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Oligarchy and Fascism - Lesson from Ancient Greece

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posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 05:38 PM
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The title is paraphrased from the title of a Podcast by Thom Hartmann called "Oligarchy - Lessons from Ancient Greece"

(I don't know how best to 'link' to the episode as they 'fall' off the website after six days)

www.thomhartmann.com...

or (after six days I hope)

art19.com...

I will paraphrase the beginning of Thom's exposition of the subject: (starting at 2 minutes)


… Oligarchy and Fasicism are two words used to describe the same thing. Fascism is a modern form of oligarchy. In fact, the word was theoretically invented by Musolini in the 1930s… But the idea of Fascism is basically the merger of corporate and state interests.


The segment is the first 10 minutes of the episode.

Thom cites many outside sources during his monologue - and they are listed on his website (as are most of his sources for every show) in his show notes: The notes and links start a bit down the page - in other words scroll down and you will see them listed by hour on the left.

www.thomhartmann.com...

An Editoral at The Guardian by Ganesh Sitaraman is quite informative about the subject:

Direct Link (it's in Thom's Show Notes):

www.theguardian.com...


While the ruling class must remain united for an oligarchy to remain in power, the people must also be divided so they cannot overthrow their oppressors.

Oligarchs in ancient Greece thus used a combination of coercion and co-optation to keep democracy at bay. They gave rewards to informants and found pliable citizens to take positions in the government.

These collaborators legitimized the regime and gave oligarchs beachheads into the people.

In addition, oligarchs controlled public spaces and livelihoods to prevent the people from organizing.

They would expel people from town squares: a diffuse population in the countryside would be unable to protest and overthrow government as effectively as a concentrated group in the city.

They also tried to keep ordinary people dependent on individual oligarchs for their economic survival, similar to how mob bosses in the movies have paternalistic relationships in their neighborhoods.

Reading Simonton’s account, it is hard not to think about how the fragmentation of our media platforms is a modern instantiation of dividing the public sphere, or how employees and workers are sometimes chilled from speaking out.



Sounds frighteningly famalier doesn't it? Ancient Greece - hummm.

This article has a lot of history, theory and analysis in it and is worth the effort of reading completely and carefully.

He takes, as his conclusion in part, from another cited author:


He argues that democracy defeated oligarchy in ancient Greece because of “oligarchic breakdown”. Oligarchic institutions are subject to rot and collapse, as are any other kind of institution. As the oligarchs’ solidarity and practices start to break down, there is an opportunity for democracy to bring government back to the people.

In that moment, the people might unite for long enough that their protests lead to power. With all the upheaval in today’s politics, it’s hard not to think that this moment is one in which the future of the political system might be more up for grabs than it has been in generations.


There are more references to check out from this podcast including a speech by Harry Truman and the classic 1944 article by Vice President Henry A Wallace called "The Danger of American Fascism" that everyone should read.

Interesting he includes a quote brought up by a caller:

"The hardest thing to see is what is in front of you eyes: by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

There is much more covered in the Podcast (which on the public website is a condensed version of his three hour radio show) that is of interest - he covers climate and the stiuation in Catalonia.

This isn't really written for discussion, though I will be happy to talk about it, but for your consideration and own thought.

I found it very informative. I try to listen whenever I can because I know Thom does his homework, never asks any one to 'just believe' him and is always learning. We can learn a lot from him.


edit on 20-10-2017 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Fascists considered themselves Socialists. Nazis were national socialists, too.

Extreme control of everyone, subject to the wealthiest people at the top.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 05:55 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: FyreByrd

Fascists considered themselves Socialists. Nazis were national socialists, too.

Extreme control of everyone, subject to the wealthiest people at the top.



I would say, after having listened to the podcast segment and reading the references !!!!, that it is socialism only for the elite and rich, the in crowd.

I did forget to post definitions and will do so now:

Oligarchy: www.britannica.com...




Oligarchy, government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes.

Aristotle used the term oligarchia to designate the rule of the few when it was exercised not by the best but by bad men unjustly. I

n this sense, oligarchy is a debased form of aristocracy, which denotes government by the few in which power is vested in the best individuals.

