Democracy is often measured by free and fair elections. Free and fair generally means that individuals vote one time every two or four years for the candidate of their choice. After standing in long lines and casting a vote for the “best” candidate or candidates most people who live in America feel like they have exercised their rights and that they have participated in ensuring that democracy can live on for the next four years. However, as one takes a closer look at the voting process, democracy and class contradictions we can see that what is pushed as “American democracy” is ultimately a system created to protect the ruling class.
Let’s start by breaking down democracy to see if it is truly being practiced? Democracy is often defined as a political system that promotes multiple political parties, fair and free elections, and allows each man or women to vote. (But you can’t be a felon and vote or a “non-papered” immigrant, and I don’t even want to get started on who is an immigrant in America.)
The Myth of Equal Chance
But what does that really mean? What do multiple parties have to do with democracy? It is assumed that if you have multiple political parties the leaders can have various ideologies, come from various backgrounds and ultimately represent the majority. This, in theory, would mean that all parties involved have an equal chance of getting elected to office.
How can a ruling class dictate legislation and represent you when they are disconnected from you by millions of dollars?”
However, this rarely happens because there are two major parties in America that dominate most political arenas. Those parties backed by corporation’s trade off the major offices every two or four years – ultimately trading places like workers changing shifts at a local restaurant. Does the menu or prices change during the shift change? All that changes is the face of the worker. The same can be said for elected officials! What really changes for the masses of people every two or four years?
I would like to challenge this notion of Western-based democracy. I say Western democracy because the narrative over the last 100 or more years has been that democracy was introduced to the world via the West. In my estimation, a nation or community is democratic when the people (the everyday citizens) have a positive relationship to their labor, resources and are empowered to make critical institutional decisions that impact their lives. Using this definition, do we think that we are truly living in a democracy?
How can a ruling class dictate legislation and represent you when they are disconnected from you by millions of dollars? How can they represent your best interests when they get major funding from corporations whose interests are not people-centered but profit driven?
America and the world are divided into two classes: the oppressed and the oppressor. And we must ask ourselves what is the class of the politicians that we will be voting for on Nov 3rd? Whose interests are they promoting – the masses of people or the interests of the corporations that contribute financially to their campaigns?
Voting is an exercise to make the masses of people believe that they live in a democracy when in reality it is just a cover up to justify the back door dealings between the corporations (those who control over 90% of the world’s resources) and the politicians. If you don’t believe me, Google the campaign donations of your favorite candidate!
Until next time…