The USA is not a full democracy, Japan is not a full democracy, Israel is not a full democracy and even Belgium and Italy are not fully democratic. These countries do not score as fully democratic on the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, a part of the British: Economist Group. In fact only 20 countries in 2018 are described as full-democracies. The top of the Democracy Index are dominated by the Nordic nations. Norway ranks Nr. 1, Iceland Nr. 2 and Sweden Nr. 3. Meaning these nations are the most (bourgeois) democratic!
Revolutionary socialists know the limits of the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit. After all, this index comes from a capitalist company that is promoting market research. Their Democracy Index is limited to democracy within the framework of capitalism (bourgeois democracy). Norway, Sweden and Iceland used to be social democratic nations, meaning that capitalist exploitation was limited by state regulations. However the Nordic states are not immune to the dogma’s of market fundamentalism as deregulation and privatizations also happen in Scandinavia!
The social democratic model was introduced in Scandinavia after 1945. It was able to raise the standards of living and created a welfare state. This model however is under siege as the dogma’s of neoliberalism became the new gods of capitalism after the collapse of stalinism. In the 1990’s, world social democracy abandoned its leftist critic of the market economy and fully embraced the right-wing view that the markets should regulate themselves. They started to support the very ideas social democracy used to oppose: regulation, privatization, lower taxes for the rich!
Scandinavia was more slowly in enforcing these ideas compared to countries like Britain and Germany. Still the social democratic parties of Norway, Sweden and Denmark have alienated themselves from their working class electorate by enforcing the new dogma’s of world capitalism. This led to the rise in far-right populism as foreigners were branded as ”enemies” and ”thieves of white jobs”. In Denmark, the far-right: Danish People’s Party is now the second largest force in the country. Also the ”Sweden Democrats” (a racist party) won 17% of the vote in the Kingdom of Sweden, making them the third biggest party!
Countries like the USA have always been flawed. Why? Because money dominate politics there. In America, over 1 billion dollar are wasted by presidential candidates from both the far-right Republican Party and right-wing Democratic Party. These two political parties of capitalism are masters of wasteful spending, trying to defeat each other only to rule as puppets of Wall Street. Third party candidates are excluded from the American media and are not asked to participate in national debates. They are also not shown in the polls. Most Americans never hear of candidates who are not Republican or Democratic. This is why the USA is a flawed democracy!
You would think that nations like Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Greece, France and even Japan to be fully democratic, they are not. Despite having free elections these countries have: ”Significant faults in other democratic aspects, including underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics and issues in the functioning of governance” as described by the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit. Since capitalism does not care about democracy, it is no surprise that the majority of world nations are either flawed or hybrid regimes, that have some aspects of democracies but fail to be called fully democratic!
Hybrid regimes are those who stand between flawed democracies and authoritarian systems. A country like Ukraine is a hybrid with elements of democracy mixed with authoritarianism. In the former Soviet republic, revolutionary socialists are not free to say that they support Karl Marx. Because Ukraine has banned the communist ideology, which makes it a crime to say that you support a class less and state less society. Turkey still has relative free elections, but is moving closer to a authoritarian society each year. With the arrest of many opponents of Turkish nationalism, president/dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is slowly destroying the last elements of the already deeply flawed Turkish democracy!
Authoritarian states are not democratic in the bourgeois way. But capitalism does not care about that and neither does the western world. Both full and flawed (capitalist) democracies work with authoritarian countries and even have friendly relations with them. Saudi-Arabia is the most important ally of western imperialism in the Arab world. We all know the Saudi’s to be a totalitarian monarchy that enforces wahhabism, a dogmatic Islamic doctrine. Venezuela has also moved from being a hybrid regime to a authoritarian one. President Nicolas Maduro’s inability to build socialism turns him more and more into a dictator, to save-guard the remnants of the so called Bolivarian Revolution!
The puppet regimes of the west in Afghanistan and Iraq are also neither democratic nor hybrid. Despite the propaganda told by western media outlets, the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan are not free and they use brutal means to stay in power. American presidents have known this, but they did not care. George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump ignore the fact that ordinary Afghans and Iraqi’s are forced to live under dictatorial regimes fully supported by Washington DC. Western imperialism is also on good therms with the state-capitalist regime in Beijing. Despite calling itself a people’s republic, China is not a republic of people (not even in the bourgeois way)!
Revolutionary socialists do not think that full democracies as portrayed by the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, are the ultimate form of a free society. True democracy cannot be build under a capitalist system because all important decisions are made by those who own the economy. Democratic elected officials are often bribed and then carry out politics that favor the ruling class. This is why Revolutionary Socialist Media supports the idea of getting money out of politics in all countries of the world. This is easier said then done as money controls all aspects of human lives. Those with less money die earlier as they do not have access to proper medical care. In many African nations the life expectancy is not higher then 60 years!
Our alternative to the bourgeois parliamentary democratic model is workers-democracy. We call for democracy not only in politics, but also in the economy. Working class people need to elect their own representatives in businesses. We do not need a Donald Trump or Mark Zuckerberg. Workers self management is possible as examples proof this. Many businesses in Greece who are abandoned by their capitalist owners, came under control of workers. The downside is that many of these broken companies are forced to compete in a market economy that Greece remains. Despite that a so called ”Coalition of the Radical Left” rules the Hellenic Republic, the economy remains capitalist. Another example of workers self management is the Hotel Bauen in Argentina!
However all these self managed companies still have to compete with other capitalist run enterprises. Although the owners may have abandoned the business, they are still entitled to ownership by the laws of the capitalist state. Workers owned businesses can face costly legal battles when their former owners decide to reclaim their ”property”. Competition is portrayed as good for consumers, in fact it is a waste of money and creates a Darwinian system where the strong win and the weak perish. This is why we call for a socialist society with no private ownership of enterprises. All means of production are to be nationalized and put under the management of workers councils!
Socialism does not needs competition, we need democratic planning to satisfy human need. The need of the rich and capitalists will be replaced by the needs of the billions. No longer shall we produce luxury goods only for the wealthy. Socialism will uplift the lives of those who are now marginalized and excluded. This can only work under a democratic socialist system of planning. The Stalinist model has proven to be a failure and a good propaganda weapon for the capitalist media. Our democratic model will be far superior to what the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit calls full-democracies!
We want a full democracy under socialism. That can only be build if working class people take power for themselves. No socialist revolution can work unless the majority of workers participate in it. Yes, there will be workers who’s privileged jobs makes them supportive of the capitalists. They will reject the revolution and might even fight it to protect their elite status. But since a huge majority of the worlds population earns less then 30.000 dollars a year, those who support the capitalist class will be a tiny minority. If a genuine socialist democracy is build then the 1% will have no choice but to give up their power freely. Unless they choose violence to stay in power. In such a situation the working class will have no choice but to use force in defense of the democratic majority!
Still, we would not opt for violence. Socialism must be build peacefully with no forced arrests of those who reject it. However should the supporters of capitalism choose terror and murder as they have done in the past, the revolution will not hesitate to use violence in defense of workers rule, we are not pacifists. This is why many Cubans choose to fight with Fidel Castro against the American led invasion of their island. Despite that Castro was following the dictatorial Stalinist ideology, working class Cubans choose to defend the gains of the Cuban Revolution during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961!