Oligarchies are evil, but not because they contradict the nature of humanity. In fact, they reaffirm the nature of humanity, but only in its most raw, unrestrained (undisciplined) and destructive form. Communists have tried to achieve equality, and they have failed, precisely because equality goes against human nature. Not all people are equally intelligent, capable, gifted and so on. Intelligence is predominantly genetic; environment merely allows us to express it, but one cannot express what is not there to begin with. Therefore, it is natural to have specialization and hierarchy both; and how hierarchy is determined will usually depend on the societal priorities. Societies which engaged in constant warfare developed warrior aristocracy (medieval Europe and Japan are both good examples). Societies where wealth is the primary goal always develop into plutocracies. And so on.
The reason why oligarchies are evil is the same as the reason why centralization is evil – and why representative democracy is evil as well. Namely, human psychology. If a person is interested in power, it means that person in question probably should not gain power to begin with. And centralization and elitism – noticeable in any centralized system, from absolute monarchies to representative democracies – leads to appearance of the elites who are completely divorced from the events on the ground, and thus incapable of responding to the same.
And it was often overpowerful governments who caused their own destruction and societal collapse, or at least helped it along. Powerful government is a symtom of a sophisticated society, but sophisticated society often means sophisticated exploitation of the environment. Mayan civilization collapsed due to combined effects of deforestation and the climate change. Warning signs were there, but the ruling elites did not notice, and did not care, until it was far too late. Both the Justinianic Plague and the Black Death spread via very developed international trade routes.
Globalization has only made the problem worse. Globalist elites do not need to share the fate of their people in any way, shape or form. When people die in earthquakes caused by fracking, elites will go onto their planes and spend time sunbathing in Bahamas. Chinese problems described in the post were also caused by the elites: in their bid to keep their power, they completely closed borders to importation of anything. And this anything included ideas. As a result, Chinese culture and civilization calcified completely, and was unable to deal with either internal troubles or with external powers after they came knocking.
All societies develop ruling classes. It is a very bad flaw of civilization: those oligarchies contradict the nature of humanity (liberty, equality, fraternity), and the nature of optimal intelligence (ideas from all over, competing for the best thinking; not just in the self-service of a tiny elite).
Why do ruling classes develop? Fundamentally, elitism is intrinsic to civilization. Civilization harnesses exponentiation: power grows proportionally to itself. For example, the more people, the more manpower, thus the more food production, the more irrigation workers, the bigger the defense budget, etc. Consequences of this exponentiation of human power can be dire: the Sumerian cities were destroyed in a flood of biblical proportions, caused by the ravages visited by human deforestation, agriculture and herding. Similar situations arose in Europe and Japan three millennia later (however, powerful medieval governments stopped these ecological devastations brutally before something).
But the same situation plays…
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