How Wealth Influences Politics

By Ayoub Khan

Money in Politics


Modern Democracy as we know it is less than 250 years old. For much of human history, societies were ruled by elites who exercised absolute power by controlling the wealth and resources of their land and dominating their people by force. Today, the New World Order cabal aims to enact this model of totalitarian rule on a global scale.

In political science, Elite Theory is a theory of the state to explain the power relationships in a given society. Elite theory stands in contrast to Pluralism — a tradition that assumes that all individuals in a society have equal power. The purpose of this article is to highlight the elite-dominated system of United States of America. America is a super power in today’s world, which means that every country is directly or indirectly influenced by American hegemony. But who holds power in the United States of America? The short answer, from 1776 to the present day, is those who own income-producing land or large businesses. Examples include George Washington, the first President of the United States and the biggest landowner of his time, and now the President-elect Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman.

Let’s focus on some of the workings of American elites to understand this hegemony. How come there is no gun control in America even though there are incidents of mass shooting every other week? In US, eleven thousand people are shot every year, whereas in the United Kingdom this figure is only three hundred. The underlying reason is that 50% of US Senators and Governors are sponsored by the gun industry. Let us move from guns to prisons. The population of the United States is only 5% of the world total and yet this country hosts 25% of all the world’s prisoners. In America, poor people land in jail for drug possession— most of them being black — while rich celebrities brag about their addictions. This shameful situation persists because money from the private prison industry floods the policy circles of Washington. The system makes sure that ordinary people are forever preoccupied with earning money to survive, provide for the family, and keep a roof above their heads. They think they are free and have the liberty to choose their life, but their lives are chosen for them.

Let us now examine the effects of this elite capture on American foreign policy. In Iraq War, Saddam Hussain was removed from power and hanged till death even when everybody knew there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Contrast that with the case of Saudi Arabia, a country about which the US Congress has recently released secret ’28 pages’ alleging its involvement in the September Eleven attacks. But the U.S did not take any action against Saudi Arabia. What the US did do, however, is send soldiers to poor Muslim countries that had nothing to do with terror attacks on the American soil. The reason is simple: the US economy can’t afford to lose Saudi money or Saudi oil at this point in time. Similarly, the United States inaugurated multiple theatres of war by going after terrorists — who kill innocent men, women and children — only to end up killing more innocent men, women and children through its drone program in places like Yemen and Pakistan.

As we can see, the main power network in the United States throughout its history has been built on economics. Private enterprise (Capitalism) creates a small business-owning class and a mass of powerless workers, along with a middle class consisting of small businesses and professionals —architects, legal counselors, doctors, and researchers etc. In this arrangement, the cash-owning entrepreneurs can set the rules because the working class in factories and fields has been divided from the start into free and slave; white and dark; and later into various ethnic groupings, making it harder for workers as a whole to organize politically to fight for higher wages and better social advantages.

The writer is a student of Political science in Government college university Lahore.