The ruling elite

All societies that have ever existed have had some sort of ruling elite. Even the most egalitarian groups of hunter gatherers have elders, or a chief, or something along those lines. Any group, faced with the choice to migrate east, west, north, or south, faced with a disappearance of food where they are, that had everyone just wander off which ever which way, is no longer with us. It is mere fantasy to think we can do away with such a class.

The problem with the current ruling elite is not that we have one, but that it is a degenerate ruling elite. They have lost the view of the common good.

And of course all ruling elites are self interested: what we can hope for is one that tempers its self interest because it believes that the common good exists, and that it has a duty to seek it.


  1. Was it in Tocqueville that I heard a similar idea?

  2. Is there a difference between 'common good' and 'public purpose'?