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What is Oligarchy? | Robert Reich
Robert Reich explains why American democracy has become a oligarchy.
Watch More: 10 Ways to Save American Democracy ►►
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Thanks for watching. If you found this video informative, be sure to also watch our video on 10 ways to save American democracy: https://youtu.be/3OUbWJrbzog
I suddenly see why Donald Trump admires Putin.
The Stray Dawgs:
This is an excellent explanation of how our system currently works and how some great leaders of the past (Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt) prevented the United States from becoming or remaining an oligarchy. We desperately need that kind of leadership again.
OF COURSE we're living in the second gilded age, with our government run by oligarchs! This time, they've taken things a big step farther than a century ago, by instituting a neofascist form of government with all its implications of warmongering and militarization of police- while allowing the criminals in the oligarchy to go free.
It's really a simple concept. If we do not stop the top 1% then they will end up owning everything capable of being owned and the rest of us will will end up living in the houses they own at rents they set and working at the businesses they own for the wages they set. The people Republicans like to call the job creators are really debt creators. The jobs they create do not pay enough for their workers to pay their bills, putting their workers in debt and trapping their workers in low paid jobs that they cannot afford to quit.
A. Eugene Tucker Sr.:
America has been an Oligarchy since the early 1980s. Ronald Reagan made sure of that.
I agree with you. The few are forcing poverty on more and more people. 👍👍🥺
Yes it is an oligarchy. By definition. I have read much of your work Robert. And really appreciate you.
My father taught me at an early age the golden rule; "He who has the gold, makes the rules." I've only known America as an oligarchy. It would be nice if politicians cared about and listened to average Americans.
I think Dwight Eisenhower warned us in is final speech to beware of the power of the Military/Industrial complex. I think he was partially correct. Rather, I think it's the corruptive effect of greed. It has become concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. Their power comes from Congress. Congress gets it's power by selling themselves to the wealthy. The average citizen just does to understand the insidious constant pressure the wealthy can put on our politicians. Just look at what Senators McConnell and Graham have become. They are wielding Autocratic power over the American people by turning their backs on the rule of law. McConnell openly states he does not care about the rule of law by openly stating he will block any attempt to bring Trump before the Senate if the House finds him guilty of crimes. That to me proves that Oligarchy equally describes America as it does Russia.
So much respect for you Robert. Thank you for all the work you do.
Thank you for your videos. Very well researched and presented. Keep up the great work!
This is why Bernie’s life’s work has been to return the American government back over to it’s rightful owners, THE PEOPLE!! ✊🏻🤨
Americans, Seem Contented With An Oligarchy= Today's Verbiage For Slavery ! Truely Sickening !
Thanks for the good references so we can all follow, the best!
Yes, America's an Oligarchy and has been, to varying degrees, since its founding. Sometimes, this power wains under Social-Democratic reforms and pro-worker legislation, but it always resurges with renewed vigor to undermine the Demos time and time again because while Social-Democratic reforms can rein these forces in for a time, the power structures that permit the formation of financial fiefdoms remain intact, namely, the Capitalist Corporation. These are spheres of feudalism that by their very nature aggregates wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people. It is hardly surprising that these feudalist fiefdoms will seek to protect their financial hegemony by converting their financial capital into political capital, thus undermining the will of the Demos for their own ends. Only restructuring our economy to be based upon Worker Cooperatives, with the financial infrastructure to sustain them, will we be able to eliminate once and for all the erosion of our Democracy by an ever-present moneyed aristocracy. Democracy in the Workplace ensures the continued Democracy in the Body Politic, whereas Autocracy in the Workplace ensures its eventual erosion and decay into Oligarchy, or potentially even Fascism.
Please keep these videos coming.
I’ve been comparing this to the guilded age for a while now. Glad someone else saw it.
The way I see it, we're just going back to the default economic situation of the world, that of princes and peasants.
Heck yes, we’re an oligarchy bordering on fascism...
Thank you for doing what you do!
garry G Ballard:
Oligarchy, it appears so. During the next Washington change we need you back there working for us Robert and to put things back correctly.
Thank you Professor Reich, very insightful. 🇺🇸 🌈😎🤓🌈
Iain M. Uttridge:
"Is America an oligarchy?", is possibly a borderline rhetorical question these days.
Yes.... Australian government policy is driven by corporate criminals. Citizens do not matter anymore. Time to sharpen the pitchforks.
Top marks, Mr. Reich, for both communication and education. Your videos continue to be very appreciated by me. Please keep up the excellent work!
Yes! A big HELL YES, and this time they’ve got the damn courts on their side.
we have never had a democracy AT ALL and I am not sure where it's heading, but it's not looking good as long as the GOP exists
Bernie &/or E. Warren POTUS 2020 with Rbt Reich as part of their administration. Then Rbt Reich POTUS 2024. Def got my vote.
