Now that we have devolved into a society with a concentration of wealth and power focused in a small group of citizens…just about as far away from democracy as is possible…we have also left behind any sense of equality or even justice. What remains is an elite that does what every elite tends to do, and that is to take on a sense of entitlement. This is a sense that they should have special privileges because of their station or status. They see themselves as superior and above others and therefore entitled to use and even abuse those below them.
What evolves from such a situation is that by its very nature, a hierarchical structure leads to abuse of power. Since the structure is based on the idea that those above in the structure have the power and authority, it becomes clear that those below must do as they are told or risk the use of the power of their superiors against them.
It is almost like the superiors believe, “What’s the use of having power if we can’t abuse it”. They believe that they are entitled to indulge themselves in whatever way that pleases them. They see themselves as being above the ordinary rules since they have proven themselves to be extraordinary.
If you have a society which is so clearly based on the power and wealth concentrated in the hands of an elite, the entire structure of that society begins to follow that pattern. Whoever has more power gets to abuse those who are below them. It is almost expected as a show of their dominance. And, of course, no one calls them on that abuse because it is a normal part of the structure of the society.
So, when you decide it is time to expose one piece of the structure which has a history of abusing some group of people, it is not hard to expose both the abuse and the structure that supported it. That is, of course, good and noble but it sets off many ramifications. Other groups who have been historically abused by the larger power structure are left to wonder why one group is somehow more important than another. In addition, the group who has found the courage to stand up and speak to one part of that power structure, has, for a time, the power of public opinion and the newfound power of their empowerment.
As with any power, especially newfound power, it is also open to abuse and open to a spreading circle of vengeance and punishment which can potentially reach witch hunt proportions.
The real value of the newfound empowerment is that it allows you to be free to move on with your life.
The issue is that if we accept a society that is based on all the power and wealth being controlled by a small elite, we will have an entire society that reflects that, We cannot solve the problem of abuse on a group by group approach, we must reform the society to reflect the democratic values of equal worth and justice. It is not enough just to make sure that your group is not exploited by someone abusing power, it is time to move to a system that does not include abuse of power as part of its structure.
In the end, it is a “democracy first” issue. We must first insist on a systemic change from a society ruled by an aristocratic elite and replace it with a democracy once more. And that is something that nearly all citizens can support and understand.
It is time to recognize that all ordinary citizens are being exploited and abused by the current concentration of power and wealth, they need to find their newfound empowerment to walk back toward a sustainable democracy once more.