Elites: the oldest con trick

Political, social, and economic thought has been hitherto based on an assumption that the phenomena addressed by these disciplines behave in a linear (Newtonian or mechanistic) fashion similar to that seen generally in the natural sciences. Most people assume that causes and effects are linked in ways that could be modelled, and therefore predicted, through the use of universal laws. Continue reading

How do elites retain control in a ‘democracy’?

The USA was once a model of moderation and flexibility

Richard Crossman called the elaborate system of control that Western elites developed to preserve the status quo as ” the thick masses of foliage which we call the myth of democracy.” Spin has always been part of the armory, but Blair’s New Labour government in Britain turned the practice into an art form. Britain has now got a highly distrusted administration that has managed to bring the whole system of ‘Western democracy’ into disrepute. Continue reading

Complexity theory and the fundamental challenges to democracy in the 21st Century


As the 20th Century came to an end, Western style liberal democracy and free market economics appeared to be completely triumphant. Anti-democratic communism had been defeated and the era of one-party states had come to an end. Even developing countries, possibly in response to pressure from the IMF/World Bank, international opinion, and internal forces, were becoming increasingly democratic and free market oriented. Continue reading