The advent of special interest groups lobbying for government advantages at the expense of other groups became the new irony which replaces old concerns about individualism and atomism in a capitalist society. These groups are collectivist in nature, each group an atom, a self, which fight for their interests regardless of how the advantages they receive from government affect society as whole. Unions don't care about management -- environmentalists don't care about commerce -- minority groups don't care about other races -- corporations don't care about small businesses -- on and on as each group attempts to get a bigger and bigger share at the expense of others.
This is a societal war between groups using political means to win for their cause. Early in history, the creation of States began when political means were applied by some to dominate others. Franz Oppenheimer writes about this development in his book, The State. As political means are used for the ordering of society, economic means become more and more impotent. Special interest groups create alliances to support the political party they believe will use political means to attain power, each atom in the alliance fighting for limited interests. While Tocqueville, as did Hamilton, thought these disparate interests would prevent a rule of the majority, they have done the opposite, because the special interests are able to find affinities close enough to form an alliance which create a temporary majority. This creates not only divisions in society as a whole, but also divisions within the political party representing different special interests, but these divisions are misleading. As we will see, the rule of the majority is the combination of groups fighting one another within the government -- this creates a majority dependent on the State -- the State becomes the majority ruler over the private sector.
When one party can't hold their special interest alliances together, they lose power, temporarily, to the other political party which is representing the competing alliance of special interests. We see the two parties, which are both parts of the State, alternating control of government, and sometimes sharing control in a split government. In the process, the State becomes more and more powerful as the special interests are co-opted in suppor of overall State control of the economy. As long as the majority of the people see the State as the route to happiness and financial security, the special interest groups represent the forces which can influence the State to further their goals, so people pick the groups and the alliances they believe empower them individually, but they all join one big group -- the State, the status quo political process which organizes society and favors the powerful whose interests trump all the others.
In reality, all the special interest groups are slowly losing because our resources are being drained through waste -- these battes within the State do not create new wealth, and industry in the private sector, where new wealth has to be created, is being hamstrung and exploited by the battles within the State for advantages, subsidies and favors. The conflicting special-interest battles create a hodge-podge of regulations and taxes, as poltical parties try to hold their alliances together, designed to favor this group or that, until the business environment becomes too confusing, onerous and complex for businesses to freely operate. Guarded market activity kills innovation and growth and increases unemployment which puts pressure on the State to spend more money on welfare until this vicious cycle bankrupts the nation and all the special interest groups lose.
Although this process has been going on since the beginning of America, it seriously advanced at the turn of the 20th century, and now we are at a critical point -- it has had an accumulative effect.
So, now we turn to the economic means, which in the beginning many chose as the best route to growth, equal opportunity under the law, peace and prosperity -- not a mixture of political and economic means, but a separation of State and economy. While it might appear that the competing interests battling in alliances split between two parties prevent majority rule, the con job is that the State uses these battles to gain complete control. As long as we're using political means to achieve our goals, we're doomed to being exploited.