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Forum Post: We must replace Capitalism with DEMOCRACY!

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 15, 2012, 7:17 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The financial elite have gained more and more power in society, especially in the United States. Since the 70s big capital has gained an increasing power over politicians and the public. They control the institutions in society, they control the economy to a large extent, and they have a huge influence on politicians. Yet despite having all this wealth, power and influence over our lives they have never been democratically elected. This is unacceptable.

This state-capitalist system we have today is not sustainable. It leads to exploitation, injustice, the destruction of the environment, and last but not least, it undermines democracy.

We have a huge democratic deficit. It is undemocratic when the ones who have the overwhelming power in society are not elected by people. The financial elite have most of the wealth, they control the resources and the means of production - things that affect our lives - yet we´ve never voted for them. People don´t control their own lives, workplaces and communities; instead the super rich non-elected minority make big decitions and control huge part of the society with their enormous wealth which is very highly concentrated.

Not only are the rich and powerful in an undemocratic way controlling the economy as a whole in huge networks of transactions, investments and stock exhange, they also rule the institutions in society in a totalitarian way. The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model; a tyrannical non-democratic hierarchy in which the people at the top - the CEOs, owners etc - dictate how the institution is being run, what´s being produced, working conditions and so on, while people further down the hierarchy must follow their orders. Capitalist institutions are in other words private tyrannies. These structures are in no way not even recembling democratic organization.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqlTyAMVDUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpd3grtjkK8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPUvQZ3rcQ

Democracy has also been reduced to just putting a piece of paper in a box once every second year.

This is not good enough. We can do much better than that!

So what is the alternative?

In my opinion the people must take the power back from the non-elected elites so they can take control over their own lives by creating a more democratic society. In other words, more direct democracy and direct participation. That means democratic control of communities, democratic control of workplaces and so on; a society where people participate in the decision-making and cooperate in building a society where we focus on people´s needs, not billionaires´ short term profit.

Replace capitalism with democracy!

54 Comments

54 Comments


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[-] 4 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

Under the US Empire, "democracy" is a code word for capitalism. So when the US military spreads "democracy", they are actually spreading capitalism. This explains the IMF, World Bank and all of the depots and dictators we've supported or placed in power over the last 60 years, as well as all of the democratic regimes we've overthrown when they have instituted social reforms, nationalized resources, etc.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

I agree ...We can build a true democracy... founded on the ideal's of all mankind...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/an-occupation-on-the-edge-of-prosperity-draft/

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

The Society We Should Strive for is Libertarian Socialism:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

good luck ... it ain't going to happen... too much opposition ... we need something better

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Much opposition now, but that´s not a lqw of nature, that can be changed. people who wnated Paralmentary democracy had lots of opposition under feudalism, look what happened.. :)

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Replace capitalism with a direct democracy!

COMMON SENSE 3.1 http://osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx

When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the State, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution. - Thomas Jefferson

Cheers!

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[-] 0 points by America921 (161) 2 years ago

Capitalism is an economic system. Democracy is a political system. You cannot replace one with the other. That's not how it works. Democracy manifesto does not describe anything about the economy. You do know that Democracy doesn't work because it leads to tyranny of the Majority. Plus most Americans are dumb asses who vote with their emotions instead of thinking. The Founding Fathers warned us about people like you. They seemed to understand how politics worked pretty well. They studied history over and over again. Saw what worked and what didn't. Your free to make an economic system but you must make a Manifesto and clearly dictate your rules how your going to guard against Tyranny and someone taking to much power and so forth.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Capitalism is an economic system. Democracy is a political system"

I want a democratic economy. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html Which category would that fall into?

"You cannot replace one with the other."

Absolutley. A society with democratic workplaces and communities means capitalism has been dismantled (Capitalism means that the means of production are privatly owned by individuals who make a profit from other people´s work (cf exploitation /profit) In other words, the value of the worker´s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the payed hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets payed in the form of profit. This profit is hence future investments andprofits/capital. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value. These are the core elements of capitalism)

"Democracy doesn't work because it leads to tyranny of the Majority"

No, tyranny is when the minority dictates the people. I want a libertarian socialist society - democracy built from the bottom up - with non-hierarchical structures. The "tyranny" is all in your head.

