Aristocrats in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries held tradesmen in contempt. Although aristocrats recognized that businessmen (and they were almost entirely men) provided a few useful services, they also saw merchants as money grubbers who lacked both an appreciation for the higher things in life and insight into the rural lower class that lived near aristocratic estates. As a result there was general agreement among the high born that the business class should not enjoy an equal share in setting the political and social norms of the nation.
Aristocrats tried to enforce the distinction between themselves and those in trade in various ways. The Court around the monarch was their preserve. The families of peers married largely among themselves. They jealously guarded the prerogatives of the House of Lords. And they believed all such exclusions were in the interest of the nobility of the nation, not just the nobles themselves.
When academics and the press write in favor of regulating campaign contributions and outside expenditures, they remind me of nothing so much that attitude of the nobility of Old England.