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Plutocrats Hate Poor People Participating in Politics

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The plutocracy might say the quiet parts loud in China because it doesn’t matter. But the economic elites in the US agree–and always have–that the poor should not have the same rights in the political arena. They might spice it up with rhetoric about “responsibility” or something, but it’s really just that the poor have different interests and therefore must be crushed.

But these strategies for protecting plutocrats from the mob are indirect and imperfect. The obvious answer is Mr. Leung’s: Don’t let the bottom half, or maybe even the bottom 90 percent, vote.

And now you understand why there’s so much furor on the right over the alleged but actually almost nonexistent problem of voter fraud, and so much support for voter ID laws that make it hard for the poor and even the working class to cast ballots. American politicians don’t dare say outright that only the wealthy should have political rights — at least not yet. But if you follow the currents of thought now prevalent on the political right to their logical conclusion, that’s where you end up.

The truth is that a lot of what’s going on in American politics is, at root, a fight between democracy and plutocracy. And it’s by no means clear which side will win.

Democracy versus plutocracy was the fundamental battle of the Gilded Age as well. Democracy sort of won. Will it win in the New Gilded Age? Maybe. Maybe not.

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