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Authoritarian Oligarchies: Modern Day Feudal Rule by an Elite Few
Democracy: People Are the Power
Democracy is characterized by the rule of the people, through elected
representatives who are considered political managers, whose governing functions and
powers is to carry-out the will of the people, for the wellbeing of the people. Political
powers in democracy remain with the people.
Even when, multiple political parties are elected to represent different ethnicities in
a nation, the ultimate function and accountability of all these political parties are supposed
to be for all the people – the nation.
Authoritarian Oligarchies: An Elite Group Becomes the Power
Authoritarian oligarchies can be contrasted with democracy by the following
characteristics. Authoritarian oligarchies are representatives of a few and not an entire
nation. Even when these few are elected in a democratic environment, they become an
authoritarian oligarchy, the moment they usurp political powers from the people who
elected them. Then, they use the usurped political powers for their maximum political and
economical benefit while giving political and economical scraps to the rest of the people.
Authoritarian oligarchies eventually are accountable to no one than themselves. They would
restrict, suppress and dominate all other political parties and the people, until eventually it
becomes a one-party rule. The few, who are called the political elites, become the ultimate
political powers. Democracy effectively declines and eventually dies in such a nation.
Rise of Modern Day Feudalism `
Authoritarian Oligarchies are not something new. They are actually the modern-day
counterparts of Middle Ages Feudalism. What was middle ages feudalism? Britain Express
has this to say.
“The social structure of the Middle Ages was organized round the system of
Feudalism. Feudalism in practice meant that the nation was not governed by the king but by
individual lords, or barons, who administered their own estates, dispensed their own justice,
minted their own money, levied taxes and tolls, and demanded military service from vassals.
Usually the lords could field greater armies than the king. In theory the king was the chief
feudal lord, but in reality the individual lords were supreme in their own territory. Many
kings were little more than figurehead rulers (http://www.britainexpress.com/
History/Feudalism_and_Medieval_life.htm).”
If middle ages feudalism as described aptly by Britain Express is compared to modern
day authoritarian oligarchies, one would find very close similarities. The most important
similarity is that, the political powers lies with an elite group only. Others are political
figureheads and decorations.
Questions to Ask
Any political layman can use the following questions as a checklist to see whether
elected political managers or parties are attempting to create authoritarian oligarchies.
1. Ask, who is the ultimate political power?
If the answer is, the people, then, one’s nation is still democratic. If the answer is, an
elite few, then, one’s nation is an authoritarian oligarchy. If the answer is, unsure,
then, check to see whether there are on-going by attempts by elected leaders to
usurp political powers from the people.
2. Ask, are the elected leaders functioning as elected managers who are politically
transparent, judicious and accountable to the people – the nation?
If the answer is yes, then, one’s elected leaders are still working for the wellbeing of
their people. If the answer is no, then, the elected leaders are now considering
themselves as the owners of the nation and the political masters. If the answer is
unsure, then check to see who is drawing the maximum political and economic
benefits in the nation.
3. Ask, is there a single or multiple political parties representing all the people in the
nation?
If the answer is single, then, it is an authoritarian oligarchy. If it is multiple but has
political candidates or leaders who all come from the same ruling party, then, it is a
political facade for an authoritarian oligarchy. If the answer is multiple but is under
political suppression, restriction and regulation, then, it is still an authoritarian
oligarchy.
4. Ask, are the judgments and rulings of the nation’s judiciary fair and just and
ultimately is on the side of the people?
If the answer yes, then, there are no attempts by the elected leaders or the ruling
party to manipulate the nation’s judiciary. If the answer is no, then, the judiciary is
just a mouthpiece and rubber stamp for an authoritarian oligarchy. If the answer is,
yes, but, there is frequent turn-over, transfers or demotions of judges who are fair
and just, it is a clear-cut indication of political manipulations of the judiciary. In short,
the judiciary itself is being politically suppressed and regulated.
5. Ask, are there high levels of corruption and the enjoyment of impunity among those
involved in corruption?
