By Samir Amin
The Democratic Fraud Challenges Us to Invent Tomorrow’s Democracy
Universal suffrage is a recent conquest, beginning with workers’ struggles in a few European countries (England, France, Holland, and Belgium) and then progressively extending throughout the world. Today, everywhere on the planet, it goes without saying that the demand for delegating supreme power to an honestly elected, multiparty assembly defines the democratic aspiration and guarantees its realization—or so it is claimed.
Marx himself put great hopes on such universal suffrage as a possible “peaceful path to socialism.” Yet, I have noted that on this score Marx’s expectations were refuted by history (cf. Marx et la démocratie).
I think that the reason for the failure of electoral democracy to produce real change is not hard to find: all hitherto existing societies have been based on a dual system of exploitation of labor (in various forms) and of concentration of the state’s powers on behalf of the ruling class. This fundamental reality results in a relative “depoliticization/disacculturation” of very large segments of society.
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