People who rule nations

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GCT
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm going to admit that the following query may be politically naive - I have no interest in politics whatsoever except for what appears as major events such as the recent presidential election - regardless

The way that a nation is ruled can be measured by the degree to which the "ruler" respects the people ; you observe examples where drug cartels virtually rule a country or in a recent example of perhaps how Putin how elected his new "president".

What motivations has Putin for maintaining policies according to his standards? Is it ultimately for a luxurious life? That is are all of the Russian people his "cows" that serve to provide for his luxurious life?

Such questions are also relevant to communist nations such as China. Yes the people that are in the communist party get the choices selection of wines and women every night however are there any decent individuals within this boxed in and secretive group of people which truly have interest for their people or are they simply interested in maintaining such lifestyles which admittedly one is not even able to obtain in the US ; in the US for example women have some degree of independence.

The central concern of this post is

Are nations and have nations been ruled by a small group of people who live like gods through a "government" over a perpetually ignorant people who collectively provide for their lifestyles? This seems especially true with communist nations such as China.
 

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  • #2
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Been reading Marx recently? :D

I don't pretend to understand the psychological motivations behind rulers as I am interested in politics only as a responsibility, and have no desire to rule. But having a stab at it: "Power" is considered to be a primary motivator, as well as "Money", as well as "Sex" and "Food". As a ruler, you have all of these things.

If you interpret a party situation through the sociological lens of group dynamics, where like attracts like, and people generally only care for their own group... then a closed off party that has little contact with those that suffer is bound to not think about those they exploit. It's an "Us and Them" scenario.

Are nations and have nations been ruled by a small group of people who live like gods through a "government" over a perpetually ignorant people who collectively provide for their lifestyles? This seems especially true with communist nations such as China.
With a few exceptions, yes. Here, and in China. Not saying I want to live in China... I personally love the USA. But I'm not going to pretend that there is not a super-wealthy social elite.
 
  • #3
Danger
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I invoke here the 'First Danger Rule of Politics': anyone who is possessed of the sort of mentality that is needed to run for public office is unfit to hold it.
 
  • #4
GCT
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Nope have never read Marx. It concerns me that perhaps a whole nation may merely be an enterprise for a small group of people. I sometimes wonder about this with respect to the the history of what is now the US.

Not having read upon the biography of people such as George Washington I wonder if he and a group of similar individuals that were elites in Britain were simply discontent with the Monarch and so they came to what is now the US for business endeavors. Consider this - are there elites in the US at the moment and what is their heritage? Probably British right? George Washington wasn't married to an American women - for the large part an "white" American woman in this day and age has a heritage with many different European countries. I'm guessing that he got married with an elite in Britain.

I wonder if it is those "British" that are really ruling this country at the moment. Imagine having a whole nation as a business venture - it is conceivable in the this perspective and especially with respect to China and Russia. You truly live a god-like existence.
 
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If you get a chance, drop by the library and pick up Taylor Caldwell's Captains and Kings. It's very entertaining and in the vein you believe.
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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As for Martha Washington, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (Born 1731 in New Kent County, Virginia) - see http://www.history.org/Almanack/people/bios/biomwash.cfm

I expect ego and aspriation play a large part in folks like Putin, and most politicians, and perhaps even some sense of entitlement.

Countries are generally ruled by memeber of a political/economic elite, and that is more the case with the US these days (look at the millionaires in federal and state office). One must have connections and access to money. However, some millionaires have worked up from modest backgrounds.
 
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If you get a chance, drop by the library and pick up Taylor Caldwell's Captains and Kings. It's very entertaining and in the vein you believe.
Certainly am going to check up on that.
 
  • #8
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As for Martha Washington, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (Born 1731 in New Kent County, Virginia) - see http://www.history.org/Almanack/people/bios/biomwash.cfm

I expect ego and aspriation play a large part in folks like Putin, and most politicians, and perhaps even some sense of entitlement.

Countries are generally ruled by memeber of a political/economic elite, and that is more the case with the US these days (look at the millionaires in federal and state office). One must have connections and access to money. However, some millionaires have worked up from modest backgrounds.
I'm not referring to people such as Donald Trump - in fact my government professor labeled him as "tabloid trash" - or even Ted Turner although his sister is considered to be connected to the elite. She drives an old car and appears to live a normal life however many have suspected her of being more connected to the elite than her brother.

Ever heard of the song "he's got the whole world in His hands"? This is exactly what I'm referring to - not people who crave attention and money - rather people who have the WHOLE NATION "in their hands".
 
  • #9
Astronuc
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I'm not referring to people such as Donald Trump - in fact my government professor labeled him as "tabloid trash" - or even Ted Turner although his sister is considered to be connected to the elite. She drives an old car and appears to live a normal life however many have suspected her of being more connected to the elite than her brother.

Ever heard of the song "he's got the whole world in His hands"? This is exactly what I'm referring to - not people who crave attention and money - rather people who have the WHOLE NATION "in their hands".
I wasn't referring to folks like Donald Trump or Ted Turner either. I was referring to the number of members of the current and previous administrations, and current members of Congress, and Supreme Court who are millionaires themselves.

