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Plutocracy

A plutocracy or plutarchy is a society, ruled or controlled by people of great wealth or income. The first known use of the term in English dates from 1631. Unlike systems such as democracy, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy; the term plutocracy is used as a pejorative to describe or warn against an undesirable condition. Throughout history, political thinkers such as Winston Churchill, 19th-century French sociologist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th-century Spanish monarchist Juan Donoso Cortés and today Noam Chomsky have condemned plutocrats for ignoring their social responsibilities, using their power to serve their own purposes and thereby increasing poverty and nurturing class conflict, corrupting societies with greed and hedonism. Historic examples of plutocracies include the Roman Empire, some city-states in Ancient Greece, the civilization of Carthage, the Italian city-states/merchant republics of Venice, pre-French Revolution Kingdom of France and the pre-World War II Empire of Japan.

According to Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Carter, the modern day United States resembles a plutocracy, though with democratic forms. Former Chairman of the federal reserve, Paul Volcker believes the US is developing into a plutocracy. One modern, formal example of a plutocracy, according to some critics, is the City of London; the City has a unique electoral system for separate from London proper. More than two-thirds of voters are not residents, but rather representatives of businesses and other bodies that occupy premises in the City, with votes distributed according to their numbers of employees; the principal justification for this arrangement is that most of the services provided by the City of London Corporation are used by the businesses in the City. In fact about 450,000 non-residents constitute the city's day-time population, far outnumbering the City's 7,000 residents; some modern historians and economists argue that the United States was plutocratic for at least part of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era periods between the end of the Civil War until the beginning of the Great Depression.

President Theodore Roosevelt became known as the "trust-buster" for his aggressive use of United States antitrust law, through which he managed to break up such major combinations as the largest railroad and Standard Oil, the largest oil company. According to historian David Burton, "When it came to domestic political concerns TR's bête noire was the plutocracy." In his autobiographical account of taking on monopolistic corporations as president, TR recounted …we had come to the stage where for our people what was needed was a real democracy. The Sherman Antitrust Act had been enacted in 1890, with large industries reaching monopolistic or near-monopolistic levels of market concentration and financial capital integrating corporations, a handful of wealthy heads of large corporations began to exert increasing influence over industry, public opinion and politics after the Civil War. Money, according to contemporary progressive and journalist Walter Weyl, was "the mortar of this edifice", with ideological differences among politicians fading and the political realm becoming "a mere branch in a still larger, integrated business.

The state, which through the party formally sold favors to the large corporations, became one of their departments."In his book The Conscience of a Liberal, in a section entitled The Politics of Plutocracy, economist Paul Krugman says plutocracy took hold because of three factors: at that time, the poorest quarter of American residents were ineligible to vote, the wealthy funded the campaigns of politicians they preferred, vote buying was "feasible and widespread", as were other forms of electoral fraud such as ballot-box stuffing and intimidation of the other party's voters. The U. S. instituted progressive taxation in 1913, but according to Shamus Khan, in the 1970s, elites used their increasing political power to lower their taxes, today employ what political scientist Jeffrey Winters calls "the income defense industry" to reduce their taxes. In 1998, Bob Herbert of The New York Times referred to modern American plutocrats as "The Donor Class" and defined the class, for the first time, as "a tiny group – just one-quarter of 1 percent of the population – and it is not representative of the rest of the nation.

But its money buys plenty of access." In modern times, the term is sometimes used pejoratively to refer to societies rooted in state-corporate capitalism or which prioritize the accumulation of wealth over other interests. According to Kevin Phillips and political strategist to Richard Nixon, the United States is a plutocracy in which there is a "fusion of money and government."Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, says that the present trend towards plutocracy occurs because the rich feel that their interests are shared by society. You don't do this in a kind of smoking your cigar, conspiratorial thinking way. You do it by persuading yourself that what is in your own personal self-interest is in the interests of everybody else. So you persuade yourself that government services, things like spending on education, what created that social mobility in the first place

1936 International Society for Contemporary Music Festival

The 1936 International Society for Contemporary Music Festival was the fourteenth edition of the festival. Held in Barcelona from 19 to 23 April 1936, just three months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, it was one of the last major cultural events of the Second Spanish Republic; this edition is best remembered for the posthumous world premiere of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto on its inaugural day. The compositions were selected in Barcelona from 28 December 1935 to 1 January 1936 by a jury formed by Ernest Ansermet, Edward J. Dent, Joan Lamote de Grignon, Anton Webern and Bolesław Woytowicz. Knudåge Riisager could not attend the meeting. 1 Anton Webern was scheduled to conduct Berg's Concerto and Krenek's Karl V, but he was replaced by Scherchen and Ansermet, who conducted the other three compositions. 19 March 1936, p. 11 La Vanguardia\

Erica Eloff

Erica Eloff is a South African soprano specializing in opera and oratorio residing in England. She made her professional debut in the UK during the summer of 2008 at Garsington Opera as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte, she made her Wigmore Hall debut in their 2008/09 season with the pianist James Baillieu as a Kirckman Concert Society Artist and made a critically acclaimed return in their 2009/10 season. Eloff graduated with distinction from the North-West University, where she earned multiple prizes and scholarships, she won numerous singing prizes including the London Handel Singing Competition, the UNISA National Singing Competition, the UFAM Concours Internationaux de Chant, degré Honneur in France, the Singing Category and Overall winner of ATKV Forté. In the UK she was selected by Making Music as a Philip and Dorothy Green Young Concert Artist. Eloff has been featured on BBC Radio 3's In Tune and interviewed by Bob Jones for Classic FM. Eloff works extensively as oratorio singer and recitalist in the UK, Germany and South Africa and has performed for various smaller opera companies in the UK.

Her performance credits include Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, The Queen of the Night and First Lady in Mozart's Zauberflöte, Floria Tosca in Puccini's Tosca and Violetta Valéry in Verdi's La Traviata. She understudied the title role in Beethoven's Fidelio for Garsington Opera. Somerkersfees - Christmas compilation with Singkronies Chamber Choir, 2000 Songs – Lieder by Grieg, Rachmaninov, Wilding and de Villiers, 2010 Official Website of Erica Eloff Erica Eloff's Blog on Blogger