Politics > Spiral of Political Maturation > Stage 2: Legitimist > Transition #2

Political Transition #2

Controlling Power & Wealth

Oscillation between Privileged Pluralism and the Legitimist mode due to difficulties of making  the transition.

These twin drivers of all politics are our touchstone. We must ask ourselves: what has really changed with the legitimist mode? The answer is little unless all aspects are introduced.

Faced with relative poverty amongst the people, the post-revolutionary political elites have two possible paths:

Path 1 returns to Stage-1: domination by privileged elites—but with some new groups and new faces among those elites. Economic life continues… Closed much as before or via some form of socialism or via exploitation of the country's natural resources or primary products.

Path 2 takes the legitimist mode seriously and actually organizes for redistribution of power and wealth.

Redistributing Power & Wealth

Faced with widespread enfranchisement and a need to redistribute wealth and power, politicians ask: "Whose wealth and whose power is going to be re-distributed?"

While a King or dictator may be removed from power and his wealth confiscated, the existing elite classes (military, officialdom, priesthood) in that regime remain and have little wish to become public benefactors. Their powerful roles, member support, connections, influence, experience, knowledge and riches combine to ensure these elites maintain a significant grip on power and whatever wealth is around.


Democracy and voting give rather little power to the people—especially in a one-party state. Power shifts take time in any culture and depend primarily on:

Emancipation of Women: respect, education, maternity services, suffrage.
Education: from childhood through to university and beyond.
Health-care: health education, prevention, basic health services.

Such redistribution is costly for governments—where does the money come from?


No government produces wealth—politicians spend the wealth generated by ordinary people or inherent in the territory of the society. Politicians have many options to obtain wealth, most of which are varieties of plunder.




ClosedForeign inputs

ClosedResource wars


There is only one way to increase the wealth of a society into which government can dip. The society must come to see that each person has a responsibility to look after themselves and their family and reap the benefits of hard work.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 27 Jan 2010

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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