“Oligarchs,” Not “Conservatives”
May 22, 2014
A rather simple phenomenon became clear to me just recently, viz., why our “conservatives” are not, that is, are not and cannot be “conservatives” on their own terms. These people are “oligarchs,” not “conservatives.
Why aren’t our contemporary “conservatives” actually conservatives, that is, supporters as they claim to be of “small,” less powerful, and less intrusive government? Because they are advocates of inequality. And when inequality or, rather, inequalities exist, small, less powerful, less intrusive government is just not feasible. Why not? Because inequalities, always and everywhere, whether social, economic, racial, or sexual, breed resentment and resentment breeds civil unrest, resistance, even rebellion. Hence, government, large, powerful, and intrusive government is necessary, even essential.
The evidence? Take an extreme form of inequality, slavery of any variety. Without a large, powerful, and intrusive government, slavery of any form cannot exist. The equation: More inequality = more government. More equality = less government. And there is no getting around this formula.
This helps explain why those who are labeled “liberals” support a humongous bureaucracy. They do so because they recognize that the pursuit of great wealth produces significant inequalities and their hope, utterly vain, is that the bureaucracy can ameliorate these inequalities, thereby preserving social stability. This also clarifies the “quirk” in contemporary “conservatism” whereby although “conservatives” claim they want “to get the government off the backs of the American people,” they end up supporting and even extending the reach of our pervasively powerful national government, e.g., NSA spying or the reach of the FBI. Of course, they justify this as necessary for protecting “national security” which is OK so long as it is remembered that “national security” can be undermined by internal “threats” like black power, communists, “socialists,” or labor unions.
Today’s “conservatives” – and even today’s “liberals” – are actually “oligarchs,” seeking ways to support while ameliorating the effects of inequalities, and especially economic inequality. And as oligarchs, they end up supporting large, powerful, and intrusive government. They have no choice. The best they can do is disguise their acceptance of a pervasively powerful government as necessary for “protecting national security,” or for sanitizing or cleansing society, say, of drugs or crime or both, or for defending “traditional social arrangements.” But the bottom line is: our political class is oligarchic and, hence, must support and even extend the leviathan that exists is Washington, D.C. To expect a different result, even or especially from our “conservatives,” is to delude ourselves.