“It is impossible to separate political power from economic and social power. [The] false division [of both forms of power] has lead to the current distortion of democracy to mean only limited political freedoms existing within a deeply and inherently unequal society.” - Rebecca Fisher
In this interview, Rebecca Fisher discusses some of the main ideas in her wonderful essay 'The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism: An Historical View'.
The essay was printed in the must-read Corporate Watch book 'Managing Democracy, Managing Dissent: Capitalism, Democracy and the Organisation of Consent' (2013, edited by Rebecca Fisher), which can be downloaded for free from here, or bought for the bargain price of £10 here.
A free PDF of this interview is available to download from here.
(1) What kind of a democracy exists in most advanced capitalist countries today? Is this kind of democracy genuinely democratic?
The kind of democracy that exists in the most advanced capitalist countries doesn't really constitute a democracy, in the original sense of the word. It certainly doesn't allow for public participation in decision-making, since this might threaten corporate, capitalist interests. Instead, it allows a very limited degree of public participation, since most people are permitted to vote. Various structures and processes are in place to ensure that this is extremely ineffectual in terms of influencing what actually happens.