Democracy as an ideal: what is democracy? Simple Definition: Democracy = ?Rule by the people? But what is the real meaning, the real value we hope to accomplish by ?democracy,? the core underlying principle? Decisions which affect out common fate and common interests should reflect the collective will of equal citizens rather than of powerful elites. Two Important Facts Fact #1 Private power directly makes public decisions. Many decisions that are of momentous important to society as a whole and have deep public ramifications are made ?private: decision by corporations Fact #2 The private control over resources represented by the first fact pervasively impinges on democratic decision-making over everything else. Constrains on democracy Constrain #1= the DEMAND constraint The demand constraint refer to restriction on what people are prepared to demand from the government Constraint #2 = the RESOURCE constraint The resource constraint refers to the different capacities different people have for pursuing their political demands The Demand Constraint The Question How do we explain the kinds of demand that get raised in the political system? Why, mot of the time, do most people limit their political demands to things which a re compatible with the economic interest of business corporations The Basic Argument In capitalism profits provide the motive for investment by competing private firms, and investment is the necessary condition for realizing everyone?s economic interest: the welfare of everyone depends upon the welfare of capitalists. The ?rules of the game? of capitalist democracy insure that in general only those political demands get recognized that are compatible with capitalist interest and a ?good business client.? The casual process Failing to secure capitalist interest leads to inadequate profits Inadequate profits lead to inadequate investment Inadequate investment lead to decline in production Decline in production lead to declining in jobs and wages Decline in incomes, production, profits lead to decline in taxes Decline in taxes undermine other political goals
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