By Michael Brenner
Posted October 3, 2018
The United States today qualifies as a plutocracy – on a number of grounds, and it is having a profound impact on the media, education and think tanks–indeed on the whole of society.
Plutocracy literally means rule by the rich. “Rule” can have various shades of meaning: those who exercise the authority of public office are wealthy; their wealth explains why they hold that office; they exercise that authority in the interests of the rich; they have the primary influence over who holds those offices and the actions they take.
These aspects of “plutocracy” are not exclusive. Moreover, government of the rich and for the rich need not be run directly by the rich. Also, in some exceptional circumstances rich individuals who hold powerful positions may govern in the interests of the many, for example Franklin Roosevelt. More…