The democratic foundational moment of the American Revolution is taken as an exemplar of democratic emergence in world history, but a closer look shows an outcome so embarrassing we might recoil in shock with a sense it was nothing of the kind. The Brits warned at the start: you will create a republic on the foundation of Indian genocide, voiding the result.
In fact, thus, it created a fake democracy, a not inconsiderable achievement in the realm of the bluff and a loan against the future: that promissory note is really coming due now with a preposterous, but very logical enjoinder: create that democracy and get that debt paid. The first part was paid with the Civil War. The next requires dealing with economic foundations. The ‘real democracy’ requires dealing with corrupt politics and a poorly defined political system, and most importantly with the runaway economics of capitalism/imperialism next to the genocide of the american indians/
We see that our ‘democracy’ is just a promissory note, one that should be paid in due order, soon. The Civil War came swiftly: there was no other possibility. The issue of the economic system is not coming so easily, in part because the expression of capitalism was an historical opportunity (a world market from a continental market, etc…), maybe. But this system cannot idle much longer: the note has come due, and we see that oblivion is becoming the real outcome.
Let’s make the point clear: the American revolution simply issued a promissory note on democracy. The Civil War paid the first installment. The final installments are not so easily defined. But we have a system now that is discredited by its genocide, among other issues. That means it can’t be the solution.
This and related questions are a warning that the system we live in can’t be reformed. It must start over, paying its notes that have come due…
The first and best option is economic democracy as a foundation, and we can derive logically the basic format of communism from the issue of ‘primitive accumulation’: the basis of capitalist wealth was created by extraction from the Commons. A real democratic starting point requires its return to the Commons.