Sunday, July 22, 2007

Civil Society, the Super Rich, and Political Theory

I have discussed Civil Society in another web site. Basically, civil society stands is a layer of society between the state and the family/clan. Civil society is an advancement over simpler forms of society that were just the state and the rest.

Society is more complex now than in Hegel's time (Hegel wrote about civil society). We now have class that might be called the Uber-rich or Super Rich. These are people so rich that they might be beyond the reach of the law. They might actually control the law and our government.

Louis Uchitelle in the Sunday July 15, 2007, issue of the New York Times wrote an article, "Age of Riches; The Richest of the Rich, Proud of a New Gilded Age". He documents how the richest people living in America today rival the richest people in the history of America.

The Super Rich are a fourth element of society. They are beyond civil society. They are so rich, they might be beyond the state. They are so wealthy that they, and the corporations they control, might actually be a threat to our nation's economy. I will refer you to the Dallas Morning News, Sunday July 8, 2007, Rod Dreher writing, "Evils of Capitalism, Big Business Can be as Dangerous a Threat as Big Government."

Because the Super Rich can buy the government if they wish, the only protection society ultimately has against the power of the Super Rich lies in some members of the Super Rich having enough moral decency to act as a counter-balance against the unscrupulous members of the Super Rich.

Our society and our schools must embrace a common system of ethics. Since religion has been chased out of the schools, Confucianism is the only non-religious system of ethics that can work as universal ethics for our modern society.

America needs Confucianism for its survival.

Robert Canright

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