- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Democracy MAKES your freedom YOURS

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on December 08, 1999 at 16:49:32:

In Reply to: power to the people, over the people posted by Gee on December 08, 1999 at 14:23:17:

: Anyway, what 51% think of as rights my b very wrong for the 49%. Its just 'might is right' any way its cut.

SDF: Democracy doesn't have to be majoritarian, it can be based upon consensus process.

"Rights" are provided for by society in the FIRST PLACE. Democracy, especially consensus democracy, insures that society is empowered to create a FRAMEWORK for the empowerment and freedom of ALL its members, so that individuals will have ANY RIGHTS AT ALL. Under a dictatorship you have "no rights," you have to wrest any power you may have from the subservient masses for yourself. Under a dictatorship the "sovereign" is stealing what it can from the working class, so you might as well do so yourself, if you have the guns to kill and take. Bourgeois democracy is only slightly better than dictatorship -- many bourgeois democracies have a democratic culture, but money, not popular will, still makes all the decisions under bourgeois democracy, so the corporations become the dictators.

It's obviously too cumbersome for a democracy to take endless votes about everything, so much of democratic society will have to work through frameworks. The US Constitution's Bill of Rights is one such framework, but it doesn't really guarantee any freedoms. We can do better.

: The idea of us all being "of a nurturant nature" (human nature?) and "a co-operative society." are very attractive - but what we have now isnt the oppressed masses - its defacto what the majority want.

SDF: No, what we have is the oppressed masses. The "majority want" has been coerced out of the majority through brute force. The majority gets a choice every day, from the representatives of the real-life dictatorship of money: either work in this sweatshop, or starve.

Free that majority, and we can create a framework for rights that feeds everybody, instead of the world of 800+ million malnourished (amidst a global market food glut) that we live in. This isn't a world the majority chose, it's a world the majority views itself as powerless to change.

: : SDF: Real participants in democracy know democratic power as an EXPANSION of individual freedoms, as society's power to make the wealth and consequent freedom produced BY all, accessible TO all.

: This contradicts. To expand individual freedom by having them exist at the behest of every other individual

SDF: Individual freedom EXISTS AT THE BEHEST OF EVERY OTHER INDIVIDUAL ANYWAY. You are alive today because the rest of us haven't exercised our individual freedoms to murder you yet. Democracy provides a framework where your freedom is yours.

: : Our obligation is to free democracy from money and all other dominative forms of life, to make our world more securer, and thus more free.

: Where that security obliges people to act to 'secure it' then that obligation in turn requires enforcement to see it met. That requires authority and punishment - unless ofcourse that great majority of people do all these things with enthusiastic voluntareerism, in which case it will turn out fine.

SDF: What? You are in abstract paradise. Try and use real-life examples.

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