Democracy vs Capitalism

Topics: Democracy, Capitalism, Communism Pages: 7 (2445 words) Published: March 25, 2007
From the very beginning of human existence until today, the idea of capitalism has conquered the way we live, how we bring in capital and the way we buy and sell. Only during the past few decades has the ideology of modern democracy been developed and used, with many nowadays trying to bring apart the two ideas of democracy and capitalism. This study of the capitalism and democracy will look at both sides and arguments for and against followed by the detailed look into the relationship between the two.

First thing first, we must establish a connection between democracy and capitalism. Democracy is a word that originates from Greek and in plain definition means the rule of people. More specifically, it is a structure that allows its citizens to show their opinions, through which they will cast a vote for a member of the government they'd like to see represent them. As we all know, majority rules and whatever to voters vote, government will have to follow the command. However, there are limitations to democracy as people don't have that much say, and they have to rely on the people they elect to do the job they expect them to do. We all know that what some candidates tend to say prior to election, doesn't follow through after the election, making us question our vote. "Capitalism is based on a power hierarchy in which investors/employers control the lives of those who work to create capital." (p. 38, Parenty) On the other hand, capitalism can be defined as the free market economy in which anyone and everyone is able to buy, sell and trade to/with whom they choose. While democracy tries to find a balance between individuals interests, capitalism searches for benefits for a few based on the use of the many.

First, we'll try to find arguments that democracy and capitalism differ from each other. John Dyzek in his book "Discursive Democracy" argues that "while individual's preferences were appropriately presented in the economy, the same individual's preferences weren't presented politically." What this indicates is that capitalist economy is a totally separate body compared to the demographic political system due to the fact that these are two diverse institutions in which a person can state what they favor, depending on whether or not they are politically or economically motivated. On the other hand, we have seen many examples throughout the history where an individual's economic choice has been stated in the political forum, with perfect example being casting a vote for a politician who has promised to complete something that's in your interest, such as cutting the taxes. The same individual could only state those choices in the political forum, because they alone have no power to change the structure of the economy such that it would seem advantageous cut taxes. On the other hand, an individual could express their political beliefs in the economy by not providing the labor to their employer. If that labor provided a service that the employer could find elsewhere, then employer would fold, thus stating a political belief in the economic sphere of influence. The point portrayed here is that democracy and capitalism are not independent of one another as John Dyzek argued in his book. Some may argue that link between democracy and capitalism is purely accidental, and that there is no real relation between the two. Such view may come from believing that democracy is only possible under socialism and capitalism, and that social democracy couldn't be a liberal democracy. However, this type of interpretation proves to be wrong. First of all, democracy as we know it, says that large number of people will receive what they wish for, and if they have a choice between economic hardship and economic prosperity through capitalism, a large number will pick prosperity simply

because it's a general logic. Such example assumes an actual reality of how socialism is economically inefficient and that having a lower standard of...
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