Socialist Worker

Signs of democracy

Issue No. 2650

Debating the way forward

Debating the way forward (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Ordinary people have responded in a huge variety of ways to the political and economic crisis ravaging the system.

In Sudan, hundreds of thousands have taken part in protests and sit-ins, got rid of Omar al-Bashir and now stand against the military’s seizure of power.

In Algeria, a mass movement has swept another ruler aside and strikes and protests continue despite new elections scheduled for July. And in Britain thousands of people are taking action against environmental chaos.

Each of these struggles show people fighting to find new forms of democracy, whether it’s through sit-ins or mass assemblies.

The Russian revolutionary Lenin condemned “the lies, falsehood and hypocrisy of capitalist democracy—democracy for the rich”.

“The blessings of democracy are, in fact, inaccessible to the vast majority of working people,” he argued. We can see this in our rulers’ shocking inaction over climate change or attempts to install into office members of the old elite in Sudan and Algeria.

Every fight for a richer kind of democracy will at some point come up against the limits of capitalism—a system designed for the rule of the rich.

When that happens, the answer is to create our own democratic organisations from below, capable of challenging the power of the state.

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