Erosion of the Facade of Western Bourgeois Capitalist Democracy

Democracy means the right to a voice in developing and administering the state and its societal institutions. The concept has evolved over the centuries. Many scholars in the United States and Europe claim that democracy has its origins within ancient Greece and Rome where there were administrative bodies where representation of people occurred. However, ancient Greece and Rome had enormous inequalities among the people and even practiced enslavement of human beings.

The democracies of Western Europe and North America claimed to be representative however millions of Indigenous people and Africans were exploited in the process of building the world capitalist system through slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Today there are capitalist democracies, Islamic democracies and socialist democracies. The principles of capitalist democracy which are adhered to in the U.S., is by no means superior to other systems of governance. In fact today even the facade of bourgeois capitalist democracy is rapidly eroding in the U.S. and Western Europe.

The US uses its own criteria to define some countries as “democratic” while others as “autocratic”. Indeed, this is a ploy to deflect attention away from the contradictions which are more pronounced in U.S. society. There are far more people living in poverty and insecurity due to the nature of the capitalist system which utilizes racism and national oppression to enhance social control for the purposes of maximizing profits. There is a dictatorship of the capitalist system which transcends the two main political parties.

It is argued that the Biden summit for democracy has nothing to do with democracy and its real intent is to isolate China, Iran, and Russia. This was an exercise in futility. Biden is delusional to believe that the U.S. and its allies can form alliances that exclude such large segments of the world population. China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and others are major players in international affairs. These states will not allow themselves to be marginalized by Washington.

Biden’s summit for democracy has sparked controversy. Some analysts believe that what the American people need the most right now is not a summit on democracy, but a resolution of their domestic problems. Indeed, it will continue to generate controversy as long as the dysfunctional system of governance prevails in the U.S. The U.S. Congress under a Democratic Party administration has been unable to pass legislation to reinstall the full weight of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Congress has not passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act nor the Build Back Better social spending measure which would benefit working class people and the nationally oppressed. Until these fundamental rights are enshrined within U.S. law and practice, summits urging democracy will inevitably appear to be aimed at attacking other countries and social systems and not resolving the internal crises.

A poll shows that more than 60 percent of Americans believe there is something wrong with US democracy and are calling for democratic political reforms. I think reforms are needed for the benefit of the people. However, the political system needs a complete overhaul in order to provide for the needs of the majority within society. Wealth is becoming even more concentrated while the threat to the environment has imperiled billions around the globe. A change in the U.S. would have a profound influence internationally.

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