The left has too often failed to make their promotion of postcapitalism attractive to projective postliberal liberals on the threshold of disillusion. And that failure is backed up by historical evidence seized on by opponents from the rich resource of refutational falsification: the history of bolshevism.
But the times are changing and the legacy of neo-liberalism is beginning to suffer the same fate: we can see now that the ‘end of history’ argument was meaningless if democracy was not clearly defined in relation to the domination of capitalism. It wasn’t really democracy. So the issue is to define democracy in the context of postcapitalism, or a transition thereto. The activist thrust in this sense must generate the same appeal that democracy has now, without the gross deception implied in that term current in our own time. As noted the forms of democracy are very limited realizations. Direct democracy is ancient and lost on modernity. That leaves the sole form of representative democracy and this form has degenerated swiftly into the capitalist-dominated parody we see at the present time. So we don’t have to worship at the altar of representative democracy. It is hard to see any alternative at first. We don’t need one: we need an amplification and larger context of democracy, one that provides democratic potentials in the form of social democratic programs, guarantees, economic rights, equalization policies. The issues of representative democracy must be completely transformed with new and more robust electoral systems, freed from the grotesque charade we see in the American Congress/Senate. Democracy has to be more than representative democracy but we can create a partial foundation in these old fashioned terms.
We have proposed in democratic market neo-communism a hybrid system based on communism: the expropriation of the capital bourgeoisie and foundational communism reverting proprty to the Commons.
Three branches of government: a presidential sector consisting of a one party system as guardians of the revolution of communism. This sector would still be republican in cautioning the powers of a strong executive with checks and balances. A one party system of ‘revolutionary heroes’ would be an austere assembly of guardians who can own no private property and who would be consigned to a series of constraints on covert agencies, if any, and international affairs.
next a congress/senate (or one institution) with multiparty representative democratic systematics, and a legal constraint on any kind of legal bribery. Elections would be short, publicly funded and meritocratic. This sector would advise and legislate economic issues, but the partial control of the economy would be a complex legal arrangement between various kinds of courts, and economic planning bodies that would be subject to various requirements. An ecological framework would be essential and legally binding.
The economic field would be a mixed field of corporate entities guided by the agencies in question, but not subject to the whims of executives. The field would also allow independent entrepreneurial individuals licensing various potentials from the Commons to create semi-autonomous corporations required to operate on a surplus, if not a profit. The individuals involved could thus work on a net equivalent of profit in the context of relatively free markets within the limits of the system.
The overall system would have a threshold level below which a high degree of autonomy in terms of any number of independent formations form small businesses, shops, farms, light industry, trade functions, communes, cooperatives, etc…
The larger system will generate a strong authority to protect the overall constitutional framework yet have democratic core representation next to the complex of rights and liberties, along with economic rights.
Issues of pubic health, education, living space, basic income in an era of automation, and much else need to be solved once and for all.
Many questions remain, and the first is the context of trade in the set of initial enclave socialisms beside the exterior of any outstanding capitalist formations. The gestating federation of socialist states would move aggressively to defend themselves from external capitalist predators, scofflaws (e.g. on climate change), and such.
There is a lot more to consider here, but the point is to see that ‘democrats’ have corrupted the term ‘democracy’ and communists have failed to solve the problems of rights and liberties. Our rough sketch suggests ways to balance a set of opposite.
However we might arrive at this we need to see that the current system of capitalism is a failure, and that it is so far beyond legal or political reach. We are passing the point of no return on climate change, and confront a rapidly growing totalitarian juggernaut claiming grossly the mantle of democracy.