Democracy, the rule of the people, has become an empty word. Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, better describes the predominant political system. What is to be done?
Liberty, equality, fraternity... where?
Wealth, safety, progress... for whom?
In theory, elections and markets are free. However, in practice they are dominated by financial elites managing the destiny of immense concentrations of money. Without being popular or productive, plutocrats rule top-down politics while controlling top-down capital on a global scale.
- Apply economic transparency to your activities. Require it from anybody willing your vote, or governing in your name.
- Identify the plutocrats that you are supporting with your capital. Don't work for them. Don't buy from them. Don't borrow their money. Don't entrust your resources to them.
- support bottom-up organizations instead: volunteers, cooperatives, and other businesses run by producers directly. Become part of them.
- If your efforts on transparency and boycotts are hampered, identify the problems and support projects working on solutions.
Democratic states are governed by political elites that owe their status to financial elites. Plutocrats invest in politicians needing their support for winning elections and keeping their seats. The rulers of public administrations pay plutocrats back with influence, profitable business, and favorable regulations.
This corruption is endemic to any system based on top-down organizations competing to govern. If we delegate the power to a few candidates elected, plutocrats will target them. Barriers to transparency and participation will follow, together with the use of media, judges, and police. This is the portrait of democracy today. The rule of the people requires a full reset.
On the other hand, anybody opposing efficiently plutocracy will face all the pressure money can buy. Bottom-up networks staying true to the Spiral principle have more chance to resist and evolve under such opposition.
Thieves of public wealth
Sustainable public services are converted into profitable companies. Unsustainable businesses are bailed out with public funds. Privatizing revenues and socializing losses, this is how politicians serve the plutocrats at the expense of the citizens they represent.
Through corruption and cronyism, a globalized elite holds the reins regardless of bankruptcies and elections. They control public and private finances, media and armies. Their concentration of power continues to grow.
When politicians win, plutocrats win. If politicians lose, plutocrats also win. The financial overlords are more powerful than the current political class, successor of mighty emperors and kings. Plutocracy becomes evident when no democratic state can organize a sovereign economy, even less, tame a global economy agitated by gamblers.
The evolution of capitalism
The small minority leading corporations, banks, and private lobbies has become immensely powerful by mastering elements of capitalism like concentration of capital, speculation, globalization, and political influence. The traditional capitalist system created to enable production and commerce has evolved into a financial cloud that devours everything as well as extracts income from anywhere.
The individual responsibility of plutocrats has been diluted, obfuscated, and exempted by law. While they get immensely richer, they are never accountable of losses. Their mistakes and maneuvers are paid by the society at large thanks to public resolutions approved by the politicians they have sponsored.
However, the source of the power of plutocrats is artificial and volatile. Money is trust, nothing else. Producing money with money is a very risky business, and this is exactly the business driving the global economy today. Plutocracy reigns in a house of cards. Money is the plutocrat's clothes.
Capitalism always wants to appear benevolent, natural, and eternal. However, in its current incarnation as a global plutocracy, it is cruel, unsustainable, and it will crash. Even if it keeps distracting many people from the wars, oppression and poverty it causes, it cannot trick the balance of nature.