04 June 2014

The ruling classes will eat itself

Education consultant Dean Ashenden has perfectly articulated an idea I have been trying to articulate for a while:
...members of privileged groups often use privilege to pursue immediate individual interests at the expense of the long-term stability of the social order on which their privilege depends.
Source: Insidestory, Mr Gonski and the social contract

For me the classic example is how the Roman republic ultimately collapsed because the senatorial class - in spite of the efforts of a far-sighted faction most famously represented by the brothers Gracchi - was unable to bring itself to throw a bone to the peasant farmers, provincials, and urban poor who did the actual heavy lifting.

So a conservative such as myself, if he wishes to perpetuate the rule of the ruling class, which I do, must, counter-intuitively, embrace his pink side and seek to empower the masses. This has been crudely expressed before as 'bread and circuses', but what polling shows the plebs overwhelmingly want (once freedom from violence and theft is a given) is health and education: which is (a) commendably sensible and (b) actually ought to suit the ruling class perfectly since these don't cost as much as bread and circuses and furthermore feed straight back into their own well-being and prosperity.

Update: It has come to my attention that this idea was long ago expressed by Marx.


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