The face value arguments against trying to drive wealth out of politics might posit that no one would be able to steward a concentration of wealth or make much use of it for good without access to politics. It might be noted that some of our best politicians (US example) and those most able to deal with the excesses of wealth have come from the wealthy families, FDR, JFK… they may be most inoculated against the charms of personal wealth. Under the current system comparatively wealthy individuals can check out of much of the coercion that every other member of society is subjected to and this may be the chief benefit of wealth.
In the US we don’t allow criminals to vote, but we allow them to run for office. We would do better to bar the wealthy from voting (at least 3 million) and allow felons to vote (about 6 million,) while also barring the wealthy from running for office. It’s quite plausible that we allow felons to run for office because we didn’t want to disenfranchise wealthy felons. We might do well to reverse that logic and make it more consistent.
We are having a problem with rule by inherited wealth in the US. We’ve had a Bush in office for 5 of the most recent terms, this is dynastic and a sign of devolvement into empire. Imperial ideation is a natural consequence of politics corrupted by wealth and hereditary money.
Given the history of wealth and its capacity to destroy democracy, why allow the wealthy to vote, or to hold office or to contribute any money to any political process while they hold their wealth. They are not a legitimate minority, but merely people who have come into an optional set of circumstance which by its nature grants them a certain amount unelected power. From a societal perspective it’s a discretionary set of circumstances and the unelected power is also arbitrary and historically shown not to be another check on state power but quite the contrary. Removing the wealthy from political participation as long as they held any foreseeable title to wealth can be a check to rule by inherited money.
Maybe it’s time we took our democracy more seriously. Why, for instance, does election tampering not lead to life without parole? Tampering seems to be a tradition that even a Supreme Court Justice or two was involved in during their early professional life and later in life on the bench with tactics meant to rig elections through money. Why do we allow sponsored media, when it’s about the most basic and blatant conflict of interest we could have? Do we really want sponsored law and institutions? Really, any conflict of interest with regard to money and politics should yield to as complete a check on money as we can devise because the risk is outright tyranny. Why rely on scholarship and social promotion as an outside corrective. Why not just make sure politicians take a lifetime vow of membership in the middle class. Life time because we don’t want revolving doors.