Study reveals the US is not a democracy

A study by Princeton University researchers has revealed that the US political system is based on a typical oligarchy.

Study reveals the US is not a democracy

World Bulletin / News Desk

'They are jealous of our democracy,' was just one of the many phrases used by former US president George W. Bush in 2001 to push forward the plan to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in pursuit of so called Islamic 'extremists' after the September 11 attacks.

However, a new study by researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page from Princeton University shows that 'terrorists' no longer need to bother, as the US government has already dismantled democracy in their own country and replaced it with what is known to be an 'oligarchy'.

According to PolicyMic, the definition of an oligarchy is 'system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military'.

Aristotle used the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy. However, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy.

Around 1,800 different policy initiatives between 1981 and 2002 were analyzed in the report, in which for each case the average public opinion of citizens from the 50th percentile of income was compared to the preferences of Americans from the 90th percentile. The opinions of major lobbies and business groups were also considered during the study.

In times when the US government was trapped in a dilemma between the opposing opinions of the 50th percentile and the 90th percentile, or between the 50th percentile and lobbying/business groups, the government more often than not took the side of the two latters.

These findings demonstrate that "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy," Gilens and Page wrote.

This could explain why the US went ahead with the invasion and occupation of Iraq even though countless public polls showed that the American public was against it.

The economic gap between the top 1% and the remaining 99% of earners has also widened since the end of the Great Recession, according to Piketty and Saez. While the top 1% made 95% of gains, the remaining 99% saw a drop of 12%.

More and more awareness is finally being raised in the US about the true nature of its political system. The popular blockbuster trilogy The Hunger Games has brought attention to the oligarchic system by putting forward the example of Panem, a fictional nation controlled by its Capitol ruled by a group of High Lords.

Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2014, 15:57
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