Dr. Mark Mitchell, PHC’s Academic Dean and political theory professor, published his most recent book Plutocratic Socialism: The Future of Private Property and the Fate of the Middle Class on May 19.
In his book, Mitchell identifies and explores the current American dynamic of Plutocratic Socialism. He defines Plutocratic Socialism as a synthesis of a plutocracy, which is “rule by the wealthy,” and socialism, in which “the state controls and allocates wealth and resources.” Under Plutocratic Socialism, those with wealth control everyone else’s wealth.
Mitchell sees this idea taking hold in America today. “Wealth and power are being consolidated into the hands of a few powerful individuals, corporations, and the state,” Mitchell said. “At the same time, political leaders on the left are unabashedly calling for the end of capitalism and the institution of socialist policies.”
However, Mitchell explained that “an insecure and propertyless citizenry ruled by a class of insolent plutocrats is incompatible with the republican form of government established by the US Constitution.” As private property possession decreases and the middle class subsequently diminishes, Mitchell foresees the republic is in trouble.
A republic is most healthy with a thriving middle class. “Without an effective majority of citizens who own property and whose character has been shaped by property ownership—a vibrant middle class—the Founders’ Constitution will not survive,” Mitchell said. “Our current age of Plutocratic Socialism is a specific manifestation of a pathology the Founders feared.”
Nevertheless, while a complete retreat from Plutocratic Socialism is difficult, Mitchell points readers towards the first step forward: “Recovery must begin with a simple, yet profound axiom: private property and political freedom stand or fall together.”