- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A note on the 'Reform Party'

Posted by: Stoller on October 26, 1999 at 10:52:34:

In Reply to: Uh, I have a question posted by Kweassa on October 25, 1999 at 20:56:54:

: Why does the candidacy for American presidential elections require the person to raise so much money? On what basis?

: Wouldn't that kind of system jeopardize virtually any kind of democracy by narrowing the participants who contend for political power to those who are supported by a handful of wealthy people (who obviously seem to donate VERY VERY large sums of money to whom they support... At least that's what it looks like to me)? Thus, proving that the democratic system of America is in fact a system where political power is entrusted to a limited few who (obviously) will uphold policies 'generous' to the social class the donaters are in?

Sounds like you know what's up.

Interestingly enough, there is this 'Reform Party' who are fronted primarily by men with their own wealth. According to the last New York Times Magazine, their 'philosophy' is that:

[N]ot all money corrupts, but that other people's money corrupts. In fact, the more money someone has, the less corruptible and the more appealing he is.
(New York Times Magazine,, 24 October 1999, p. 80.)

Of course, that is Thomas Carlyle's 1800 argument for the restoration of the monarchy in Europe...

: The democracy of ancient Athens limited qualifications for political participation to the upper class - men with enough wealth. The bourgeoisie democracy of the 19th century also limited their voters to the upperclass - men with enough wealth. No women, no workers allowed.

: Though universal suffrage is admitted nowadays, the people who are qualified to enter elections still seem to be limited. Now, frankly, I don't see much difference, nor do I see 'progress' of democracy during all those years.

: Can anybody fill me in?

Comrade, you are filled in.

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