The Elites don’t have to be a monolithic block to be in control. The elites do fight each other for their various agendas but the one thing the have in common is the desire to retain their wealth and power, their position as elites. Yes they do get together and discuss their agendas and talking points.
Davos, Aspen, G7, Heritage Foundation, Freedom Partners, Democrat National Convention, Republican National Convention, AMA Convention, NRA Convention, World Economic Forum, Southern Baptists Convention…….need I go on. Millionaires and Billionaire attend and run these shows.
I will concede that critical thinking is in decline but it might only be a recent thing, on a longer time scale the general population had gotten smarter and is more informed. Maybe you are talking about just the last couple decades. In the last couple decades the voices of the ignorant and stupid have gotten louder.
I can’t believer you believe this “I actually think the US has an incredibly ineffectual central government as central governments go” It is the strongest military force on the planet and spend as much on its military as the next 5 countries combined. It is the driving force in maintaining the International Space Station. It collect nearly a Three Trillion Dollars in tax revenue each year. The U.S. provides $40 Billion in aid to foreign countries. They collet the Metadata on all electronic communication and directly monitor communication that reaches overseas. Hell, the government regulates the hell out of us. Consumer protections, work place protections, Agricultural Inspections, Customs enforcement, Banking Regulations. Our government has more than 35,000 immigrants in detention.
Yes, the governments of the other G7 countries are more effective than the U.S. Federal Government in some ways but at much smaller scales and with less global effect. Our government is more effective than scores of countries. Really, how can you believe “I actually think the US has an incredibly ineffectual central government as central governments go” are you just comparing the U.S. to Elite European Governments and Japan?
I think we need to continue to weaken the Federal Government and strengthen the State’s governments, we need to reduce the Federal Revenue streams and increase direct Taxation by the States. It should be more important who is your governor than who is your president.