A Subjugation…If You Can Keep It

The Kakistocracy is formally recognized: The people are nothing. Spare a moment to consider the article that follows. For it is why you find yourself on this website. The realization that we, as nominally “free” men, wield absolutely zero influence over the direction and affairs of our state, that it is in fact The State that is free and we who serve its interests, is not a gratifying notion to digest. No more palatable, I imagine for ingenues, is the realization that tribal conflict is an immortal feature of man. And one no lessened by importing antagonists into closest proximity.

And while the proclamation of popular impotence strikes me as obvious, I’m sure many in the mainstream will find them quite bracing. Good.

A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.

This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government.

The new study, with the jaw-clenching title of “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” is forthcoming in the fall 2014 edition of Perspectives on Politics. Its authors, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, examined survey data on 1,779 national policy issues for which they could gauge the preferences of average citizens, economic elites, mass-based interest groups and business-dominated interest groups. They used statistical methods to determine the influence of each of these four groups on policy outcomes, including both policies that are adopted and rejected.

The analysts found that when controlling for the power of economic elites and organized interest groups, the influence of ordinary Americans registers at a “non-significant, near-zero level.” The analysts further discovered that rich individuals and business-dominated interest groups dominate the policymaking process. The mass-based interest groups had minimal influence compared to the business-based interest groups.

The study also debunks the notion that the policy preferences of business and the rich reflect the views of common citizens. They found to the contrary that such preferences often sharply diverge and when they do, the economic elites and business interests almost always win and the ordinary Americans lose.

[I’ve often thought the same]

The authors also say that given limitations to tapping into the full power elite in America and their policy preferences;the real world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater than their findings indicate.

Ultimately, Gilens and Page conclude from their work, “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.”

Rich individuals and business interests have the capacity to hire the lobbyists that shadow legislators in Washington and to fill the campaign coffers of political candidates. Ordinary citizens are themselves partly to blame, however, because they do not choose to vote.

There is the obvious temptation among eyes to roll at the notion that we can exert influence by voting for one of the two vetted and pre-processed candidates the dems and repubs ritualistically offer on display. Though it must be granted, we have had opportunities–and squander them always. As examples, several hawks against the human wave have sought higher office; few have won. Democrats, in the northeast particularly, don’t accept immigration traitors–they demand them. McConnell, McCain, and Graham: all republicans who hold their constituents in lower regard than animal excrement on the soles of their shoes. And all righteously punished with easy reelection.

And so the predictable results are stated above. Those who have respect for themselves and require it of others see ears bent to tongue. And those who demand to be treated with contempt…live forever free of disappointment.

10 thoughts on “A Subjugation…If You Can Keep It

  1. Part of the problem is the attitude most middle-class suburbanites have to ‘authority figures’ in politics, church or business. They treat them as almost demi-gods and not as the scum they really are. ‘We’ also comply with all the rules and regulations with which they attempt to tie us hand and feet. Many of these rules can simply be ignored.

  2. The article is misleading in one respect: center right populism has had a discernible effect (though not enough to overthrow the system). First with Perot voters in the early 90s, then with the Tea Party today, there has been some non-insignificant impact. What I think the Hill writer really laments is that progressive have had utterly no impact on anything. But this is because they are really cheap dates.

    • Those are fair counterpoints.

      I was too tired to write it, but had in mind a follow-up about a certain group with negligible economic clout, though still wielding enormous influence on policy makers.

      • One other note on the Tea Party and Perot. Both created some light and noise, with the former getting some people elected and acting as a general thorn to the republicans, I’m momentarily at a loss to identify actual policy they have been able to put to ground.

        And I think this failure is a large component of the thesis. In sum, populist movements make news, while the rich make policy.

  3. Perhaps, but people are still going to vote.
    The last presidential elections saw a fair percentage of American voters 40% or so. Next US presidential elections will be similar (Cruz, Bloomberg, Nindjal, Christie….Hillary?)
    So while this article is totally true, “it doesn’t matter for who you vote and who is elected, in America the only thing that matters is money”, you would expect to see 10% or less, voters, which would start to pose a problem to the American facade of democracy. But that’s not the case, there is still a big number, for example people older than 50-60, who sincerely believe that it makes a difference if the US president is a Democrat or Republican. So the ‘American democracy’ proxy is here to stay and that guaranties that no change will come from any foreseeable election.
    Just make money if you can, nothing else matters.

    • I do think it matters who you vote for, it just matters much less than mainstream partisans imagine. A democrat is almost certainly going to be an open borders fanatic. A republican possibly not.

      And beyond that, the import of money is not that it is a replacement for voters, but a lure to them. All people can be gulled and led to (greatly) varying degrees. Politicians know that if they are outspent, they are probably done. So they bend knee to wealthy patrons who can finance the lures that induce voters to proper decisions in the booth.

  4. Even the most positive political movements have nothing more than a retarding effect on what’s being done to America. The blueprint for its destruction was drafted in the 1960s, mostly. It doesn’t matter to those responsible if the project is running a few years behind schedule.

  5. It’s always been that way, hasn’t it? The difference now is that the elite’s interests have become decoupled from those of the masses; there is no longer any real overlap that lets us think we have skin in the game. And that the media is now the means to to define the bounds of acceptable thought and action, instead of religion and traditional cultural norms. As it has always been, what is promoted as important to society is what furthers the interests of the elite. Today however, that which motivates their ambition must be made unimportant to us personally. Don’t worry about your nation, your family, your progeny, here’s some free birth control, now go watch ‘America’s Got Talent’.

    It seems to be working.

  6. What’s the saying, an idea gets organized and becomes a movement, a movement becomes more organized and becomes a party and then the movement becomes the nation and the nation is the movement. 6,000 can be the nation.

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