A turning point in life (POUT on the ruling elite)
By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
There was no organized society then. Each to his own. Small groups slowly formed that got bigger into tribes. Tribal interest was the pre-occupation. Conflicts abound. It was brutish. The physically powerful emerged as leaders. Might was right. Militaristic it was.
In every chaotic situation, it is the military minded who could lead. Reason does not hold sway. Great ideas like democracy finds no place. Dictatorship is the only way to establish and keep peace and order. So the powerful dictators reigned.
As they got comfortable in their rulership the dictators started taking advantage of others. There was not much care for the group or the society. Self-interest became their main concern and the word exploitation got coined.
But people’s minds developed and the subjects clamored for better treatment, better rights, to have some say in how things were being run, and for freedom. To have the right to care and provide for themselves. Democracy was born.
The kings or dictators, however, did not just give up the luxury and comfort they enjoyed. The people, driven by their desire for freedom and other democratic rights had to fight for these. There were conflicts, skirmishes, and revolutions. Somehow, great ideas always win. The cry for liberty, equality and fraternity took hold and spread like wildfire. Democratic governments got established and those with brains replaced the dictators and military rulers. A new power elite was born, the intellectuals. Reason was valued. People’s representation in how government was run became a requirement. Parliaments and congresses became regular features of governance and the people got captivated by the great debates in the halls of these institutions. Then the judiciary came about to maintain checks and balances. These are the institutions, in the new order, one had to navigate to maintain oneself in power.
The freedom allowed a lot of leeway for the people to think and some got busy seeing the economic opportunities to be taken advantage of. They got richer and richer, as more and more people got poorer. The concept of equality in terms of material possession or in going after opportunities got eroded as those who built some personal riches discovered the power of money. They realized they could buy the intelligentsia, particularly, those running government. They have become the new ruling elite. What drive them is material wealth. They did not only have brains, they also have greed.
This new group’s main weapon is money. Alas, as they accumulated more of it, more and more people got hungry. Of course, they come up with a lot of concepts to assuage the people such as economic empowerment, economic justice, equitable distribution of wealth, etc., but these are just in the books. Meaningful implementation, at the rate we are going, will take hundreds if not thousands and thousands of years, as the slums become wider, and new blighted areas are becoming apparent everywhere. But the moneyed are not about to give up their comfortable advantage in the totem pole of power.
The only way to change in such a situation as shown the world over was revolution. China, Russia, and the South American countries are some examples. In revolutions, however, the resulting chaos could only be solved by those with brute power—the military. It is the military who has the power and the organization to establish peace and order. Dictatorship is their brand of governance.
So society is back to the beginning of the cycle where the physically powerful, the militarists, become the rulers.
There is always a ruling elite. The masses cannot end up being the rulers. There can not be a dictatorship of the proletariat. Some of its members might emerge to rule, but there is always a governing elite.
From the dictatorship again will emerge reason, but it is never a walk in the part. The old rulers will cling to their power as the cry for freedom and civil rights will become stronger and stronger. The transition will again be bloody, as always.
Then when democracy is again established, the “smarter people” who would become rich and will slowly again control how a country is being run. They will be making themselves a lot richer and richer, which creates more and more people belonging to the poor sector. This is unavoidable as physical wealth is finite. Until a bloody revolution again occurs causing a lot of suffering.
The ensuing chaos will then again result in the mergence of militarist leaders.
And the cycle goes on. From great suffering to another kind of suffering as each ruling elite try to cling to power.
What will be the POUTIST leaders’ solution? It is to hasten the transition from one ruling elite to the next. Thus, when a the militarist leaders start exploiting the people, people’s freedoms should be protected through democratic institutions. The process must be swift with great leadership to lessen the suffering of the people.
And when the democratic leaders start abusing their power by trying to perpetuate themselves and making the people go hungry as they are often just good in intellectualizing but not in creating wealth, then it would be time for the business leaders to take over.
With strong moralist leaders, the business leaders’ control need not end only after a lot of people get impoverished. When they start putting up institutions and laws to make them able to control a country’s wealth and, consequently, those in power, then it would be time again to move. They won’t give up easily but revolutionary changes can be attained swiftly.
A swift change will give the militarist revolutionary leaders not much chance to be in control for an extended period. Democracy must be established again as fast as can be to ensure protection of people’s rights.
Easier said than done? You bet!
With the innumerable aspects of man and society, the propounder of PROUT necessarily wrote a lot of books.**