Most classic oligarchies have resulted when governing elites were recruited exclusively from a ruling caste— a hereditary social grouping that is set apart from the rest of society by religion, kinship, economic status, prestige, or even language. Such elites tend to exercise power in the interests of their own class.



Fascism: www.britannica.com...




Fascism, political ideology and mass movement that dominated many parts of central, southern, and eastern Europe between 1919 and 1945 and that also had adherents in western Europe, the United States, South Africa, Japan, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Europe’s first fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, took the name of his party from the Latin word fasces, which referred to a bundle of elm or birch rods (usually containing an ax) used as a symbol of penal authority in ancient Rome.

Although fascist parties and movements differed significantly from each other, they had many characteristics in common, including extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a Volksgemeinschaft (German: “people’s community”), in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation.



edit on 20-10-2017 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd


But the idea of Fascism is basically the merger of corporate and state interests.


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that boat sailed a long long time ago.




posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd


I would say, after having listened to the podcast segment and reading the references !!!!, that it is socialism only for the elite and rich, the in crowd.

Cities are social engineering on a grand scale. They are all run the same the world over. Public roads, public sidewalks, Public transit, Public schools , Public Television, police, fire, mail delivery, welfare, healthcare, rent, utilities, taxes...

whats left? Everything is socialized, nationalized, serfdom, peasants all. Except like you said, the rich.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:11 PM
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After the Russian Revolution, the major industrialist of Europe and the United States were greatly concerned that the what was believed to be a socialist revolution in Russia by the industrialized workers in Germany might spur them to social revolution in Germany as well. To halt this threat to capitalist Europe, they poured money into Hitler's fascist regime. It was called the National Socialist Party simply to get the workers to sign up with them rather than organize and revolt themselves. The classic misdirection. Nazi Germany was no where near socialist, they just took that name as a cover. To this day people believe that socialism is a top down philosophy rather than a worker controlled society.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:11 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: FyreByrd


I would say, after having listened to the podcast segment and reading the references !!!!, that it is socialism only for the elite and rich, the in crowd.

Cities are social engineering on a grand scale. They are all run the same the world over. Public roads, public sidewalks, Public transit, Public schools , Public Television, police, fire, mail delivery, welfare, healthcare, rent, utilities, taxes...

whats left? Everything is socialized, nationalized, serfdom, peasants all. Except like you said, the rich.








The only way to break the bonds is to educate the peasants, as we can see though they have that covered, the peasants aren't interested in education they are interested in team sports, the left right paradigm is a winner.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

Why do you think there is such a push now by those same powerful corporate rules to limit the states control over corporate affairs???

Because Government power is the only real limitation to Private Industry. The Government must still play a role in control of the populace, but they must be limited in their power over private business. This allows for corporate power to then command power over Government thereby indirectly controlling the people as well.

The calls for deregulation of business, completely free trade, laissez faire capitalism, etc. In a democracy the Government is accountable to the people and works in their best interest. Clearly that has been broken down over the years and the interest now is bought by the largest bidder. At this rate it's only a matter of time.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:16 PM
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originally posted by: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: FyreByrd


I would say, after having listened to the podcast segment and reading the references !!!!, that it is socialism only for the elite and rich, the in crowd.

Cities are social engineering on a grand scale. They are all run the same the world over. Public roads, public sidewalks, Public transit, Public schools , Public Television, police, fire, mail delivery, welfare, healthcare, rent, utilities, taxes...

whats left? Everything is socialized, nationalized, serfdom, peasants all. Except like you said, the rich.



The only way to break the bonds is to educate the peasants, as we can see though they have that covered, the peasants aren't interested in education they are interested in team sports, the left right paradigm is a winner.

What we got is de education 'system' in those very same Nationalized, Public Schools.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Public sidewalks, Police, Fire, Education, etc. are good things though. We all benefit from those things. Rent on the other hand isn't public and shouldn't be in there. Rent is Private. Why would you be against Public Utilities and other Public Services and Projects??? Those are the provided for the common good of everyone and form the stable structures from which society becomes possible.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:26 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
a reply to: CranialSponge

Why do you think there is such a push now by those same powerful corporate rules to limit the states control over corporate affairs???

Because Government power is the only real limitation to Private Industry. The Government must still play a role in control of the populace, but they must be limited in their power over private business. This allows for corporate power to then command power over Government thereby indirectly controlling the people as well.

