What if I was wealthy? Now, what if I wanted to set up a system in which there would be professionals, whose sole job it was, to make rules that would protect my current wealth and encourage favorable conditions for my future wealth? I could call my rule making professionals, politicians. Of course, I would prefer to simply appoint them to office but the masses would not stand for such a blatant move. Alternately, I could institute an appearance of democracy. Luckily for my interests, it wouldn't need to function in a true democratic manner, though it would need a democratic patina. The tricky bit would be to ensure that average folks perceived an opportunity to be fairly represented. This wouldn't present much of a problem. I could use my wealth to limit the choices to those that are either my direct representatives or financially obligated to me. With the basics in place, all I would need is for my politicians to smile amiably, do as little as possible, and make continuous references to high-minded values like liberty, justice, and such. When those ideas fail to produce the desired levels of compliance, I could always resort to the 'nuclear option'. Patriotism. Many, in my working classes, have no idea what it all means but they seem to get all weepy and pliable when they hear it. No surprise, it's my personal favorite crowd mover.
Now all I would need are agents to ensure that my plan stays on track. Obviously these would be wealth protection agents but such a label would be unnecessarily transparent. I would need to find a more palatable label. Now for the tricky bit. I will need to have rather a large number of them in every community. As the costs of such a standing army would seriously cut into my wealth accumulation, I need an alternate funding scheme. Wait. I believe that, with a bit of finesse, I could arrange for average people to pay the bulk of the cost for my army if I refer to them as law enforcement agents. Yes, that will do nicely.
If I were a comic book villain, I would be licking my lips salaciously while twisting the ends of my comically thin mustache. The question is, what would the hero do?