Roper’s The History of Democracy: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2X0B8OXSXZJ1/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm: History of Democracy is a good history of the idea and a reminder the limited nature of democratic realization. If you sit down and read Rousseau on the general will and social contract you can snap into the idea and snap out of it momentarily as you realize that there was a point, as with Rousseau, when someone had to say what the word meant. The twin forms, direct as in Athens, and representative, after the fashion of modern national democracies, seem to leave the feeling that the idea has never quite been realized. Representative democracy is limited and easily defeated by elites. The american system and its current election don’t seem to have anything to do with democracy anymore. And here the marxist types of critique have pointed to the need to recompute the whole idea of democracy. We need a system with a kind of socialist, thence communist, foundation that can make democracy independent of capitalist domination.
The current crisis in Venezuela shows the acute phase of the whole dilemma as a socialist foundation, incomplete, is threatened in the right wing invocation of ‘democracy’ to make neo-liberal restoration and counterrevolution destroy the gains of ‘democracy by a new an future definition’.
I think that Venezuela should maintain its Chavist threshold socialism and move to consolidate its revolution in a completion of revolutionary expropriation. The challenges from the right of ‘pseudo-democracy’ should be resisted, and one might go so far as to suggest a complete take-over of the Venezuela political system and economy in a full socialism. The price that must be paid for this is the creation of a new and real form of democracy in a socialist context. It is propaganda for the right to promote the false democracy of the neo-liberal era and a transitional authority moving toward a socialist democracy requires no apology, whatever the howls of protest from the right. The world and capitalism are in crisis, it would be sad to see Venezuela’s potential destroyed by the circling hyenas of Wall Street and the US ‘Monroe doctrine’ imperialism.
We have discussed a framework that can set up the definition of a new form of democracy: democratic market neo-communism (search box for the many posts on this). This is a format that allows strong authority to found a postcapitalist system with a series of independent sectors and an overall democratic definition insider a socialist system.
The era of capitalist dominated fake democracy needs to pass as a serious new form of democracy is discovered.