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Opinion News
June 29,2016

The opposite of democracy

Manuel E Yepe

The capitalist socio-economic order is synonymous with freedom … provided you agree that the first of the freedoms is enjoyed by capital and that money can be free to buy everything.

When the ability of money is restricted to acquiring the goods that sustain life in society, or these are prevented from becoming a commodity that can be bought and sold, capitalism is constrained.

That is why it is so important for capitalism to manipulate popular awareness to instill the idea that capitalism is equal to democracy, and that any attack on the freedom of money to buy any of the earthly and moral goods of human beings is an attack on democracy.

Unfortunately, the social system the world lives under today is capitalism; and in very few countries have their peoples have achieved –or are still fighting to do so– a situation in which the moneyed classes do not hold political power. These few countries have undertaken, with enormous difficulties, routes other than the capitalist economic, political and social order.

For that reason, all – or almost all – the rules governing international relations on the planet have a foundation convenient to the bourgeois order.

There are times when the global capitalist dictatorship is exercised with more violence than at others; but there is always a struggle between the empowered rich and the poor who suffer the consequences of such alien power.

When conditions dictate, oligarchs are bound to make concessions to their “subjects” in order to prevent them from being encouraged to use their numerical advantage and get organized for a confrontation that would somehow disturb the established order.

But with equal or greater speed the wealthy classes react when their hegemony is in danger. They then support each other in defense of their spurious exploitative interests.

The privileged wonder: how would a country be where doctors, educators, courts of law, governments, the information, production and services media, the cultural expressions, and even the conditions to make love were to serve all equally in a society in which money could not determine differences in the quality and quantity of the benefits?

They consider that something like this would distort the current precarious and asymetric balance of power in nearly all national societies. Capitalism requires that such ideas continue beyond the citizens’ aspirations.

Why accept that in case of illness, a person with economic resources is doomed to the same quality of care, equal treatment conditions and possibilities of healing as a person who lacks such resources?

Is it logical that the offspring of wealthy people should share the same classrooms and quality of education with the sons and daughters of poor families?

Is it rational that, when they commit crimes, the rich and poor are judged by the same standards, or that cultured corrupt millionaires share prison food with rough and hungry common criminals?

Why should candidates for government positions in their election campaigns have to do without donations from the richest, more influential and responsible members of society so that, in their future roles as leaders, they feel obliged as a priority to protect the security of corporate capital and the most important and powerful segment of the nation?

For international capitalism, the press is only considered democratic in a country where private capital is allowed to buy radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, news agencies and other media so they can see to it that what is published serves its interests. These interests are the determining factors in the whole society.

The bourgeois order also sees restricting the enjoyment of the best of national and international art and culture to the educated elite of society as legitimate. They are able to pay, through advertising, the price of their expensive productions, or to pay obscenely expensive admission tickets to the shows.

Is it not considered natural and logical that everything in society is structured so that the main attraction for gender relations is money and economic level, and that competition and the struggle for profit is the engine of progress at any level?

History records the existence of a supposed democracy with slaves in Greece, and today the capitalists have tried to appropriate the term as if it were unique to their socio-economic system. This is despite the fact that the word “capitalism” is almost the opposite of “democracy”, a term etymologically claimable only by “socialism”.

This article was originally published as: ‘Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy’.

Courtesy: Counterpunch.org


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