Our Democratic Deficit
Citizens of Western countries now live in societies richer and more prosperous than ever. Yet politicians are cutting in welfare programs, and the working class is often struggling to get by. How can this be?
We have a system where we vote on politicians to run society on our behalf, a so called representative democracy. We´re not running things ourselves like we ought to do by direct democracy and direct participation. Instead politicians are working full time to do tasks based on the results of what we vote once every second year. Democracy has been reduced to just putting a piece of paper in a box, and letting other people make decitions that affect our lives in a big way. Decitions made by politicians are also often done on a centralized level, resulting in decitions being made far away from the people electing them. This type of democracy is a poor one; this type of representative democracy reduces democracy to being a "spectator sport" where we get to be in charge for just a couple of seconds voting - putting a piece of paper in a box - and then letting people in suits in charge for the rest of the years to come. This type of system creates a huge democratic deficit.
At the same time consentration of private power has increased. Concentration of private power also creates a democratic deficit. Private owners of wealth and power have not been democratically elected. They control resourses, institutions, means of production, things that affect our lives and communities; they have much more power in society than you and I, yet they`re not democratically elected. In other words, by privatizing resourses and institutions, and giving private owners and investors tax cuts etc. means handing over power to people who are not democratically elected. Also here we see a huge democratic deficit.
These people - politicians and private owners - are the ones making the decitions in society, and we see a huge democratic deficit in both sectors. Now, that´s bad enough as it is, but unfortunatly there´s another factor that is becoming an increasing problem: The close links between the two.
Now, governments and states working together with private enterprise sharing the executive power in society has existed in many countries for a long time; this is in other words nothing new. But what has happened is that the ties between them have gotten closer and closer, especially in the United States.
These close ties have contributed to creating what I´d like to call a "right-wing vs less right-wing" model. As these ties between politicians and private tyrannies have gotten closer and closer, looking out for each other basically, right-wing policies have gotten more and more influencial in society. Not very surprising, since right-wing policies like tax cuts for businesses etc. is exactly what the private owners want. So what´s happened is that a vicious circle has developed with private owners attracting an increasing number of right-wing politicians enforcing policies that benefit them and make them more powerful, resulting in them getting even more infuencial on politicians.
So with this comes a political arena of different major parties, all of them - but some more than others - good friends with private enterprise, giving them more and more resourses and power, and by that making them more influencial in society. In other words, right-wing parties and somewhat less right-wing parties taking turns governing, constantly competing on how they can convince most people with their lies and rhetoric. In the mean time the ruling party is privatizing and giving more and more tax cuts for the wealthy resaulting in cuts in welfare and benefits for poor and the working class.
This is the main reason why we see lots of people struggling to get by even though the society as a whole is richer and more efficient than ever. The wealth is being shoved into the pockets of the wealthy, while the working people have to fight over the crumbs, causing cynicism frustration and crime; and at the same time beeing duped to vote for politicians that mostly favor the interests of the wealthy.
Our society has a huge democratic deficit. This has to change. We must organize and create a free society with direct democracy and direct participation; democratic workplaces, democratic communities, working together to benefit the people, not private enterprise.