What was the early American state? What was an early Greek slave republic? Both were “democracies”, yes, but for who? For the ruling class which in those times consisted of male property/ slave owners to the forceful exclusion of everyone else. No democracy has ever been without a class dictatorship. Today this has been “formally” abolished but it de facto remains the same today, no one can deny this fact. It was a democracy as much as it was a dictatorship of the ruling class. The movements and struggles of the 20th century may have made this less apparent, may have guaranteed more liberty, more democracy, etc. but the general premise remains the same.
For the haters of socialism, let it be said that Marx himself thought the first successful socialist revolutions would take place in the most advanced capitalist countries, at the end of capitalist development. Yet the exact opposite happened in 1917 Russia, one of the most backward countries on earth. It was a socialist revolution in such a country that wasn’t international, that was economically isolated from the rest of the world. Not only that, but when it degenerated into the Stalinist distortion of October that it did, this system became the basis of every singe self-identified “Marxist” state that came after it.. Am I somehow supposed to be surprised that one of the most democratic systems conceivable didn’t work in such a country when we can’t even get liberal democracy to work in Iraq?