There is another usurper of power in these modern or post-modern times, and that is the wealthy merchant middle-class..; The inheritors of the once scorned ; ” Nouveau riche”…Oh they are still rich all right, some of them now “Old Riche” but they are no longer gauche or politically crass…they now rule “in absentia” through their proxies…the elite educated / advocate class…
This elite academic class has risen through the “Old School Tie” network to graduate into Judiciary / advocates, Upper management / Ceo.s and economic speculators..these “Leaders” govern for the interests of both their Financiers and their own status or wealth, usually only a modicum of those they represent.
Their form of governance is that of “Rule of Law” , in essence a good thing. except one has to inquire ; “Whose interpretation of what is a good law?”…I think the result of such an inquiry will demonstrate how we end up with a royal commission that condemns the workers unions and drags three leaders of the ALP. before a Beak of the governments choosing, yet fails to act on the incriminating evidence of their own “respected witnesses”…eg; Like the Brandis “diary affair”.
The failing of universal protest against such obvious unfairness can be traced back to what can be described as a “defer to authority” or “defer to legal expertise” respect. Those of us who can only make vague or semi-informed opinion on the complexity of the legalese of the judgements and convoluted rulings will usually, perhaps ALWAYS defer to those better trained (we believe) to translate and interpret those findings..therefore once again, as in the old ; “ relying on a greater respected power” to guide our actions.
This “power of authority” , once it brings down a finding, can lean on that granted authority to legitimise the next action and depending upon that governing party that has called for “the umpires decision” , will deliver with a perceived “right” or mandate what it always was intending to deliver for it’s own or the vested interests benefit, a most convenient “placement” of one of those from the “Old School Tie” brigade.
Consider Thorsten Veblen’s analysis..:
“ By way of characterization of the Maecenas relation, it is to be noted that, considered externally, as an economic or industrial relation simply, it is a relation of status. The scholar under the patronage performs the duties of a learned life vicariously for his patron, to whom a certain repute inures after the manner of the good repute imputed to a master for whom any form of vicarious leisure is performed. (ie; “He who pays the piper calls the tune” ..my simplifying) It is also to be noted that, in point of historical fact, the furtherance of learning or the maintenance of scholarly activity through the Maecenas relation has most commonly been a furtherance of proficiency in classical lore or in the humanities. The knowledge tends to lower rather than to heighten the industrial efficiency of the community.” (Ch. 14. Theory of the Leisure Class).
[ The Maecenas relation is a reference to that same servile Maecenas of the Equestrian Order (middle class) in the time of Emperor Augustus of Rome , who gave advice to Augustus as to how to organize and run governance for the Empire…A true conniving bastard of that class!]
The unfortunate mistake of the working classes down through the ages has been the need to rely upon these Machiavellian “operators” to interpret and enact the legal frameworks needed for a fair and just resolution of industrial conflicts in a civil society..Thankfully, there has been many legal fraternity graduates from the similar class or sympathetic to that class of working people to work for and with the common people to achieve decency and justice in the work-place.
But there must come a time when a complete overhaul of the process of selection and fit-to-sit on the judicial benches of our nation will be needed…because there now appears to be a situation heavily weighted in favour of what Thorsten Veblen so diplomatically calls : “The Maecenas Relation”.