I've received invitations to attend dinners with the president and VP, and presidential candidates. The expectation is however, is to buy ( :wink: ) a seat or table at the dinner. The more one pays, the more time one gets to spend with the President/VP/Members of Cabinet/Senate Leaders/. . . . :rolleyes: The people who have attended such dinners are well connected and collect lots of money for P/VP/Rep & Dem parties/Senators/. . . .
 
  • #10
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The most exemplary archetype of the requested dictator type may have been Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania. He tore down the centre of Bucharest to build a ridiculous big palace for himself

http://www.enzia.com/Pages/Rev4.html

Of equal significance to the systematisation was the razing of one quarter of old Bucharest - the Uranus district which included 10 churches, 3 synagogues and a maze of old streets, villas and small houses - to create a palace fit for a megalomaniac. Now called the "Palace of Parliament", this building of gargantuan proportions, second only to the Pentagon in size, dominates the Bucharest skyline. It was built at the time when austerity measures were at their hardest and was to be the palace of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. Leading to the "Palace of the People" and lined with apartments for the Party faithful and the Securitate is a Boulevard longer than the Champs Elysee, now renamed the Bulevard Unirii - the project was never completed as can be realised by the rusting cranes at the far end of the Bulevard. The "palace" is open to the public and is used principally for trade shows and conferences.
But then again, what else is new, the story of the Louvre and Versailles under king Louis XIV of France is just about the same, but then in the 17th century.
 
  • #11
Danger
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The more one pays, the more time one gets to spend with the President/VP/Members of Cabinet/Senate Leaders/. . . . :rolleyes:
Another example of how the US system sucks. It's all geared to the money brokers. Money = Power. The reason that fat ugly old polititians get cheerleader mistresses is the same reaon that they get voted in to begin with; everybody is willing to get screwed for a couple of bucks.
 
  • #12
Astronuc
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Great site, Andre! In addition to Nicolae Ceauşescu, another nutcase was Enver Hoxha of Albania.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enver_Hoxha

An interesting site (but I don't vouch for the accuracy or impartiality) -
http://www.dictatorofthemonth.com/Hoxha/Aug2001HoxhaEN.htm [Broken]


I was in Bucureşti in 1999 to visit a friend and colleague. The city still had not recovered much from the Ceauşescu years.
 
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  • #13
Danger
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The city still had not recovered much from the Ceauşescu years.
Indeed an ugly scene. Props for being willing to go over; I couldn't have done it. Old Nick just about lived up to his namesake.
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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Are nations and have nations been ruled by a small group of people who live like gods through a "government" over a perpetually ignorant people who collectively provide for their lifestyles? This seems especially true with communist nations such as China.
In most democratic countries, the leaders would make more money in the private sector than in government. Yes, in many communist countries and dictatorships, the only reliable path to a life of prosperity/luxury is through the ruling party. However, I suspect that the leaders of those countries are leaders largely for the same reason as in democracies: the love of power.
 
  • #15
Not having read upon the biography of people such as George Washington I wonder if he and a group of similar individuals that were elites in Britain were simply discontent with the Monarch and so they came to what is now the US for business endeavors. Consider this - are there elites in the US at the moment and what is their heritage? Probably British right? George Washington wasn't married to an American women - for the large part an "white" American woman in this day and age has a heritage with many different European countries. I'm guessing that he got married with an elite in Britain.
George Washington was born in Virginia and spent most of his life in what was to become the US. He never even set foot in Britain. The Founding Fathers of the US were the elites of the American colonies, not the elites of Britain. British elites supported the king.

Every little group has its power struggles. There are a few people with power. And there are those who are favored by those in power, and there are those who are disfavored. This becomes obvious if one works in an office for a while. :)

It's human nature. Some people take great pleasure in bossing other people around, so they seek power and often get it. From my experience, such people don't usually become physicists. :)
 
  • #16
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George Washington was born in Virginia and spent most of his life in what was to become the US. He never even set foot in Britain. The Founding Fathers of the US were the elites of the American colonies, not the elites of Britain. British elites supported the king.

Every little group has its power struggles. There are a few people with power. And there are those who are favored by those in power, and there are those who are disfavored. This becomes obvious if one works in an office for a while. :)

It's human nature. Some people take great pleasure in bossing other people around, so they seek power and often get it. From my experience, such people don't usually become physicists. :)

I'm guessing that there were more than a few of the wealthy type of elites - not necessarily associated with the monarchy at the time - who were discontent with the government in Britain and envisioned a lucrative opportunity in the country that is now the United States.
 
  • #17
Danger
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From my experience, such people don't usually become physicists. :)
Oh, man... I can just see Bush in the lab.
"Fuse, damn you... I demand it!" :biggrin:
 
  • #18
I'm guessing that there were more than a few of the wealthy type of elites - not necessarily associated with the monarchy at the time - who were discontent with the government in Britain and envisioned a lucrative opportunity in the country that is now the United States.
There are always exceptions.
 

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