Democracy is not possible under capitalism. The very nature of the beast is that capital, profit, is concentrated in the hands of an engorged minority who use it to further enrich themselves at the expense of the vast majority of the world’s people, and to the detriment of planet Earth herself.
Poor and working class people cannot participate in this wealth-driven process because we have been locked out of the all-important ability to acquire sufficient wealth to determine our own destiny. Still, under capitalism, a system that can more accurately be called “profitism”, we have been indoctrinated to believe with all our hearts that we live in a democracy. To preserve this imbalance of power where greed and racism reign supreme, capitalists have utterly convinced us that socialism is the enemy of freedom and democracy.
At the heart of this erroneous belief, this destroyer of liberty, is the belief that voting under capitalism is the same thing as democracy. In other words, we have been led to believe that democracy is defined by holding regularly scheduled elections. As a result, we have been duped into confusing democracy with going to the polls and voting for first one wealthy politician, then another, in a two-party, capitalist-controlled system. And, believing that we live in a democracy because we go vote, we have been convinced to defend profitism at all costs.
Voting is not synonymous with democracy. True democracy requires that the people, a society’s majority, govern. Do we govern?
- Is there a one-person-one-vote political system in place whereby our vote actually reflects the true will of the majority in determining who occupies the White House?
- Does electing a capitalist official anywhere, even a Black one, give us the power to choose how our tax dollars are spent, or to pass laws that benefit poor and working class citizens?
- Can we, by our vote, affect policy at the national level to protect and defend our hard won civil rights?
- Do we have the ability to elect people to office who will ensure that food, shelter, education and health care are provided for our most vulnerable and marginalized community members?
- Do we have the power to demand fair compensation for the wealth we produce for capitalists from our hard work and labor, or does the lion’s share of that wealth go to fat cats who sit on their asses and produce nothing?
- Do we have real choices at the polls or are we consigned to voting for the lesser of the evils available to us?
No. Democracy is not the provision to vote. Democracy under capitalism is a cruel illusion.
The toppling of capitalism and the institution of socialism, under which true democracy is possible, will not magically happen overnight. Therefore, in the meantime, we have to do our best to spend our votes more judiciously to better safeguard the needs of the poor, working class and disenfranchised among us. That means running and supporting socialist candidates, independent candidates, or if our conscience dictates, withholding our vote altogether. In this corrupt two-party capitalist system, where we do not have one person, one vote democracy, our vote counts for little and always will. So long as we understand that we do not live in a democracy, we can be motivated to begin to create a more democratic society right now. Once we destroy the illusion that we live in a democracy, we can be more purposeful, more directed and more effective with our vote.
Afro Metaphysics advocates Black Power Socialism® as a way forward toward creating freedom and justice for ourselves. Liberating ourselves. We, Black people, are not tied to defining any system, including socialism, by how it has operated under a global White power structure in whose hands wealth has been concentrated. If not in the hands of the profiteers, then in the hands of the State apparatus. Both systems breed corruption. Instead, we are free to, and capable of, defining Black Power Socialism for ourselves. Black Power Socialism invites us to conduct our lives communally by creating a system of cooperation and self-sufficiency of our own design, implemented in our own communities, organizations and workplaces.
While the eventual liberation from capitalist oppression and its concomitant effects of racism and exploitation may seem impossible under the current conditions, it is not. Black liberation will be achieved by our belief that it can be done. That is the advantage that practicing metaphysical principles gives us. When we believe that we can achieve the justice we want, and act on that belief, there is no force that can stop us.