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I agree that "capitalist democracy" is an oxymoron, but I come from the exact opposite side from Thiel; I believe that a democracy cannot function within capitalism when politicians can be bought off, and there is no democratic control over the economy, the economy being half of the societal coin; we accept democracy in matters of politics, but not in matters of economy, the economy having just as much if not more effect on our lives.



It can and does function. It's just that buying off a politician means they use the money to buy off or fool voters. Voters still make the ultimate decision about who's in power. American voters have a tradition of refusing to vote for any candidate that isn't enormously wealthy. They somehow equate advertising spending with "will do what I want". That's their own mistake though, and they experience the consequences themselves. That's the attractiveness of democracy, people get what they ask for so they won't be angry when it doesn't go their way.


Quite often people don't get what they ask for; if they did then my point about politicians taking money would be completely moot; this is why direct democracy is gaining traction; having a direct democracy with rotating or random delegates seems to be a much better plan for democracy as it helps to rid ourselves of this problem.

Voters rarely make decisions as to who is in power; they are forced to select from a small group of candidates which have come so far already, and then a committee choses which candidate is best and makes them compete for election. I do not think that a system based on the agency of people rather than the agency of ideas is a good system.

Sometimes the voters don't actually get their say; a national organisation overrides their will. Sometimes the democratic pathways are blocked by media misinformation. These are problems of the situation in which democracy is placed, and they have been recognised at least as far back as Marcuse wrote in the 1960s. The problem is less to do with whether people get candidates in power, it's more to do with how well people are informed as to the true nature of their reality. It may sound as though I'm saying "people don't know what they want", but my intention is to advance to the super-democratic status of "people must obtain the information they need".

Marcuse puts it better than I ever could:

>The liberating force of democracy was the chance it gave to effective dissent, on the individual as well as social scale, its openness to qualitatively different forms of government, of culture, education, work--of the human existence in general. The toleration of free discussion and the equal right of opposites was to define and clarify the different forms of dissent: their direction, content, prospect. But with the concentration of economic and political power and the integration of opposites in a society which uses technology as an instrument of domination, effective dissent is blocked where it could freely emerge; in the formation of opinion, in information and communication, in speech and assembly. Under the rule of monopolistic media--themselves the mere instruments of economic and political power--a mentality is created for which right and wrong, true and false are predefined wherever they affect the vital interests of the society.


Interesting - to be pedantic (and this is the site for it) - it makes sense - in capitalism, those with capital will have the most power, which is undemocratic.




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