by Frank Li
The answer is “no, not yet, but getting closer.”
Democracy, as we know it today, is akin to communism in one critical aspect: destroying capitalism! Here is the subtle difference between them: communism violently destroyed capitalism over night, while democracy has been peacefully destroying capitalism over time.
Democratic destruction becomes from both sides, left (more) and right (less). Here are two recent examples:
(1) From the left: Al Sharpton: Please tell Romney, we’re not envious, we are fed up.
(2) From the right: The GOP’s weird war on wealth.
I have already published extensively on the related subjects. This article will explicitly draw a link between democracy and communism. It is built heavily on my two previous articles: Loop Theory – Capitalism vs. Socialism and Pyramid Theory I.
This is the second article of the series: “Towards An Ideal Form of Government”.
(1) Communism: It is “a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, stateless and revolutionary socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production.” Two real-world examples: Cuba and North Korea.
(2) Democracy: It is “generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.” One real-world example: the U.S. (call it a “Republic,” if you like, which is too academic for me).
No serious discussion of communism can start without mentioning Karl Marx, who was well known for his theory of societal development, as shown in Figure 1: that society advances in phases from some early forms (e.g. tribalism and slavery) to feudalism, to capitalism, to socialism, and finally to communism.
Figure 1: Karl Marx’s theory of societal development
At a very high level, Marx’s theory is correct. In practice, two individuals capitalized on this theory more than anyone else: Lenin and Mao. Both of them eventually failed for the same reason: They jumped from feudalism to socialism via a violent revolution that first destroyed capitalism (in its primitive stage in their respective countries). No doubt, the Soviet Union was a total disaster, as was China under Mao (1949-1976). As a matter of fact, Mao was China’s last de facto emperor, an epitomized symbol of feudalism!
Today, there exist only two communist countries: Cuba and North Korea. They are the worst on earth! All others have painfully failed and changed.
3. Li’s Loop Theory: capitalism vs. socialism
Figure 2 shows my Loop Theory by extending and truncating Marx’s theory as follows:
(1) Capitalism and socialism are in a loop, requiring balancing from time to time. Capitalism is a must for prosperity. Socialism, if poorly managed, may set us back to feudalism (or even further back)!
(2) Communism is so remote that we all should ignore it.
Figure 2: Li's Loop Theory
4. Li’s Pyramid Theory I
Everything substantive in American society is pyramidal, with the “winners” sitting on the top and the majority below them. Three examples:
(1) Wealth: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are on the pinnacle. The rest of us fill in the middle and bottom.
(2) Jobs: There are always more low-pay jobs than high-pay jobs (relatively). If you are good, get a high-pay one.
(3) Business: There are always more workers than owners. If you are really good, be an owner!
The pyramidal shape not only follows physics (e.g. gravity), but also is the result of American capitalism at its best: You can make it if you work hard and if you are good (and lucky). I am a modern-day example of an American dream has come true. However, no matter how far society advances (e.g. computers and the Internet), there is always a need for garbage collection and lawn mowing. In other words, while the U.S. is the best place on earth to give anybody and everybody opportunities to move up, the majority of us will end up in the middle or bottom, as it should be. But democracy changes that …
American democracy, as we know it today, is all about obtaining votes. Because of the lack of term limits, most, if not all, of the politicians are on their jobs for one supreme purpose only: getting re-elected ad nauseum. So they will do anything and everything to win your votes, including emptying the public treasury and creating various socialistic schemes in defiance of Pyramid Theory I. Two examples:
(1) Home ownership: If you want a bigger and better home than you can actually afford, no problem - Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will help you out.
(2) Job creation: We are willing to spend on such wasteful things as a bridge to nowhere and Marine One, all in the name of job creation (or preservation), so that some of you can pretend to be working while the government can pretend to be paying you.
Here is a big problem: the government has little money of its own. Instead, it subsidizes the “losers” by taxing the “winners”. In other words, it punishes success! As a result, the pool of winners constantly becomes smaller and, at the present pace, will be dried out or chased away. Soon there will be little wealth left for re-distribution! Still wondering why I said America is becoming yesterday’s China? Wonder not! Democracy, as we know it today, looks more and more like communism, and it is destroying American success by destroying capitalism faster than most Americans realize! By punishing success, you will end up without any success!
To make the point even more explicit, let me say this: the left-most Democrats today sound and act like the communists in China I was used to when I was growing up, from the class warfare (i.e. “the class struggle between the proletarians and the bourgeois” in communist terms) to the fake notion of “serving the people” by the career politicians (i.e. “serving the people with heart and soul,” as per Chairman Mao).
6. Capitalism 101
For a quick lesson on capitalism 101, watch this short video: USA falls short on capitalism; true capitalism India style.
7. Democracy -> socialism -> bankruptcy
Two points first:
(1) There is not a single precedent of a third world country achieving prosperity via democracy. The key to prosperity is capitalism, not democracy!
(2) Democracy was successful in the West largely because it was a luxury built on the strength of capitalism. The West could afford it until now, but not any longer!
Democracy, by definition, leads to socialism, which, “if poorly managed, may set us back to feudalism,” according to the Loop Theory. Unfortunately, socialism has yet to be proven manageable: Most democratic counties have so overspent their future for the present and have gone so deeply into destructive socialism that the West, as a whole, is now on the verge of bankruptcy. Several European countries are already there, with more to follow, including the U.S.!
8. Where is the U.S. today, really?
We are in a steep decline! Our national debt was $9T in 2009 when President Obama took office. It has now exceeded $15T, which is more than our annual GDP! President Obama has, without question, proven to be the biggest spender, by far, in U.S. history! Any consequence? Read this: Debt slavery: why it destroyed Rome, why it will destroy us unless it’s stopped.
We are in a crisis! We are much worse off today than in 2009 when President Obama took office. Any doubt? Click this (Meet the Jobless in Iowa), or this (College Graduates Face Record High Debt in the Age of Record High Unemployment), or this (The Hidden America), or this (Santa finds kids giving shorter lists in recession). Need you read more?
We are in a total mess! Read this: Ron Paul on 9/11: Ask the right questions and face the truth, and this: 10 reasons the US is no longer the land of the free.
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
9. Communism vs. democracy
Kim II was a king in North Korea. A firefighter in the U.S. is a public servant. Does the number of people attending a public funeral have any significance to proportionally demonstrate the importance of the dead person? If yes, adding all the public servants together, how many thousands of “kings” do we end up having in the U.S.?
The public sector unions must go! They are communistic and they are anti-America!
Fortunately, democratic socialism has not destroyed capitalism in the U.S., yet. Better still, I believe I have most accurately identified the root cause of many American ills and provided the best solution. More profoundly, read this: Towards An Ideal Form of Government. The question is: Can we change before it’s really too late?
If we can’t, then democracy will definitely match up with communism in destruction: democracy will destroy the West as spectacularly as communism destroyed the East, by the same means: destroying capitalism!
When, then, is it too late? Read this: USA in 2012/2016: An Insolvent and Ungovernable Country!
About the Author
Frank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.