"Plus most Americans are dumb asses who vote with their emotions instead of thinking."

Such attitudes (wich I think youre overestimating a lot) can be changed.

"The Founding Fathers warned us about people like you"

First of all, what rich white (many of them) slave-owners warned about is to me not very interesting or credible. However, to my understanding TFF were often very sceptic to concentration of power. Well, so am I. I think many of TFF would be very sceptic to this enormous concentration of private power we see today.

[-] 0 points by America921 (161) 2 years ago

Tyranny is defined as the power being concentrated in a person or group of people (no matter how big). That is tyranny. A democratic economy does not exist yet. If you want one you will have create a manifesto. A Democratic economy would follow under an Economic system.

I don't think you understand the point of a business. It's to make money. The owners want to make money and they have a service to offer so they make a business to supply that service. It's not to create jobs, not so that people can have control over their lives. It's to make money. You don't seem to realize that. Not everyone can run a company.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

So you agree that concentration of private power is private tyranny?

I just want democracy, including a democratic workplace. If one likes the idea of democracy, than that should not be very controvercial. I think most people would like to work at a place in which you are in control of your own workplace.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

That would be the only way I would ever work. What I hated most was 'lying for the man'.

[-] 0 points by America921 (161) 2 years ago

Yes. But I see that as inefficient and a very poor way to run a business. So I would never work at such a place because the company would go under. If you want to make a business like that go ahead. But don't try to force your ridiculous and childish ideas on others.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

What exactly is ridiculous and childish about wanting more democracy?

Go under? Well, first of all, if that´s the case, why are there many sucessful co-ops? Second, I want a society with democratic workplaces and communities, a society where capitalism has been dismantled. That can of course only happen when the vast majority wants this Anarcho-Syndicalist society: read and watch: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] -1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

You are an idiot. Capitalism and Democracy are two different ideas. Do some research before you post some more ridiculous BS. Also if you make billions of dollars on your own and have the power to influence the economy then that is your business because it is your money. I don't want anyone telling me how to spend my fortune but apparently you do.

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

Democratic capitalism, also known as capitalist democracy, is a political, economic, and social system and ideology based on a tripartite arrangement of a market-based economy based predominantly on a democratic polity, economic incentives through free markets, fiscal responsibility and a liberal moral-cultural system which encourages pluralism.

This economic system supports a capitalist free market economy subject to control by a democratic political system that is supported by the majority. It stands in contrast to authoritarian capitalism by limiting the influence of special interest groups, including corporate lobbyists, on politics.

wiki

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Capitalism and Democracy are two different ideas"

Yes, and the one has to be replace by the other. A society with democratic workplaces and communities means the end of Capitalism, and that´s what we should strive for: Read and watch:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

"Also if you make billions of dollars on your own and have the power to influence the economy then that is your business because it is your money"

But, you see, I want democracy!

[-] 1 points by KofAIII (234) 2 years ago

Agreed.

Capitalism is a form of market place, Democracy a manner of choosing government.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

I really don't see the problem with capitalism. Do you?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

You mean, except that it is expolitative, undemocratic/tyrannical, unsustainable and totally immoral?

[-] -1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Where do you get your morals?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Mostly human nature

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

If that was true you would know that humans, by nature are inherently self centered and conceitful creatures.

[-] 1 points by KofAIII (234) 2 years ago

"Unrestrained capitalism is a vice."

:)

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

And what if one wnats a more democratic economy: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

Which category would that fall into..?

[-] 1 points by KofAIII (234) 2 years ago

Isn't our capitalism already "democratic"...?

I mean people are the purchasers/drivers, right?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No. Did you not read the article above..?

What, are you saying that people are voting with their money? Money is not equally distributed. It would be like saying that giving men 100 votes each and women 1 vote each is democracy.