The calls for deregulation of business, completely free trade, laissez faire capitalism, etc. In a democracy the Government is accountable to the people and works in their best interest. Clearly that has been broken down over the years and the interest now is bought by the largest bidder. At this rate it's only a matter of time.



Yup.

You know all those sci-fi movies we've watched over the years showing corporations running everything, including civilians day to day lives ?

Yeah....

They've almost completely come true. I give it maybe another 20 years and they will be completely true.




posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:33 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
a reply to: intrptr

Public sidewalks, Police, Fire, Education, etc. are good things though. We all benefit from those things. Rent on the other hand isn't public and shouldn't be in there. Rent is Private. Why would you be against Public Utilities and other Public Services and Projects??? Those are the provided for the common good of everyone and form the stable structures from which society becomes possible.


Public utilities are also less expensive to the end user as profits are plowed back into the system not extracted for private share holders. In a sense the public is the shareholder of a public utility.

Same principle applies with public banking:

See Ellen Brown at www.webofdebt.com...

Here is a short article and video by her on Public Banking:

ellenbrown.com...



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:36 PM
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I truly wish that everyone would take ten minutes and listen to the material presented.

The second link in the OP - art19.com...
works well.

The relevant portion is between 2 and 10 minutes in.

Thank you.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

If the majority of people wind up working at retailers like walmart, I don't see what good a public education does, especially when most Americans are idiots.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I'm listening to it now. For those who know Thom Hartman will know what an informative guy he actually is. He's pretty well known too. I'm surprised he's not more popular than he is actually. Because he's very intelligent and always open to discussion and debate on topics with anyone.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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originally posted by: BELIEVERpriest
a reply to: mOjOm

If the majority of people wind up working at retailers like walmart, I don't see what good a public education does, especially when most Americans are idiots.


Well we also run our Public Education like sh*t and allow all kinds of private interests to direct our education. It's not like we invest a whole lot into our public education system either. I mean if we actually gave a damn about about educating our people that could change very quickly. But there are a whole host of reasons why our public education system is being starved in both funding and resources and good educators.

Look what we pay teachers for example. Mostly it's because Private Interests direct their attention to their own private interests. They do everything they can to only direct their own wealth to their own interests and hate it when it goes to the public good. It's a completely different ideology in fact. Many of them don't see or care about the public good because they simply take it for granted and choose to only support their own interests. They don't see the flaw in their thinking that it's the whole society in working order which also allows them to thrive. They believe they are an island all on their own.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 07:44 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

That's kinda my point. There are people who want to be educated, and people who don't. What we have is what happens when gov't controls education. Its not an issue of funding. Public education is a financial black hole.

Education should be occupational. Let the workers work, and the thinkers think. If you privatize education, the vocational sector will seek those with best vocational potential, and the higher levels will seek those with higher drive and potential.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 07:53 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

You still have private education though for those same vocational types of education. But Public Education is about the fundamental levels of learning we have in place. K-12 as a start. These provide basic education up to a standard that is needed for people to get by in today's world.

Nobody says you have to continue on past that. You can stop there and do what you'd like if you choose. After all, there's nothing wrong with being a retailer, working at walmart, fast food, digging ditches, etc. All those positions need to be filled as well. Not everyone can or should be an anthropologist or doctor. That wouldn't work either. But those options should be there for those who want them and qualify for them.

But even then, the desire to educate yourself more, even with potential and effort still requires a butt load of money that you may not have. Private education can work in some places, like vocational training, but not everywhere because some types of education gives back in areas where private interests may not see direct financial gains. Private interests have their interests in mind which is typically in line with them making more money. They have no interest in funding other areas even though they may be extremely important for other reasons.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

I think all education should be based on sponsorship. If you apply and show fitting potential firms looking for employees in a field would see it as an investment.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 08:07 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

You'd still be left with a majority of society having little or not formal education at all. Idiots everywhere just being idiots.

You'd also only ever have people educated in specific areas geared toward the interests of those willing and capable of paying for them. You know how many things would be left out because of that??

Not to mention what happens when those interests only lead to stuff like war or financial gain for those specific interests??? What kind of world would we have as a result???




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