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Why Capitalism and Democracy Do Not Mix
north america / mexico | economy | opinion / analysis Thursday November 15, 2007 22:11 by Vodka - Capital Terminus Collective, Atlanta, GA, USA
It is a glaring contradiction of realities to suggest democracy, that real and true democracy, can ever co-exist within or alongside an economic system such as capitalism. The two are in fact at the very opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to human liberation: while true democracy is the empowerment of the whole of society to act together with the shared equities and responsibilities of a mutual lateral power for the benefit of all, capitalism is the creation of totalitarian institutions, environments and consequences which serve to reinforce inequalities upon us as though they are normal and necessary to an ordered society. It is the two which have been unnaturally forced into co-existence that have brought about the chaos of today's society.
In the current human hierarchy we are separated by six primary points of division: we are first and foremost separated by sex followed by race, education, class, age, and religion. The topic at hand, class division, will primarily be discussed, but it must be clearly stated and fully realized that class division has an overwhelming impact upon all other classified points of division.
To begin with, capitalism (as opposed to a true democratic, lateral society) puts the resources of the land into the hands of the few, thus forcing man to submit to a wage servitude in order to obtain the basic needs of survival such as food, shelter, adequate clothing, water, access to health and medical care as well as education or information. Thus capitalism to a very large extent dictates and controls where we live, what we eat, who our neighbors are, the quality of water we drink and the air we breathe, what fabrics are on our backs, who gets substandard health care and what "higher education" you will receive (if any). Thus when the choices to sustain our lives and to pursue our happiness are limited based upon the financial resources we earn through our forced labors, one can see the fallacy behind their so-called democracy. Their so called democracy is the institutionalized enforcement of a slave class by projecting a never ending dependency on some one else to obtain the food we can easily grow ourselves, the clothes we can easily sew ourselves, the lessons we can learn through real life experience that will be our true teachers.
Nor should we be dependent upon an economic system of docility for our square boxes, when the resources of the land should be available to everyone to build as they wish, limited only by common sense and imagination. So as you can see within a capitalist economic structure, democracy cannot exist. People do not choose to be poor, they are poor because of the inherent flaws of capitalism that pits human against human for the necessities of man's basic survival. Hence the capitalist society burdens us with the unnecessary cancer of poverty and its malignant symptoms of homelessness, illiteracy, unemployment, high crime, high rate of people without proper medical and preventive health care, and hunger. As capitalism further isolates the poor from the decision making process, it enforces the division by class, as wealth is distributed from top to bottom. In making this class division capitalism puts value on a person's ability to create or acquire wealth, which further fuels sexism, as it is man--not woman--who controls the distribution of the natural resources from which the wealth is created. Class divisions also further fuel racism, as the ruling races, not the subjugated or indigenous races, make the regulations of how those resources will be distributed. In everyday life these truths are abundantly evident, in every country that practices a form of capitalism, without exception, from its most liberal democratic to the most totalitarian dictatorship.
Until there is the complete abolition of wage enforced capitalist slavery there can be no true democracy, because the wishes of the controlling or ruling classes will always be of priority over the voices of the workers, even when the consequences (such as the current war in Iraq) are disastrous to the interest of the majority. We also see it everyday with the gentrification of neighborhoods, we see it with suburban sprawl, we see it with global warming and other environmental issues that directly effect the resources that we as humans need to survive, we see it with the lack of universal health care, we see it in the struggle for a living wage, we see it with the struggle for improved education and a free education. All around us we see where voices are not being heard and lives are being sacrificed to the capitalist machine because it is not in the interest of the bottom line, the profit margin. The capitalist barons have their lobbyists, they have bought the politicians who have created laws not in the interest of creating a more democratic society based upon the wishes of the people they represent, but in the interest of creating more wealth for those who are already more wealthy than greater than 97% of the entire world's population. We do not live in a democratic society. If we did you would see politicians making promises in homeless shelters.
From the pages of Anarchist Atlanta #6, being distributed at the annual demonstration against the School of the Americas in Columbus, Georgia, USA, in November of 2007.