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Open Letter
on the Incompatibility
of Democracy
and Capitalism

By Punkerslut,
To the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC)

By Punkerslut, Made using a World War Poster
Image: By Punkerslut,
Made using a World War Poster

Start Date: July 31, 2010
Finish Date: July 31, 2010

Info Link: http://www.lymec.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=PN_Content&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=25


     There is much that is admirable about your program. You are "utterly against death penalty, torture and physical punishments" and you believe that "No individual is truly free if he or she is ignorant." (From LYMEC Manifesto.) But this is all underlined by a philosophy based on free enterprise. Or, more specifically, "We support private ownership, market based economy, competition and free trade..." Oddly, this goes side-by-side with your ideals of the state, "The state exists to benefit the individuals and not as a goal of its own. Positive changes in society have always been brought around by free individuals acting alone or in conjunction with each other."

     What is most ironic is that the state, for first, few thousand years of its existence, has always existed to aid the privileged class and to oppress the great, vast majority. Whether it was the ancient systems of Feudalism throughout Asia and Europe, the literal systems of slavery for the past few centuries, or the new form of Capitalism and Imperialism, the state has always been the friend of the wealthy. Or, perhaps it is easier and better to say, that the state has always been subverted and controlled by the wealthy privileged.

     Both Russian and European history are full of examples of workers striking, only to be shot down by the soldiers and the police. In one strike in Russia, as Rosa Luxemburg describes, "A salvo was fired into the defenceless seated crowd, and thirty to forty corpses, amongst them women and children, remained on the ground." ("The Mass Strike," chapter III.) This situation has been repeated again and again in France, Spain, and Germany, even where it has meant killing the original, French partisans who fought the Nazis -- or even where it has meant outlawing trade unions, which Germany did just this past year. (The FAU, or the Anarchist workers union, was banned.)

     These are recent examples, but this trend goes back eternally to the origins of the state. The aristocrats used the church and the king to maintain their holdings of land, as well as their holdings of slaves. This was a fact in Belgium as much as it was in Yugoslavia -- it was an explanation of the day-to-day workings of life in feudal Japan as well as in the Benin Empire of North Africa. War, likewise, has always been a sacrifice of the blood of the poor for the profits of the rich. This has also been a constant fact, whether examining the British, so-called 'Labor Party' which invaded Iraq, or the conquest of Iran by joint American-British forces in the 1950's. It has never been about establishing Democracy, but about establishing increases in marginal profits for those who live by possessing land and productive property -- those who live by taking from those who work.

     It is ironic, then, that you will openly and brazenly claim "Freedom, democracy and the rule of law are at the core of the European project." Perhaps you should let your readers know that your understanding of the state and government violates the past five thousand years of human history. There is no Capitalist system, where it called itself feudal or communist or mercantilist, that has not infiltrated government -- there is no place where a few owning all of the land did not lead to a few owning all of the government.

     What is necessary for real democracy? Jean Jacques Rousseau plainly laid it out, "What people, then, is a fit subject for legislation? One which, already bound by some unity of origin, interest, or convention, has never yet felt the real yoke of law...one which is neither rich nor poor, but self-sufficient..." ("The Social Contract," 1762, book 2, chapter 10.) But this was written more than two centuries ago, and you still have not realized the truth of this statement. Inequality of wealth, especially in the system of the capitalist class, makes Democracy impossible. If a few people can deny anyone the right to land, if a tiny minority can deny people the right to earn bread and to eat, then they have already established themselves sufficiently as kings.

     When you state that you are trying to create a "democratic state" amidst so much great inequality, you should underline this point a bit more. You are trying to do what has never been done in history -- what has only been hinted to by politicians who wanted to confuse their people, so that they could be more easily enslaved. There will never been a society where the decision-making process is equally distributed to every single participant, as long as there is Capitalism. Or, that is to say, as long as a very few people have a right to the vast majority of society's productive forces, and can force the masses to accept a miserable existence in exchange for making everything.

     Democracy, then, will be impossible, so long as there are a few who own everything and the armed power of the state. What will only ensue is a class dictatorship, that is based on both the economic exploitation and the political oppression of the majority of society. If you are truly in favor of a society based on equality, make every worker the manager, owner, and organizer of their own tools and means of production. But this will require organizing among the people, using the cooperative power of persuasion instead of the dominating rule of law. That is to say, Democracy is achievable as a peoples' movement, but not as a movement supported by the State and Capitalism. This Liberal Program is just as it was in the past: a widespread system of prisons, police, inequality, and the subjugation of the masses.

     You are not going to achieve any of your desired change, so long as you use laws and capitalism -- you will not achieve liberty and inclusion, by using the tools of coercion and exclusion.

     Thank you; I patiently await a response.

Andy Carloff

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