The oligarchs and their media companies really hate Bernie Sanders.
Socialism and the economic justice that it provides is the only viable way we're ever going to have control of our country. Because without redistributive socialist policies in this country, the rich are just going to continue buying off all of our representatives to help keep themselves above the law forever.
"As the founding fathers intended"
- Standardized Conservative Excuse Handbook for Oligarchy in America, volume 1, pg. 7
Oligarchy, kakistocracy, KKKristofascism (:-(
We're sure heading that way. Excellent video, Robert and friends!
The oligarchs will never be eradicated until the people get a clue that their politicians do not represent them but their owners, judges do not decide for them but their owners, law enforcement does not serve and protect them, but rather, the ones that own them. Nothing will change until the need for change becomes an imperative. They may have the power for now, but we have the numbers, potentially.
Yes, America is an oligarchy, with leanings of fascism taking root. Thank you Professor.
Thank you for the work you are doing to expose our government's corruption!!!
Excellent, professor. Thank you
Thank you for the videos, Robert!
Part of what contributes to the erosion of democracy and the rise of oligarchy is the Prosperity Gospel. It’s egocentric, narcissistic, junk religion.
Yes we are an oligarchy that keeps erasing working American's.
RR was brilliant in Clinton's cabinet; we need him back in Warren's. Then RR for POTUS.
Winner-takes-all is not a formula for long-term prosperity, but it's a built-in defect of capitalism. Enlightened government can mitigate the excesses and keep the engine humming at peak efficiency; see, e.g., FDR.
2:40 that quote could easily have come from Bernie Sanders 😉
Great video as usual Robert! Always excited to see when you post a new video!
Absolutely an oligarchy.
Top 1%=40% of wealth.
How much of the countries wealth does the top 10-20% control?🤔
I totally agree with your comments. This needs to change.
Thanks for your insight and research... Very informative...keep them coming....
Aikane De la Hay:
Agree. It's going to be a hard road ahead. Wrestling the political power and wealth free will take close to a revolution to accomplish. Who can unite the people like FDR did to spearhead the movement?
People work hard inheriting money from their parents. Why do you want to punish them by asking them to pay slightly more in tax that would never have a measurable effect on their life anyway?
Praise The Sun:
George Bush Jr's granddaddy tried to overthrow FDR in response to the new deal.
Bad Politicians are the muppets of the oligarchy , and have no shame about it.
Seems Trump is part of the oligarchs Russian Mafia in America...or a Front man 👨
But the oligarchy has promised us a wall.
Who's our FDR, AOC or Bernie?
That's the faux potus and his cartels of Republicans.
Bears and Beats:
Robert inspires me to not give up on this cesspool of a country right now.
We need to start calling the ultra wealthy robber barons again.
Right on Professor; keep it coming. Learning a lot from you.
Thanks for this. Confirms I'm on the right path. Artists for Bernie.🕛
With Bernie the USA will become a democracy once again instead of an oligarchy
Oh yeah...America has been complacent for so long we have become an oligarchy.
Thanks for Educating the public school systems no longer teach.
Air quality could be greatly improved if ALL vehicles stopped using fossil fuels and switched to renewables. Technology? Already here. Infrastructure? All "gas stations" can become CHARGING stations. The "oil companies" don't think there is a profit to be made from renewable sources. But the consumers will buy energy in ANY form - as long as it works and is cost effective. Well then, oil titans, start selling us solar and wind and water energy. Save money by NOT drilling or maintaining leaky fuel pipe lines or worry about the cost of the energy required to convert crude oil into something usable. Switch! Just Do It...
Yes, this has been obvious for quite some time.
We effectively are an oligarchy
Yes we are an oligarchy! We've gone from a shining bastion to a twisted example...
Thank you Inequality Media, as Rev. Dr. William Barber always says inequality became again the biggest issue in our nation, and nobody is talking about it! We must make it the most important election issue! And he quotes the statistics about it!
I agree 100% it is that’s why we need a real progressive FDR 5.0 Sanders 2020 💪
Been this way for generations. Corporations control the world. Bankers especially.
What the shit:
“The typical American has no influence at all.” And my friends called me ignorant for not voting lol
The United States in 2019.
I just had this conversation on Monday with one of my children. If he can figure it out, why is it so hard for most adults to figure it out. He approached me. lol
Excellent video - thank you for these brief bursts of clarity.
Oligarchy? Sadly yes. Keep coming with those super informative videos. Maybe work with represent.us to make some more as well.
Absolutely correct. This 45th occupant of the white house is trying to accumulate more power by trying to ignore the subpoenas from Congress.
I definitely enjoy your videos Mr. Reich. Very informative and out there for Mass consumption. Full of pertinent information that the masses deserve to have. Bravo!
This is the legacy of Ronald Reagan’s trickle down economics. How Americans fell for that is shocking.
