Oligarchs vs. Plutocrats
Posted on March 7, 2011 by Lou
Caught up in the enthusiasm, I’ve been using some of these terms myself without fully knowing what they mean.
So I looked them up:
“Oligarchy” is when the government is controlled by a small group; “plutocracy” is when the government is controlled by the wealthy.
Am I right to assume that all plutocrats are oligarchs but not all oligarchs are plutocrats?
I wonder whether these terms will catch on with the public. Or are we just talking to ourselves?
The expression that I’ve taken to lately is “this is what democracy looks like,” chanted, of course, by Madison protesters. Americans have no trouble understanding what that means.
I’m also delighted with the re-entry of “collective bargaining rights” into the public discussion. As Americans, we love our rights and will fight to keep them.
Next we’ll have to get some positive spin on the words “labor movement.” There may be some workers willing to join a union who wouldn’t want to be part of a movement. (I’m not sure what we should do about “organized labor.”)
But now I’m getting trivial.
The main thing is that it’s been quite a while since Americans have paid this much attention to unions. And the good news, I think, is that unions have learned a lot about how to pay attention to Americans.