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The American Oligarchy And The Pretense Of Democracy

923 words - 4 pages

The American Oligarchy and the Pretense of Democracy
The Aristotelian view of democracy showed democracy as a supreme state of being, promoting equality more than anything. It allowed every person to have as much say in a government as any other person, and yet still allowed individuality to reign. To follow this path of "true" democracy is to follow the path to a perfect country. Yet America, which prides itself on being a truly democratic nation, is filled with corruption and extortion, nothing like the Utopia Aristotle portrayed.
America is in the hands of a select few. A tiny fraction of the population holds any real political power, while the rest simply sit idly by. This goes against the very principle of democracy. Aristotle said of this
Any one man [of the many] may be inferior [to a man of excellence], but the city-state is made up of many men. Just as a meal done by many is better than a single and simple one, for this reason a mass (ochlos) can judge many things better than any one man. In addition, that which is many is less likely to be corrupted. So, although an individual's judgment can be corrupted when he is overcome by anger or some other emotion, it is difficult for all to become angry and make erroneous judgments simultaneously. If all the men are good men and good citizens, they are less corruptible than one man.

However, seldom is this the case with American politics. There are far fewer politicians then there are low class workers or unemployed, and yet these politicians decide upon most all of the important decisions the country is faced with. The only time the rest of the people are involved is when these politicians spew out money and promises in an attempt to gain the popularity of the public whom they are so far from.
Although the majority of the United States is low to middle class, the only people in high political positions are those who spend millions of dollars to get where they are. Equality is one of the largest foundations of democracy, and yet those who are not fabulously wealthy or who have not spent all their life attempting to establish themselves as a politician have no chance of becoming a successful one. According to Aristotle, "Justice as understood in democracy is equality, but this considers only part of what is just; the same is true of the notion of justice in oligarchy." The American system of democracy is anything but equal.
The original Bill of Rights was very clear about having one person represent many. The very first article stated
After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one...

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