No, not facile. You highlighted that DPOS is savage due to it's reliance on financial power. Capitalism itself IS the same idea. Those with the most 'capital' call the shots.
none of these mechanisms openly and blatantly were just contests between those with the most stake.
Yes, not openly, but in reality they are. Money and land titles create a situation where those with the most get to apply economic pressure to everyone else and if the scales are tipped sufficiently, they become defacto rulers.
I agree that DPOS is imbalanced and tends towards oligarchy - this version of it, anyway, has been designed that way and I have always spoken out against it. The reality, though, is that if we don't like it, we can fork it - which is by design. The idea is that the coders worked hard to make it and if anyone dislikes their creation enough then they would prefer those people to put their own hard work in and stop bitching ;)
I am in the middle, in that I can see from all angles and I recognise that the most important ones in terms of being signals that are likely to lead to success/failure of the chain are those perceived by the most people - which means 'average users'. However, the world is made up of such a wide array of 'similar' and also differing perspectives, that there may be no way to please everyone and so forking naturally follows.
We are only allowed to participate. All my tokens are worthless if the governors decide they are.
That's not entirely true. If the witnesses decided to fork you out somehow, it is highly probable that the community would either vote them out or fork - ensuring that you and they maintain their tokens.