Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
How compatible are democracy and capitalism? (economist.com)
8 points by pseudolus 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

"Democracies" are inherently despotic (see de Toqueville) and despots despise capitalism. A limited republic (lower case here) promotes equitable wealth.

Capitalism works, because democracy makes it palatable. Without democracy, capitalism would surely have collapsed before us. It's how some socialists consider social democrats their true enemy, as they have prolonged the existence of capitalism, through incremental change making it more palatable.

In essence, in the immediate aftermath of the bourgeois revolutions of England and France, lord and serf were simply replaced by capitalist and labourer. Often to a point where they became indistinguishable. Sure, in a capitalist society, compared to a feudal society, your ownership of production matter more to circumstance than to nobility.

Or at least, that's the sales pitch.

So if democracy keeps capitalism artificially alive, is capitalism doing the same to democracy? That's harder to answer. But if capitalists keep on automating their production to the point where there are no labourers left, then who is to pay for the products they produce?

Marx and Engel may believe that capitalists were creating the very force to bring them down, but they may not be the labourers, but rather the robots with which they replaced the labourers.

I agree, but I think you mean "palatable" not "palpable".

You are correct, and so I have corrected the error. English will forever remain my second language.

FWIW As a native speaker, I think your English is great, and I have seen native speakers do worse. It’s nothing to take for granite ;)

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact