There are two dimensions that interest me: one is power relationships, clarity about which I have found in the writings of Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti, among others. Chomsky's book Hegemony or Survival details our stark choices in his title. Basically the wealthy corporate class rules via its ownership of the media, disproportionate influence on congress (can you say campaign contribution?) and the other branches of U.S. government, the Executive and Judicial. They also populate the boards of universities and other institutions. Their influence is way out of proportion to their numbers, necessary in their view to continue their primary occupation, to maintain and expand their Power, Profits and Privilege.
The other dimension, being, is expressed most clearly to me in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth and The Power of Now. His analysis reveals the dysfunction that creates the scenario sketched above. The basic assumption/belief that we are separate, vulnerable entities leads us to seek the safety of power, of money and of thoughts that leave us feeling superior to others, actions that allow us to dominate others and fantasies that block us, first of all from the vulnerable feelings generated by our belief, and second from the felt fact that we are interconnected. The simplicity of Tolle's definition entails all the wisdom we need: "To feel, and thus to know, that you are,... and to abide in that deeply rooted state is enlightenment."