Anthropologists have noted that most societies, including our country’s, inexorably end up in the hands of business people. Icons like Lincoln, and Eisenhower have warned us that Democracies ultimately yield power to Plutocracies, or Oligarchies. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people inexorably turns into the government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.
Another way of saying the above is that the Bourgeois take over, that is bankers, magnates, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing. They live by good values, such as industry, frugality, responsibility, accountability, etc. But, typical of all social movements, there is always an opposing force pointing out the dark side of the reigning paradigm: greed, lack of respect for the downtrodden, disregard for the arts, and the environment, etc. Bohemians, that is, philosophers, writers, artists, etc. assume that counter role, if they are not taken over by their own dark side: flights of fancy, impracticality, misguided altruism, etc.
Our country saw these two opposites clash during the sixties. The establishment (Bourgeois) and Hippies (Bohemians) vociferously blamed each other for all our countries’ ills. Several anthropologists have commented that the results of their clashes brought the country to a Middle Ground that is again being threatened by a resurgence of the Bourgeois in the halls of power.
Diametrically opposing philosophies often talk past each other, thereby doing a disservice to the very people they claim to be fighting for. Integrative thinkers feel that Bobos, those who see, and apply the virtues of both the Bourgeois, and Bohemians, are best qualified to address the problems all societies face. Bobos are highly educated people who are able to transcend the worn-out fight between Capitalism, and Labor. Instead, they seek a balance between the two.
Medicine, and Health are presently controlled by the Bourgeois—it is all about making money in a failing business model. Bohemians are stepping up to oppose them. But, change will not take place until Bobos take up the rallying cry. You, the reader, are likely one of them.
Bobos in Paradise, David Brooks, Simon & Schuster 2000.