Monday, May 02, 2011

Discussing the State and Future of Democracy

Vikas Shah Interviews Noam Chomsky 

By Noam Chomsky and Vikas Shah, ZNet, April 29, 2011
Looking at the UK, US & Europe, to what extent are our societies free and democratic?

These Societies are quite free by historical standards. They are democratic in the sense that they have formal elections that aren’t stolen, and so on. They’re undemocratic to the extent that forces other than popular will have an overwhelming effect on who can participate in electoral outcomes. The United States is the most extreme in this respect. Right now in the United States, elections are essentially bought. You can’t run an election unless you have a huge amount of capital — which means overwhelmingly, although not one hundred percent, that capital was sought from strong corporate backing. For example, in the 2008 election- what carried Obama across the finish line first at the end was a very substantial amount of support from financial institutions which are now the core of the economy. The coming elections are supposed to be a two-billion-dollar election, and there’s only one place to go for that kind of money.

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