If the answer is no, then, the national public resources are still available for the well
being of the people. If the answer is yes, then, the national public resources are
already abused for private profit. If the answer is, yes but with minimum or token
availability of resources for the people, then, the national public resources are in the
process of being abused. If the answer is yes, but with the creations of many white
elephant projects, then, it is an indication that the national public resources are in
the process of being abused.
6. Ask, are there frequent and high censorship of the media, restrictions on peaceful
public demonstrations, intimidations and incarcerations of political dissidents?
If the answer is yes, then, one will find themselves to be in an authoritarian oligarchy
police or military state. If the answer is no, then, one is still living in a democratic
state. If the answer is no, as long as I don’t question the ruling party, then, one is in
an environment where an authoritarian oligarchy is in the process of being subtly
established.
7. Ask, are the national politics and political activities, party-centred or people-
centred?
If the answer is party-centred, then, it is an authoritarian oligarchy state. If the
answer is people centred, then, it is a democracy.
Conclusions
The rises of authoritarian oligarchies are generally facilitated by the judiciary, police
and armed forces, who in many political circumstances become the kingmakers. Whether a
democratic nation is turned into an authoritarian oligarchy, is dependent on whose side (the
people or the elite group), the kingmakers give their support. When their support goes to
the elite group, the elite group become the powers over the people. The judiciary becomes
the mouthpiece and rubber stamp to give legal legitimacy to the elite’s power. The police
and military become the private enforces of the will of the elite on the people. In return,
the kingmakers become part of the political elite group. Together, they function as a single
authoritarian oligarchy whose powers over the people are absolute.
Authoritarian oligarchies are never formed by the entire national consensus of a
nation. They are usually formed through inheritance, coercion or usurp of democratic
powers. Once formed, they usually resist any attempts at changes or reformations that
would lead to the original political democratic state. Authoritarian oligarchies will maintain
their political dynasties at all cost, which leads to tyranny. In any authoritarian oligarchy
state, it is the political elite and their supporters that will enjoy the maximum political and
economical benefits at the suffering and expense of the majority of the people. This is why;
authoritarian oligarchies are modern day feudalism.

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Authoritarian Oligarchies: Modern Day Feudal Rule by an Elite Few

  • 1. Authoritarian Oligarchies: Modern Day Feudal Rule by an Elite Few Democracy: People Are the Power Democracy is characterized by the rule of the people, through elected representatives who are considered political managers, whose governing functions and powers is to carry-out the will of the people, for the wellbeing of the people. Political powers in democracy remain with the people. Even when, multiple political parties are elected to represent different ethnicities in a nation, the ultimate function and accountability of all these political parties are supposed to be for all the people – the nation. Authoritarian Oligarchies: An Elite Group Becomes the Power Authoritarian oligarchies can be contrasted with democracy by the following characteristics. Authoritarian oligarchies are representatives of a few and not an entire nation. Even when these few are elected in a democratic environment, they become an authoritarian oligarchy, the moment they usurp political powers from the people who elected them. Then, they use the usurped political powers for their maximum political and economical benefit while giving political and economical scraps to the rest of the people. Authoritarian oligarchies eventually are accountable to no one than themselves. They would restrict, suppress and dominate all other political parties and the people, until eventually it becomes a one-party rule. The few, who are called the political elites, become the ultimate political powers. Democracy effectively declines and eventually dies in such a nation. Rise of Modern Day Feudalism ` Authoritarian Oligarchies are not something new. They are actually the modern-day counterparts of Middle Ages Feudalism. What was middle ages feudalism? Britain Express has this to say. “The social structure of the Middle Ages was organized round the system of Feudalism. Feudalism in practice meant that the nation was not governed by the king but by individual lords, or barons, who administered their own estates, dispensed their own justice, minted their own money, levied taxes and tolls, and demanded military service from vassals. Usually the lords could field greater armies than the king. In theory the king was the chief feudal lord, but in reality the individual lords were supreme in their own territory. Many kings were little more than figurehead rulers (http://www.britainexpress.com/ History/Feudalism_and_Medieval_life.htm).” If middle ages feudalism as described aptly by Britain Express is compared to modern day authoritarian oligarchies, one would find very close similarities. The most important