First to view, share, and comment! Thank you Robert Reich!
How does this differ from Fascism? "The merging of Corporate and Government interests" (Thom Hartmann).
Here’s the thing: though they chest-beat and see themselves as a few steps below God in terms of power, the oligarchs are hopelessly dependent on the myriad of people below them. They are Yertle the Turtle, believing that they are the mightiest in all the land when, in reality, it is Mack, the turtle at the bottom of the stack, who has all the power and all he has to do to crush Yertle’s ego, is to step away and refuse to go along with this nonsense anymore.
That’s how it is with the Oligarchs. If enough people turn their backs and refuse to do their jobs, then the whole system comes crashing down. No matter how much they kick and scream, they need us way more than we need them. It’s time the workers reminded them that.
Why are we not focused on battling the seditious Oligarchs driving the Republican (and effectively America's) political/legislative agenda?
The degree of influence and control that the Mercer's, Koch's, Adelson's, Murdoch's, Sinclair's, et. al., have on America is insane and antithetical to the purpose, design, functioning, and integrity of our Constitutional Democratic Republic.
Republicans in Congress (especially McConnell), and the Republican Party in general, work for their biggest and most aggressive donors, ie, the conservative oligarchs. So why are we focused on their lackeys in Washington rather than combatting the Oligarchs themselves? Are they too rich to mess with, or what?
Well that sounds exactly like what's been going on! Thnx for making it so clear!
2nd age started with Reagan, at least the foundation.
You a truly a great teacher. Thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a clear and effective way!
I'd argue our second gilded age started somewhere between the mid seventies and early eighties. This didn't start with Clinton or Bush. It was initiated more by Reagan and no President since (even Obama who I voted for twice) has done anything significant to combat it. Hopefully Bernie, Warren or Mayor Pete try to do something about it.
Look up the name, Bill Browder and “The Magnitsky Act’ AND Where it stands today.
If you have concentrated wealth, you have concentrated power: Oligarchy!
As always, Robert Reich hits the nail on the head!
It's clear what the O in GOP stands for.
Yes! Robert Michels - Political Parties. "The Iron Law of Oligarchy"
"The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundance of the poor" Voltaire
Yes, America is in trouble! A democracy depends upon working together for the common good! We are all the people and we must remember that corruption produces poverty. Paying taxes for the common good is a patriotic act. Our democracy is threatened by powerful hidden forces and lobbyists who steal our representation, oligarchs, dark money, Citizens United, tax havens and corporate loopholes. Corporations owe no allegiance to America and the fact that corporations in America now (since Reagan) are considered people and have the same rights as one individual American needs to be reversed. Corporations are not people! Our democracy is under attack from foreign powers influencing our elections, our democracy is under attack from gerrymandering, purging, and lack of voting rights laws and protections that are Federal and standard state to state. Our democracy is under attack because bad leaders are drunk with greed and power and will do anything to get what they want. Get all the hands out of the cookie jar! Stop letting money and powerful dark forces steal our voices and our votes. How do we stand up to dark hidden powerful forces and oligarchs? Make America Healthy Again and vote progressive and seek,defend and protect truth and our Constitution.
Beautifully executed video! 💙🙌❤
Agree: American oligarchy accomplished. But the story's not over. We can still vote!
"The historical record in many countries shows that when populist outsiders challenge oligarchic insiders, the oligarchs almost always win. The oligarchs may not have numbers, but they control most of the wealth, expertise, and political influence and dominate the media, universities, and nonprofit sectors. Most populist waves break and disperse on the concrete seawalls of elite privilege.
The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Metropolitan Elite (p. 86):
Thanks so much for your explanations in such succinct form! Would love to see you interpret Daniel Sheehan's lectures. 🤔
🎶Oligarchy, oligarchy, any way you spell it, it ain't Democracy🎶
I like it! 😂
Thank you Robert Reich, excellent explanation in a historical context...we must protect our democracy
Well stated and made easy to comprehend. As well, your video on "10 ways to save American Democracy" lays out some practical steps that in some form will need to be implemented. My personal frustration regarding reform lies in the fact that the flow of information that voters use to cast their votes comes from tainted media sources. It's great to increase voter registrations and create fairer voting districts but if voters are being manipulated through corporate media and propaganda, people will cast their votes base on contrived information. There will be no financial reforms as long as the American people remain divided on the subject. The American people in many ways have been convince their fellow American is their enemy instead of their partner in democracy. Partisan lines have been intentionally driven to the extremes. The American people have no idea what it means to sit down, listen and work out differences in a civil manner. Basic civics has been lost for generations. Without good and reliable information and the capacity to work towards common solutions, the American people have been made incapable of serving in a functioning democracy. As such, we will soon be undeserving of democracy and lose it.
I've been saying this for a long time. 👍