[-] -1 points by pullmyfinger (-6) 2 years ago

Blah blah blah. You talk too much asshole

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I´m sorry you feel that way. I hope you will join the fight for a future in which people are in control of their own life, work and community:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

yours s sff

[-] -1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Capitalism is an economic system. Democracy is a political system.

What is your vision for democratic economics. The entire population should vote on what color to paint the next model Ford? The entire population should decide what channels Comcast should offer?

I am not sure what a democratic economic system would look like.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Capitalism is an economic system. Democracy is a political system."

And what if I want to have a democratic economy. Which category would that fall into?

"What is your vision for democratic economics. The entire population should vote on what color to paint the next model Ford?"

Are you really interested? If so, read and watch:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

I honestly don´t see the problem or controvercy with creating a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

half agree.... do we really need to remove or replace what exists ? ... why not simply side step it ... with an additional system.... capitalism as exists does work to some extent... in building economy... why destroy that ?.... better to improve it by adding more goals and ideals...

Individual Freedom & Economic Opportunity … with

Economic Freedom & Individual Opportunity ....

take a quick look at; http://occupywallst.org/forum/an-occupation-on-the-edge-of-prosperity-draft/

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Capitalism means that the means of production are privatly owned by individuals who make a profit from other people´s work (cf exploitation /profit) In other words, the value of the worker´s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the payed hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets payed in the form of profit. This profit is hence future investments for creating more capital. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value. These are the core elements of capitalism.

X profitting on Y is unjust and immoral, it has to go!

Again, if you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. And by democratizing society´s institutions capitalism would be dismantled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnX96id-xI

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

you will never remove capitalism from America... how-ever you can allow it to fade away... by using it itself to evolve ... it's the only way...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/an-occupation-on-the-edge-of-prosperity-draft/

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Capitalism must be removed (if we want to avoid the human speicies to be removed) Its not sustainableCapitalism must be removed, probaly step by step, yes, but it´s gotta go!

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

remember Capitalism alone (w/out controls) does not exist anywhere... except in the black market.... it's simpler to fix it than to try to convince a zillions believers to remove it...

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Sure. But whether its L-faire Capitalism, or state-capitalism, they´re all awful and must be faught.


Again, I honestly don´t see the problem or controvercy with creating a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??


[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

they will disagree because of fear....

                    ............

    Americans are more afraid of the word 'socialism' 
      than they are of cancer, hiv or world war III.
        and they will fight it to their graves …

    Calm down people, you are only fighting a 'word' …    
      Neither socialism or capitalism exist in nature 
                  without the other…
           Alone they are mere philosophies…

   Socialism without capitalistic freedom & incentives 
            will fail just as miserably as 
            Capitalism without regulation 
              has just demonstrated...

  We can build a "true democracy" founded on the dreams 
           of all mankind & all ideologies...
                   We are the 99%

..............

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

This current situation (which I think your overestimating a little) is not a law of nature. Attitudes can be changed. Besides, I think very many americans would favor a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community.

You´re wrong about incentives. Libertarian Socialism is best suited human nature:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

Please read and watch:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

Its actually pretty reasonable :)

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[-] -1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I am a Libertarian and I know what Libertarian Socialism is. Direct

Your blog if full of contradictions. You say it is based on direct democracy and then you say there will have to be representatives.

Sounds a lot like Animal Farm.

The problem is that none of these systems work perfectly. There is one ideology I do agree with. "That government is best which governs best."

The first problem with direct democracy is that only about 20% of people vote and about 1% actually get involved. In our town of 13,000 I see the same 30 people at the township meeting that I see at the school book drive, helping at community day, help build the playground. I joked to a friend that if the 30 or so of us stopped nothing would get accomplished.

The second problem with direct democracy is that "The Group" often makes the wrong decision. They vote for great ideas and then vote against funding them. They majority often steps on the rights of the minority.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Libertarianism means private tyranny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqlTyAMVDUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpd3grtjkK8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPUvQZ3rcQ

There´s no contradiction beween having active direct participation on local level, and having recallable delegates to do necessary tasks on a more central level.

