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Tue May 15, 2018, 08:16 PM

Was the term "oligarchy" a common term in our political discourse prior to 2016?

If not, how and why did it become so ubiquitous?

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Reply Was the term "oligarchy" a common term in our political discourse prior to 2016? (Original post)
EffieBlack May 2018 OP
Arkansas Granny May 2018 #1
rzemanfl May 2018 #2
TheRealNorth May 2018 #3
Docreed2003 May 2018 #4
EffieBlack May 2018 #6
Docreed2003 May 2018 #8
EffieBlack May 2018 #17
appalachiablue May 2018 #5
EffieBlack May 2018 #7
Hekate May 2018 #9
Solly Mack May 2018 #10
Lucky Luciano May 2018 #11
appalachiablue May 2018 #12
BootinUp May 2018 #13
comradebillyboy May 2018 #14
oberliner May 2018 #15
triron May 2018 #16
Blue_true May 2018 #18
kwassa May 2018 #19
appalachiablue May 2018 #20

Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:21 PM

1. A word I'd never heard before the Trump regime is emolument.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:23 PM

2. Maybe in graduate schools. Elsewhere, not so much IMO. n/t

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:26 PM

3. Oligarchy

I think Nader was throwing around the term in 2000 (maybe M. Moore before that), but I think with further economic consolidation of the past 20 years, it's existence has become more apparent. Hell, they star in in their own reality TV shows now.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:27 PM

4. "Oligarchs" was a pretty common slanderous phrase

During the 2015/16 primary...hadn't seen it used much prior to that time, although I knew the word.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #4)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:44 PM

6. I was familiar with the word before then, but it did not seem to be commonly used until the 2016

campaign - including 2015-primaries.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #6)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:01 PM

8. Agreed

Search me here on DU....I used that term myself in arguments in my "valiant fight for democracy in the name of Bernie"...

I regret that now, much more than you could know. Not because I failed to vote for or support Hilary in the general, I certainly did support her...my regret lies in two things: first, that vitriolic nonsense completely ignored the fact that behind the scenes there were very real oligarchs attempting to control our world and all of my and others attacks/critiques whatever you want to call them, were completely misplaced and perhaps encouraged people to turn away from Hillary that might otherwise have voted for her. I did that, and I own that, shamefully; second, I've learned some things about Bernie that I was too blind and too dumb to see or hear in 2015...but I know them now. I'd be happy to elaborate offline.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #8)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:35 PM

17. That's really an honest self-reflection

I wish there were more of that around here - and I include myself in that.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:42 PM

5. This Atlantic article from 2011 might be useful. The author is a

Canadian journalist and politician. The terms plutocrats and oligarchs have been regularly used to characterize the wealth inequality that's been escalating rapidly in the last years 20+ years and creating a global, small and extremely wealthy class.

Oligarchs, plutocrats is an old term that also describes the earlier US 19th c. Robber Baron/Gilded Age and early 20th c. Roaring 20s/great Gatsby era.

The terms also applied to the British upper class, power structures in South America, and many other places at different times.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/308343/

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #5)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:45 PM

7. Yes, I'm familiar with the word and certainly heard it before 2016. But it was not in common usage

in our political discourse before then.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:12 PM

9. Jimmy Carter called it just a few years ago, quite bluntly. I credit him for saying it out loud. nt

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:15 PM

10. I used it well before 2016 but can't speak to how widespread its use is now.

I heard it used as well. (prior to 2016)

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:17 PM

11. I would imagine that Occupy Wall Street could have caused an uptick in usage.

Then the election probably amplified it a lot - especially with the bots.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:19 PM

12. It was around in 2011 & 2012 when Chris Hayes of MSNBC published

Last edited Wed May 16, 2018, 07:24 AM - Edit history (1)

the book, "Twilight of the Elites". Chris refers to the terms and system in his book, and he talked about it.

The term 'oligarchy' has been widely used and all over in the last 5-10 years. French economist Thomas Piketty's massive influential 2013 work, "Capital in the 21st Century," covers the rise of great inequality. You likely saw news of this major publication.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/28/thomas-piketty-capital-surprise-bestseller

Also, from 2014, Paul Krugman "Why We're in a New Gilded Age," 'Capital in the 21st Century,' Thomas Piketty
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/05/08/thomas-piketty-new-gilded-age/

Like so many things, we're impacted by the news we follow, where we live, our life, background, networks and more.

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/13/13259860/twilight-elites-trump-meritocracy

Excerpt, 'Twilight of the Elites' (2012) Chris Hayes,
Hayes acknowledges that meritocracy has advantages over the system of special privilege for white Protestants that it replaced. However, he says that it is unsustainable in the long run. Riffing on Michels’s "iron law of oligarchy," which holds that all democratic institutions will end up being run by an internal elite, Hayes proposes what he calls the iron law of meritocracy. He argues that the equality of opportunity that meritocracy promises will inevitably be overwhelmed by inequality of outcome. The people who do well from meritocracy will invest the proceeds from their success in working the system to make sure that they and their kids have the resources they need to continue to do well.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:20 PM

13. Not like now. Nt

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:29 PM

14. Only in the context of the Roman Republic...

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:31 PM

15. Yes

 

Bernie Sanders: No To Oligarchy

https://www.thenation.com/article/no-oligarchy/

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:32 PM

16. Not that I recall.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:47 PM

18. It is a pretty archaic word that was used in intellectual circles mostly.

The way that it has been used for the last couple of years make me feel that it has become a lazy catchall word for a range of people, a tiny few of whom are decent people.

People love to talk about what they will do if they got a lot of money. Many claim that they will give it away, but once they get to that point, they will see that giving isn't as easy as it sounds, it takes work and focus to find groups and organizations that are using the money that they get to heavily serve the people that they raise funds for. I wish the some of the great barons of earlier times had given away more money when they were alive, but when they did give it away, the money was doled out through a long lasting foundation and over time did some important things for society.

I am not trying to defend rich people, the majority are narcissistic bastards that seem to have no greater calling than to accumulate. But anyone claiming that they won't fall into that same trap are fooling themselves, they won't know until they are there, at that point the true measure of what they are as people relative to money shows up.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:56 PM

19. Most governments in the world are oligarchies. The new word to me is ....

kakistocracy.

A kakistocracy (/ˌkækɪsˈtɒkrəsi, -ˈstɒk-/) is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.[1][2] The word was coined as early as the seventeenth century.[3] It also was used by English author Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, but gained significant use in the first decades of the twenty-first century to critizise populist governments emerging in different democracies around the world.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #19)

Wed May 16, 2018, 12:44 AM

20. Agree with both of your sentences.

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