Critique on Bourgeois Notions of ‘Liberty, Democracy, Equality and Justice’

There is liberty alright, but certainly not “liberty for all”. It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed, hungry or homeless person. True freedom can only exist where there is no exploitation or oppression of one person by another; where there is no unemployment, no homelessness, and where a person is not living in fear of losing his/ her job or home, or going hungry. Only in such a society can personal, or any other freedom for that matter, exist for real and not merely on paper.

There is democracy alright, but democracy which serves a privileged, property owning class. Less than 7% of representatives in congress and senate are in the bottom 80% income bracket. 9/10 of our public representatives are capitalists, or rich men. Direct bribery of bureaucrats and the alliance between the state and wall street make a “democracy for all” impossible. Indeed the leftover surpluses produced by workers in a corporate model of enterprise are for a small group of men (board of directors) who are elected by top stock holders (60% of whom are in the top 1%, 1 stock meaning one vote) to have absolute power over what to do with. Such industrial tyranny is the very definition of capitalism. And worse still, most industries appropriate large portions of that surplus to candidates of, and to one of the two political parties in the United States. Both parties look after maintaining and reinforcing via ideology and force, this exploitative social system. The upper classes being powerful by money only, cannot acquire political power but by making money the only qualification for the legislative capacity of an individual, first in officially (the exclusion of the rich from running for office) and then de facto (the near impossibility of running for office without corporate money). Because there is no industrial democracy (socialism), there can be no true political democracy. It is at once democracy of the rich, and dictatorship over the propertyless masses. Whereas socialism is democracy of the 99%, and dictatorship over the overthrown exploiter classes.

There is equality and justice alright. But equality is set aside again by restraining it to a mere “equality before the law”, which means equality in spite of the inequality of rich and poor — equality within the limits of the chief inequality existing—which means, in short, nothing else but giving inequality the name of equality. Formal equality is an absurdity, it is not uncommon for a poor person to be sentenced to life in jail for what many would consider a petty crime, but a billionaire being sentenced to life in jail for ruining millions of lives- now that would be unheard of! African Americans make up 13% of the US population, yet account for 40% of the prison population. Even though cannabis use rates among black and white populations are virtually identical, black people are 4x as likely to be incarcerated for the same crime as their white counterparts. If the 400 years of oppression of black people is not enough to cry shame on the criminal ‘justice’ system, then I do not know what is.

 

Source: 1 (Note I am an Anti-Stalinist)

Source: (Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels Collected Works Volume 6, P. 28-29)

This entry was posted in Marxism.

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