  • 2. similarity is that, the political powers lies with an elite group only. Others are political figureheads and decorations. Questions to Ask Any political layman can use the following questions as a checklist to see whether elected political managers or parties are attempting to create authoritarian oligarchies. 1. Ask, who is the ultimate political power? If the answer is, the people, then, one’s nation is still democratic. If the answer is, an elite few, then, one’s nation is an authoritarian oligarchy. If the answer is, unsure, then, check to see whether there are on-going by attempts by elected leaders to usurp political powers from the people. 2. Ask, are the elected leaders functioning as elected managers who are politically transparent, judicious and accountable to the people – the nation? If the answer is yes, then, one’s elected leaders are still working for the wellbeing of their people. If the answer is no, then, the elected leaders are now considering themselves as the owners of the nation and the political masters. If the answer is unsure, then check to see who is drawing the maximum political and economic benefits in the nation. 3. Ask, is there a single or multiple political parties representing all the people in the nation? If the answer is single, then, it is an authoritarian oligarchy. If it is multiple but has political candidates or leaders who all come from the same ruling party, then, it is a political facade for an authoritarian oligarchy. If the answer is multiple but is under political suppression, restriction and regulation, then, it is still an authoritarian oligarchy. 4. Ask, are the judgments and rulings of the nation’s judiciary fair and just and ultimately is on the side of the people? If the answer yes, then, there are no attempts by the elected leaders or the ruling party to manipulate the nation’s judiciary. If the answer is no, then, the judiciary is just a mouthpiece and rubber stamp for an authoritarian oligarchy. If the answer is, yes, but, there is frequent turn-over, transfers or demotions of judges who are fair and just, it is a clear-cut indication of political manipulations of the judiciary. In short, the judiciary itself is being politically suppressed and regulated. 5. Ask, are there high levels of corruption and the enjoyment of impunity among those involved in corruption?
  • 3. If the answer is no, then, the national public resources are still available for the well being of the people. If the answer is yes, then, the national public resources are already abused for private profit. If the answer is, yes but with minimum or token availability of resources for the people, then, the national public resources are in the process of being abused. If the answer is yes, but with the creations of many white elephant projects, then, it is an indication that the national public resources are in the process of being abused. 6. Ask, are there frequent and high censorship of the media, restrictions on peaceful public demonstrations, intimidations and incarcerations of political dissidents? If the answer is yes, then, one will find themselves to be in an authoritarian oligarchy police or military state. If the answer is no, then, one is still living in a democratic state. If the answer is no, as long as I don’t question the ruling party, then, one is in an environment where an authoritarian oligarchy is in the process of being subtly established. 7. Ask, are the national politics and political activities, party-centred or people- centred? If the answer is party-centred, then, it is an authoritarian oligarchy state. If the answer is people centred, then, it is a democracy. Conclusions The rises of authoritarian oligarchies are generally facilitated by the judiciary, police and armed forces, who in many political circumstances become the kingmakers. Whether a democratic nation is turned into an authoritarian oligarchy, is dependent on whose side (the people or the elite group), the kingmakers give their support. When their support goes to the elite group, the elite group become the powers over the people. The judiciary becomes the mouthpiece and rubber stamp to give legal legitimacy to the elite’s power. The police and military become the private enforces of the will of the elite on the people. In return, the kingmakers become part of the political elite group. Together, they function as a single authoritarian oligarchy whose powers over the people are absolute. Authoritarian oligarchies are never formed by the entire national consensus of a nation. They are usually formed through inheritance, coercion or usurp of democratic powers. Once formed, they usually resist any attempts at changes or reformations that would lead to the original political democratic state. Authoritarian oligarchies will maintain their political dynasties at all cost, which leads to tyranny. In any authoritarian oligarchy state, it is the political elite and their supporters that will enjoy the maximum political and economical benefits at the suffering and expense of the majority of the people. This is why; authoritarian oligarchies are modern day feudalism.