy or WHY it is?



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