Class Warfare Blog

May 29, 2014

Are Capitalism and Democracy Compatible?

On paper, capitalism and democracy seem to be compatible. The two large forces at play are, well, on one hand human and corporate greed, tending to redistribute wealth and privilege upward and on the other hand the voting majority of the poor and middle classes which tend to favor redistribution of wealth and income downward. So government spends a great deal of effort to support the “general welfare” and the plutocrats spend a great deal of effort to concentrate wealth in their own hands. The question is, do these forces balance?

If they do, then democracy and capitalism can coexist healthily.

But what if the plutocrats wage a campaign to get the less well off to vote against their economic interests and to create a mistrust of government supports? Both of these efforts are clearly in play as conservatives (with wealthy backers) are using social issues to mask economic votes and are bringing government into disrepute by making it “the problem” instead of “the solution.”

Does no one else see this? Hello?

Can you not also see that this has to end badly, that the efforts of the current crop of radical conservatives is destroying the balance that allows capitalism and democracy to coexist. And the result will be . . . ?

Hello?

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13 Comments »

  1. Then there’s the fact that the economy is built upon the expectation of eternal growth, while the maths say that is impossible to sustain. While I think some form of capitalism is necessary, the current system cannot last.

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    Comment by Ignostic Atheist — May 29, 2014 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

    • Eternal growth is possible, at least for a very long time, but we are going to have to move to other places to make it happen.

      On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 12:40 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — May 29, 2014 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

      • Know any nice planets nearby?

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        Comment by john zande — May 29, 2014 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

        • We start with terraforming, baby, terraforming. I would like to jump straight to exploring exoplanets but there is the small problem of being able to get there. Warp Factor 9, Scotty!

          On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 1:31 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — May 29, 2014 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

          • Give me a planet at 700 million years old and I’ll show you the….

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            Comment by john zande — May 29, 2014 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

            • Hey, I know this stuff! The universe and I share a birthday (October 23) although it is considerable older being born in 4004 BCE.

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              Comment by Steve Ruis — May 29, 2014 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

      • I admit that I made the unreasonable assumption that we are planet-bound.

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        Comment by Ignostic Atheist — May 29, 2014 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

        • I have a dream! One would think a prudent course would be to take the pedal off of the floorboards as this is the only planet we now have to use. That was not an unreasonable assumption.

          Also the BS used to sell the ever expanding/growing economy (sounds like a horror movie blurb) is that the population is growing, so we need more jobs, we need more goods, but that is just window dressing. Those same people would gladly accept greater industrial output with fewer jobs.

          On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — May 29, 2014 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  2. I think it’s still possible to coexist, it’s just a question of balance. I’d prefer that neither the government nor the private enterprise held too much power, and that the government is controlled democratically in at least some measure. From the above it follows for me that capitalism and democracy have to coexist in some shaky balance – and I just don’t see any better alternative. (Of course, there are many versions of democracy, some better than others, and I’m lumping them all together here).

    Like

    Comment by List of X — May 29, 2014 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

    • Obviously I was speaking broadly. The democracies that seem to be making it work (happy citizens with health care and well-balanced lives) tend to be somewhat on the socialist side of the democratic spectrum. I think this is necessary to balance out greed, a very powerful force.

      On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 1:05 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — May 29, 2014 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  3. Capitalism and Democracy can coexist. Corporatism and Democracy cannot.

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    Comment by john zande — May 29, 2014 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  4. Reblogged this on oogenhand.

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    Comment by oogenhand — May 30, 2014 @ 10:25 am | Reply


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