Few people voting is not a law of nature, it can be changed.

A libertarian Socialist society will not be 100% perfect utopia. There s gonna be problems and challenges like any other society involving humans. But that´s not an argument against creating a system where people are in control of their own life, workplace, and community. If you share the view that people should a have a democratic say in the things that affect them, it would be reasonable that this would include workplaces and communities. How can one disagree wih this??

Building democracy from the bottom up thru democratic workplaces, communities etc will include everyone. Remember also the An.Sydicalism is based on solidarity:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

It will not include everyone because not everyone wants to participate.

In some ways I am glad they don't. More people can Identify "The Situation' from Jersey Shore than can identify Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, or Harry Reid.

Most people do not know what the Federal Reserve is, where Sirinam is, who John Locke was, what makes up the federal budget, etc, etc, etc

Twenty percent of Americans believe the sun circles the earth. http://tinyurl.com/6tva6ku

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"It will not include everyone because not everyone wants to participate"

Absolutley, its, of course, voluntary to participate, but then its kind of your own fault. The point is that anyone can participate if they want to.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I prefer fixing the system we have.

What I saw in your video is a pipe dream. People are not going to gather to decide what to do. It's not going to happen. The only things that get people together are football games and American Idol.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Nobody thought that thousands of people would get together to occupy Zuccotti park or dozens of other public parks across the nation and the world either, but they did.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

OK,

Even if we had 100,000 people get together in all the OWS movements combined we would only have 0.03% of the population.

I am telling you from years of experience of going to public township committee meetings every Wednesday that out of 13,000 people we get about 15-25 people attend.

When election day comes we have direct democracy questions on the ballot every time (twice a year) and we get a turnout of 20% or less unless it is a presidential election. That is 20% of registered voters and 35% of eligible folks are not registered to vote!

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

It's like the old metaphor of looking at the glass half empty or half full. You are frustrated when so few people show up to local government meetings. I'm astonished at the number of people who come out in intransigent opposition to the status quo.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I am not really a pessimist and I don't see the glass half empty. I think it is fine that only the people who care come out to vote. I would rather the folks that do not take the time ti understand the issues stay home.

As for people who "come out in intransigent opposition to the status quo" I not astonished at all. More people voted in one American Idol episode. More people stood on line on black Friday at one Blockbuster store than camped in Zuccotti park.

To me the bigger issue is the tens of thousands of people we kill each year in the name of spreading democracy around the world.

The day we started bringing troops home from Iraq suddenly things start up with Iran. Coincidence, I think not.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'd agree that the rather paltry showing of OWS demos is a very slender reed on which to pin our hopes. On the other hand IMHO it's all we've got.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I think the protest have value but I don't think that we will see drastic change. I set my expectations lower and shoot for obtainable goals.

I have just been around too long and know that people are more interested in football than politics. If you put the OWS movement in Giants Stadium we would not even fill one section.

People have given congress a low approval rating for more than 70 years year regardless of party in power. They put the same people back in each year! I remember a movement GRIP Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians. It died as fast as it started.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Some protests are merely protests and other protests are really models of how we would like to see society be different. When Rosa Parks refused to move and when the students in Greensboro sat down at the Woolworth's lunch counter they were not just protesting, they were living the kind of change they wanted to see.

I am more and more convinced that the obvious next step for OWS, beyond creating more occupations and more GAs would be to occupy work places as half a million workers did in the mid 1930s, creating the basis for a mass labor movement. Of course such a step would be huge, much bigger even than the effort to shut down west coast ports, though if it happened in only one or two significant places I suspect it might spread like wild fire as OWS itself did,

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I really don't understand why you would want to occupy work places. Working conditions are pretty good in this country. We have a 40 hour work week. Most medium and all large companies offer vacation time, benefits, sick time, 401k plans, family leave. What exactly would we be demanding when we occupied the workplace?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Parlamentary Democracy was a pipe dream under Feudalism. Look what happened :)