Comment 33131

By LL (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2009 at 22:43:45

"Why is it that your "real" democracies seem to always fizzle out so quickly?"

That's a fair question. The ancient democracy - in Athens and a few other greek cities - lasted several decades and coincided with a great flourishing of civic culture. The Paris Commune was defeated militarily and its activists were executed. The American democracy was defeated from within, when the founding fathers made the constitution - which they were clear was not democratic, but rather a mix of democracy, oligarchy, and monarchy. That's basically the system that all "democracies" have today. The Soviets were also defeated from within. When Lenin, Trotsky and the rest of the Bolsheviks came back from exile to take part in the revolution that was already happening, they persuaded the Soviet councils to give up their popular sovereignty in return for "Peace, Bread, and Land". Seemed like a good idea at the time, eh. The Argentinian example is still happening just under the surface, though establishment rule has stabilized since 2001.

Of course it's the legacy that lives on. Time-and-again, this democratic, federal way of self-government keeps resurfacing. That most of them were defeated by the power hungry - and not through their own incompetence - shows that they were actually a legitimate threat to class rule, unlike populist or social-democratic parties that periodically get people excited about elections.

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