To really get a good look at Democracy, it becomes necessary to take an unconventional look at the phenomenon in present day society. For this I will analyze US democracy from a Marxian/ Leninist perspective. What we have here in America and most other countries is formal democracy, democracy among government only. I agree with representative democracy, as not everyone is concerned with government affairs. What I find frustrating, and appealing about the Marxian perspective of democracy is that our formal democracy does not provide us with the liberties and freedoms to democratically manage and elect officials for the place we spend 9/10ths of our life- the workplace. We have made great strides in the past century in regards to suffrage, however we must remember that although our democratic republic provides us with great liberties, “A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell … it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it.”- V. I. Lenin. In fact, even this is not enough to appease those in power. We see democracy itself trampled even in our present society. While there have been many great struggles and much blood shed in the name of suffrage, there still only exists ‘formal’ democracy. What I wish to see is true democracy. In these areas of life which we spend 9/10ths of our life we only see, when you get down to it; dictatorship. Where the workers- those who produce the fruits of their labor only receive a fraction (a wage) of the fruits of the commodity they produced while someone else pockets the rest for themselves, despite having not worked for it. This Marxist ideas is not really Marxist at all, in fact capitalists foolishly proclaim it to be the philosophy of capitalism. It is the idea that those who work shall receive the profits of their labor, and not have it taken from them. Usually they go about this by speaking of the government, that the government taking their money is somehow ‘socialism’ and therefore bad. Such a claim is ludicrous. They fail to grasp the basic notion of socialism, they think that it has to do something with the government! The philosophy of socialism is “he who does not work shall not eat”, that the means of production shall be socially- not government owned. It is NOT “he who sits around shall receive other peoples well earned money”, that would be capitalism! The bourgeoisie do NOT want socialism because it would require them to actually work in order to receive the basic commodities of life, rather than receiving them via the workers’ surplus value, money they did not work for. We see such a savage mutilation of the term ‘socialism’ that over 9/10ths of the population cannot actually define what it means or explain it, yet are somehow convinced that it is something bad. Indeed the masses are taught to praise capitalism as the superior system from an early age, the embodiment of true human nature (as if capitalism had been around for even a thousand years). Only those who seek out the truth will see past these lies, which- according to Lenin serve only to suppress the working class and its ability to recognize it’s exploitation (a logical analysis, given the rampant misinformation). In fact, even the idea of democracy is suppressed. If you view my previous blog post on oligarchy you will see my point. The United States, along with most other countries have morphed from a democracy into an oligarchy, serving the interests of the rich ruling class. There is an actual scientific study on this which you can find linked in my former post on Oligarchy. “Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich – that is the democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the machinery of capitalist democracy, we see everywhere, in the “petty” – supposedly petty – details of the suffrage (residential qualifications, exclusion of women, etc.), in the technique of the representative institutions, in the actual obstacles to the right of assembly (public buildings are not for “paupers”!), in the purely capitalist organization of the daily press, etc., etc., – we see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions, obstacles for the poor seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has never known want himself and has never been in close contact with the oppressed classes in their mass life (and nine out of 10, if not 99 out of 100, bourgeois publicists and politicians come under this category); but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze out the poor from politics, from active participation in democracy.” -V.I. Lenin. While many things mentioned here have passed with time (residential qualifications, exclusion of women) there is still a great deal of voter repression and fraud today. Poor people do not vote, that is a fact. It is very difficult for them to do so. Many voters in poor, predominately black areas have to wait in line for many hours before actually being able to vote. There is no national holiday for voters, and thus many poor voters cannot vote because they cannot afford to get off work for several hours just to vote. There is also the issue of gerrymandering, not to mention the two-party system in which neither party represents the working class. The two party system continues to alienate a vast number of Americans from participating in government. Even more alarming is the vast influence corporate interests have on the government. If the Leninist idea that “elected officials shall receive no more than a workers wage” was implemented we would not have this problem. If financial contributions to representatives were banned perhaps our government would better represent the interests of the masses. As our society continues to evolve, it becomes essential to view our present system from every possible perspective in a scientific manner, even those that are unconventional. Only then can we truly address the problems accurately and attempt to fix them.