You Get What You Pay For
How The Elites Are Simply a Reflection of US
"Politics is downstream from culture" - Andrew Breitbart.
Lately I've been trying to understand why every society has classes. No matter what economic system you choose, there's always an upper crust of rich and powerful people making all the decisions. I've concluded that some form of ruling class is inevitable. But it's up to the people to determine how much authority we give them and what that looks like. In the end, the elites simply reflect the population at large. Many conservatives believe that we’re due for an American revival, but they don’t have the stomach to stand up for it. We’re going to get the hard times we deserve.
The Group Model
People tend to organize themselves in groups. On a micro level, people form families, work teams, and friend groups. Those groups unite to make larger groups like communities, tribes, and nations. The group model has been used across cultures and throughout history.
Groups of people naturally create cultures. These cultures are the sum of everyone's little choices throughout the day. For example, in America, we drive more cars, drink more alcohol, and eat more unhealthy food than people in other countries, demonstrating how much we value our right to choose. In Scandinavian countries, they care a lot about work-life balance, which is why they work fewer hours than we do.
Theoretically, individuals have complete and total freedom to make these little choices. But freedom means nothing without power. In a world where everyone is free, the powerful will always use their resources to dominate the powerless. It's human nature.
Anarchists believe everyone should have 100% autonomy, and we should abolish the government and other institutions that reduce our freedom. Might becomes right. And the people with the most resources become the ruling class. On the other end of the spectrum, communists believe that individual freedom should be abolished and the state should run everything for the good of the community (hence the name). Ironically, politicians just become the new ruling class. They're two sides of the same coin. Both systems have been tried before, and both failed miserably. Society relies on balance.
We like the idea of freedom, but we have to balance it with convenience and comfort. Take the police. Imagine a world with no police (which is quickly becoming a reality in some areas). You'd have no rules. But neither would the criminals. So there would be no one to protect you or your family. And no one to bring justice when crimes are inevitably committed. It's a great example of giving up a little power in exchange for safety.
It's the same situation for team projects at school or work. You can't do all the work yourself. So you break it up and delegate. You lose the freedom to have complete control over your results. But you gain the convenience of efficiency. And how does your team choose who gets which job? You assign it based on everyone's skills.
We Pick Our Leaders Every Day
Our society is just one big group project. We pick leaders responsible for managing different aspects of our culture. The most obvious example is our elected representatives. In a democracy, everyone gets a say in creating laws. But we don't actually want to put in all that work, so we vote for representatives to do it for us. Theoretically, the collective wisdom of the population will elevate the most qualified candidates.
Our system is built on an adversarial relationship between the leaders and the people. We need our leaders, but ultimately we're the boss, and we can fire them anytime. For that reason, our leaders will always attempt to overreach. The constant push and pull is what makes our system function. But it breaks when the people stop holding their leaders accountable.
Government is just one area of our culture. They handle all of our boring administrative tasks. You vote for your political leaders once every two years in America. But you vote for your leaders in every other aspect of your life with your everyday actions.
Consider these institutions as shadow branches of government. Wall Street is responsible for managing our money, Hollywood is responsible for keeping us entertained, and Big Tech creates our digital solutions.
On some level, these institutions DO provide value. For example, Apple products are legitimately better than everything else on the market. Our family owns exclusively Apple products. The company has built a great ecosystem of interconnected devices, encouraging customers to combine their products. For example, AirPlay makes sharing documents between phones and computers easy. You can open text conversations on your laptop and vice versa. Maybe most importantly, its operating system is aesthetically pleasing. It's a great business model. By comparison, Android sucks. It's ugly and hard to use. Most people agree, which is why Apple is the most profitable and valuable company in history.
How do individuals rise to the top? It takes tremendous talent to create high-quality products and services (that's why we call them the elites). And we reward talented individuals with our time, money, and attention.
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