After I left Alan in the library working on his paper, I decided I agreed with his teacher that the topic of oligarchies is important and Alan’s paper might be of some value. I am producing his paper here. Alan has some challenges as a student, but I think he did a good job for a teen with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Five Dangers Of Oligarchies by Alan McKinsey
Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "few", and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning "to rule or to command") is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. –
(I copy and pasted this from Wikipedia, but I didn’t mean to cheat - Alan)
When a small number of people rule the country instead of everybody having a say in how things are done, lots of things can go wrong.
The first thing that can go wrong is that laborers are not paid enough money to live on, and they become very poor. Being poor means they cannot take care of their children and give them the food, clothing and shelter necessary for the children to be good students and grow up to be healthy. Many poor women will have an abortion to get rid of the babies they can’t afford. They get pregnant because they can’t afford birth control. Poor people don’t buy the things that our factories produce so the whole country suffers when nobody buys the things we make. Some poor people don’t even have apartments and live on the streets behind dumpsters.
Second – When people don’t buy stuff, businesses don’t make a lot of money selling their products, so they try to cut expenses more. One thing they do is pollute. They don’t want to spend money for better incineration machines so they let toxic fumes and heavy metals into the air. They don’t repair their equipment so they spill the toxic waste from their production plants into the surrounding farmland and streams. They can do this because the few people who rule also own the businesses, and they don’t want to pay for making things clean
Third – In an oligarchy only the rulers are considered important. This is bad because the property rights and health of other people are not considered important. If the rulers want to use somebody’s land so they can make money, they take that land for their own use. This happens a lot to native people, small farmers, and people who live near natural resources. Sometimes places that are owned by all the people, like parks and some beaches and docks are given to the rulers. Health is like property rights. The rulers do things like polluting and putting poisons in water or food because they don’t care about the health of the people when they can make more money by poisoning people.
Fourth – In an oligarchy the laws are made to benefit the rulers and keep ordinary people under control so we don’t riot. This is bad because the laws say we can’t complain about unjust laws like not letting new businesses compete with businesses the rulers own. The rulers make laws saying it is illegal to make and sell things like soap, or fabric, or clothes, or to collect rainwater or drill a well instead of buying these things from them. The oligarchs make these laws because they don’t want common people to compete with them. In an oligarchy, the people can get in trouble if they march in the street or talk about these bad things on the TV.
Fifth – The oligarchs will go to war against other oligarchs in other countries or against rivals in this country. When they do, they kill lots of innocent people. Oligarchs are always fighting with each other to see who can control the most people. Sometimes they do their fighting through political parties. Those who own the TV and newspapers use their newspapers to start the fights. Sometimes they use the police, or the army, or private armies called security companies to do their fighting. Sometimes if the common people cause too much trouble the oligarchs will stop fighting with each other and work together to fight us.