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Democracy vs. Oligarchy – ABUSING SENIORS

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FROM OUR MAY 2018 PRINTED EDITION

Lawyers Running Amok

Democracy vs. Oligarchy

by David Arnold

This is the third in a series of articles on democracy in the United States. The first was “The death of democracy in the Probate Court,”

The second was “We the people and accountability of lawyers,.

We have all been taught since childhood that the United States is a democracy. I used to just accept that without questioning it. However, democracy is not automatic. It is a constant struggle to make sure no individual or entity takes control of the whole government.

The United Stated has the structure of a democracy with three different branches of government. There are supposed to be checks and balances between the three branches to prevent abuse of power by any one of the three branches of government.

The tripartite system of government is commonly ascribed to the French political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu. Having three branches of government is a necessary but not sufficient condition to insure a democracy. Montesquieu pointed out an additional requirement. The personnel of the three branches must not coincide. If a single person or entity controls all three branches, this destroys the checks and balances. The government ends up being an oligarchy.

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