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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Elite Capture

 I'm listening to an audio book in my car, Elite Capture, by Táíwò, a Nigerian man living in the US. Elite capture means just what it sounds like, that elites take things over. So in foreign aid, the elite of the country awarded the aid benefits more than the impoverished masses. A country becomes independent, but the leaders of the newly independent postcolonial nation have policies that benefit themselves, the elites of which they form a part, and the former colonial power. Identity politics gets taken over by elites within identity groups, for the benefit of corporate and managerial elites. 

This process repeats itself in various contexts. It is not a "conspiracy," but just something that tends to happen because the elites have the resources to do this over and over again. 

The author is not against identity politics, but against the cooptation of everything, everywhere, by elite groups. The concept of elite capture is not a new one, but the application to identity politics in particular is an interesting one.  

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