I think this quote from conservative Republican candidate for President, Barry Goldwater speaks well to our current drift into oligarchy. But that today’s conservatives were so clear sighted:
“But to be successful, representative government assumes that elections will be controlled by the citizen’s at large, not by an elitist group of big givers. Of equal importance, citizen’s must believe their vote counts. And elected officials must owe their allegiance to the people, not to narrow factions who speak only for the selfish fringes of the whole community. When the power of determining winners of elections is lodged in the hands of a few rich persons who groups, who are independent of the people and of their representatives, and who are not accountable for their actions, no way is left to control them.
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater