1 I say “perhaps” because, whether the incentive is to create wealth, as in a market economy, or power, as in a nonmarket economy, the same kinds of people are likely to win the competition: the most competent, the hardest working and, perhaps, the most ruthless.

2 “Government by a privileged minority,” Webster's New World Dictionary (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996). The term “aristocracy” originally referred to a government by the best citizens in the state.

3 Many observers consider the persistence of the rich in America to be both unacceptable and a symptom of incipient decline. See, for example, Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (New York: Broadway Books, 2002).

4 In John Gray's words, “[C]ivil society is the matrix of the market economy.” John Gray, Post-Liberalism: Studies in Political Thought (Oxford: Routledge, 1993), 246.

5 Japan straddles this world, as an advanced postindustrial society with the trappings of liberal democracy but the soul of a civil society that is quite different from, and that developed largely independently of, Western-style democracy. Japan's distinctiveness would be far more apparent if it were not for the Western-style constitution and government imposed on Japan by the United States after World War II.

6 All labor is, in a literal sense, exploited if we accept John Roemer's Marxist definition: “[A] person is exploited if the labor that he expends in production is greater than the labor embodied ...

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