In this post I’m not going to use political euphemisms. I am going to name people or groups of people according to their function rather than what the name implies. My goal is not to join any particular group as much as it is to remain independent and unaffected by this game.
There are four groups of people in a democracy: The political class, the underclass, the middle class, and the upper class.
(There’s also a military class, unless you live in a really unstable country, this class is mostly dormant.)
Here’s how it works.
Due to the democratic nature of the world (people can vote or take up arms) it is in the best interest of the politicians to transfer money from the middle class to the underclass to such an extent that the underclass has no interest/incentives in leaving (on average) due to the gap between being government-supported and self-supported. This keeps the political class in power.
[This interest can either be rationalized self-interest or it can simply be tradition. For instance, a few people possess sufficient agency and volition to change their class. Most people just do what everybody else does: The middle class get good grades, go to college, get a degree and a career, etc. The underclass get poor grades, get a sequence of jobs interspersed with government assistance, etc. The upper class get networked into their positions of power through the old-boys and expensive-school networks. And so on.]
On a side note, the upper class has a similar arrangement of wealth transfer from the middle class; here in terms of government projects (bridges, fighter planes, TARP, etc.). Government money never goes to middle class (except the stimulus change a couple of years ago). Instead it goes to projects that the middle class can not directly participate in due to lack of organization. (The upper class is organized in corporations.)
What does the middle class get out of this? One word: stability! Yet they pay a huge sum for it, and lately it’s been questionable just how much stability they really got.
You find this in all democracies, but it is typically masked by superficial ideological arguments of party A against party B or country A’s methods are better than country B. The confrontational view is easier to understand and easier to get excited about come election time.
However, if you go with the ecosystem understanding or the four-kingdom understanding, it is a lot easier to see the context of how everything works and how political parties and countries are more similar than they’re different.
By the way I want to thank those of you who have started posting the articles you like to Google Buzz and others by clicking on the buttons/links below. Doing so provides valuable feedback in lieu of coming up with a comment