Democracy that bows down to the market is a false compromise

The task ahead, then, is to give more power back to the democratic state. That cannot be done unless we regain some of the territory ceded to deregulated capital. Progressive forces have to admit to themselves that capitalism cannot be tamed by civil society, quotas for women in business and paid parental leave for men.

The democratic state is not everything. But without a strong democratic state our societies cannot be structured fairly. Our enthusiasm for civil society has led us to forget what its limits are.

The unfair distributive mechanisms of capitalist societies can be corrected only by relying on the state’s regulatory instruments. Besides, civil society is mainly an affair of the middle class. We need a less symbolic and more substantive politics.

Democracy’s problem is not the crisis but the triumph of capitalism. Democracy has become market-conforming. If one wants to risk greater democracy, one has to turn the tables and finally make markets conform more fully to democracy.

In the long run, deregulated markets destroy themselves and social cohesion. Social democracy should be more courageous and tackle the distribution issue more energetically before the latter gets out of hand and becomes an insoluble class issue.

via Democracy that bows down to the market is a false compromise.

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