rulers vs ruled

by stillinnewyork

Buttonwood at The Economist has this post about the ironies of the Dominique Strauss Kahn arrest – living quite the high life for a man charged with enforcing austerity and fiscal prudence as well as representing the socialists. To be honest I don’t find any of this surprising – ultimately humans are first and foremost self-interested, and seek to maximise their own utility. Even the most noble of us have powerful skills that allow us to rationalise away hypocrisies when it applies to ourselves.

In the same vein, the ruling elite have much more in common with their political foes than they do with constituents. There are many social markers in society, race, language, religion, etc. Perhaps the most powerful might be status. If you think Sarkozy identifies with the pig farmer in Brittany more so than with Berlusconi or Merkel, you are mistaken. Likewise, you are naive if you believe that Singapore’s burgeoning opposition will forever be in touch with the people. They too will change as they grow in power. Champions of democracy in Singapore, be careful what you wish for.


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