Wealth and power
The equation of wealth and power goes something like this…wealth nearly always leads to power and power nearly always leads to wealth.
Of course the ethic this engenders is that one should do everything possible to gain wealth and/or power and everything else is secondary.
That is the kind of concept that is behind monarchy and oligarchy (rule by wealthy elites) and certainly is behind all autocratic rule and dictatorships. This is always justified by some vision of how it will be best for the ordinary people to have their superiors, i.e. the wealthy and powerful, make the decisions for them…a kind of paternalism in which the ordinary folk are seen as children.
Of course this works out really well for the wealthy and powerful since they make decisions based on their own self-interest and this usually entails controlling…and often exploiting… the general population to carry out their self-serving vision.
History is full of examples.
The beauty of democracy, and the reason that wealth and power often opposes it, is that it breaks the equation. It disconnects wealth and power and provides a way to share the power with all the people and the wealth, more equitably, with all who help produce it.
Now, instead of the need for control and exploitation, you have cooperation and joint effort. The vision is now a common vision.
The history of this nation has been a movement toward that ideal, although often bumpy and in stops and starts. But much of the last 40 years has been a movement away from that goal and back toward institutionalizing the rule of wealth and power with its concomitant reliance on exploitation and control.
No matter how difficult, it is necessary to resist that trend and move back toward democracy.