Friday, October 24, 2014

Janet Allon — Krugman Dismantles the Right's Hysterical Fear of Actual Democracy

Krugman concludes: "The truth is that a lot of what’s going on in American politics is, at root, a fight between democracy and plutocracy. And it’s by no means clear which side will win."
Krugman Dismantles the Right's Hysterical Fear of Actual Democracy
Janet Allon

Also, Luke Brinker, Paul Krugman’s fear: “It’s by no means clear” whether democracy or plutocracy will prevail in America, at Salon.


Anonymous said...

Well, it's good to see Krugman finally getting into this issue. But anti-democratic sentiment has also been very strong among elite liberals as well in recent years. It's a widespread and bipartisan disease. As usual Krugman is giving it a partisan spin.

Tom Hickey said...

The situation is nuanced. Neoliberalism and neoconservatism are based on the premise that capitalism requires liberal democracy and vice versa, so the slogan of globalization is making the world safe for democracy. Most of the agenda is projected in terms of spreading democracy and protecting fledgling democracies.

There is a world of difference between neoliberal democracy and popular, participatory and direct democracy. That needs to be pointed out. Neoliberal democracy means globalization under oligarchic "democracy" (Jay's "those that own should govern) in contrast to popular democracy (Lincoln's government of the people, by the people and for the people).

The neoliberal and neoconservative idea of democracy is completely different from popular democracy and is in fact a form of totalitarianism.

This needs to be made clear because presently a lot of people are taken in by the double-speak used by neoliberals and neocons to promote their agenda of global hegemony through neoliberal globalization based on the neoconservative push to spread "democracy."

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Tom. When elites talk about "democracy", often what they have in mind are the technologies of opinion control and vote harvesting, not vigorous participatory equality in the work of governance.

Ryan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignacio said...

Democracy is incompatible with capitalism, because capitalism is all about owning other people (through owning means of production and modern slavery aka wages) while democracy is all about not one owning anyone and (probably) anything. So what to expect?

As pure concepts both systems are completely opposed and different. Most people does not know/remember how the transition from 'the old order' in the late middle ages with the raise of the bourgeois and the modern nation states (and laws) to the industrial revolution was. Hint: it wasn't as pleasant for the peasants as the winners (the bourgeois class) wrote in history books. In fact, the peasants where converted to slave labour. One of the reasons why the southern states in USA wanted to keep slavery, and why initially USA was successful, is because the peasants where the new bourgeois class and externalized slavery to, well, real slaves. This was pretty much the same in ancient times, and democracies and republics were sustained by slaving other people.

It's amazing and amusing how most of the human history can be summarized as an struggle of class domination and slavery (called in different ways) up to today (the wage slaves fighting their overlords for rights to not starve through the implementation of appropriate transfers and rations). We may use elegant suits and have high education, but deep inside most of the people know they are slaves one pay check away from ruin and despair.

So far we have managed with a mixed system that tries to balance private ownership, public/state and the commons. This coupled with ample access to cheap energy which has propelled growth and good technological advance thanks to scientific and industrial revolutions product of the Enlightenment has given us a relatively peaceful (not really) period.

But this system is not guaranteed at all and could change for the worse perfectly, as it's more of an historical anomaly than anything else.

Andy Blatchford said...

Adam Curtis has a new piece out this week somewhat related