The proletariat cannot be victorious except through democracy, i.e., by giving full effect to democracy and by linking with each step of its struggle democratic demands formulated in the most resolute terms…While capitalism exists, these demands—all of them—can only be accomplished as an exception, and even then in an incomplete and distorted form. Basing ourselves on the democracy already achieved, and exposing its incompleteness under capitalism, we demand the overthrow of capitalism, the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, as a necessary basis both for the abolition of the poverty of the masses and for the complete and all-round institution of all democratic reforms.
~~Lenin on Self-Determination (1915)
Democracy and capitalism are in fatal conflict, and the contradictions are clearer and clearer in the contemporary US: the militarization of domestic police forces accompanied by unsustainable military expansion around the world; mass incarceration and the criminalizing of whole communities; permanent war; political power in the hands of a tiny super-rich cabal; rampant corruption and political paralysis; an economy (casino/disaster/zombie/crony capitalism) built on gambling, collecting rents, and debt; crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; galloping income disparity; the eclipse of the public and the selling off of the public space to the highest bidder (or the closest and most genial family member); massive poverty, hunger, and homelessness as a choice by power in the richest country in the world.
Our fight is for full democracy—political, economic, international—not the mangled, disfigured “democracy” we see all around us.
Let the people decide!