DOWN WITH ANY ELITE
People's Power ?!
Bangkok, April 20 2006
replaced by the somewhat less richer Aquino who was also a prominent
member of the Philippine elite. She was succeeded by Estrada who was also
overthrown by People's Power and succeeded by the equally rich and
that are controlled by parts of the elite - that want to improve its
own situation - have occurred in many Third World countries.
The Third World is more hierarchical than the First World and therefore leaders can organise actions that look like People's Power. Family, clan and tribe have less influence in the First World. Politicians cannot claim they "own" a constituency, that they "own" certain functions (and give these functions away to family members or cronies as in a dynasty).
It does not happen often in the rich countries that a top leader is the son of a former president (Bush) but in the Third World political functions are kept in the family (India, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh etc.). Though the Waltons still directly lead Walmart, the influence of old and very rich families on most multinationals has become indirect. The influence of groups, families, clans, birthplaces etc to which one belongs by birth, has diminished in rich countries. And the possibility of autonomous actions of masspeople has increased because social bonds, the individual did not choose and cannot break or even influence, have become weaker. It will still take many years till developing countries advance to this point. But the First World has also a long way to go because for example in massactions organised by hierarchical Trade Unions masspeople are still used by leaders.
But People's Power does not exist in Third World countries. The eclipse of people like Thaksin (Thailand), Fujimoro (Peru), Marcos (Philippines) or Mugabe (Zimbabwe) can hardly be seen as a positive political development.
I only write
about developing countries because 'our' leaders are deeply
involved in controlling the poorer parts of the world (especially in
regard to natural resources).
Yours truly, Joost van Steenis
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