A Third Oligarchy Rises with the Reagan Revolution

Oligarchy is “rule by the rich.”

In 1776, Americans declared war—literally—on British oligarchy.

By the 1820s, the first American-made oligarchy had rooted itself in the American South, made rich by the cotton gin and slavery, and was finally defeated in the Civil War.

From the 1880s to 1929, a second (albeit weaker) oligarchy emerged with the industrial revolution making a new group of oligarchs wealthy; this second American oligarchy was finally taken down by the Republican Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The third American oligarchy was established with the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s after Lewis Powell brought together America’s uber-rich, and the Supreme ...

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