On this Fourth of July, all of us at Democracy at Work are bringing you a question from Prof Wolff.
“The question is whether Capitalism or Socialism are the better... economic foundations for what the Founding Fathers committed themselves to: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, equality, brotherhood, and democracy.”
On this national holiday in the United States, many are celebrating their loyalty to a country which fails to provide the most basic resources for healthy and happy lives. While more and more people decide to work for poverty wages or starve, just a few hoard billions in profits. At Democracy at Work, our team analyzes this system critically and emphasizes that we must do better than capitalism to achieve the goals of the Founding Fathers.
Independence day in the United States is remembered as one where the settlers of this country established liberty of their colony from another empire. However, Prof David Harvey reminded us in Anti-Capitalist Chronicles that Americans are not free from economic hardship, and that necessity for economic security used to be mainstream in this country, such as when FDR said in 1944 that “Individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men.”
Democracy is supposed to be a fundamental element of the United States, but capitalism again has limited the scope of democratic influence to those with capital. In the Economic Update Capitalism v.s. Democracy, we learned that “the biggest assault on our democracy is the economic system we do not question enough and that we don't change." True democracy in this country, whether in politics or in the workplace, cannot exist in this system.
However, the place we now know as the United States can change in the future, through worker power and the democratic control of our economy. All Things Co-op is dedicated to exploring those future possibilities for economic democracy and reminding us that “no matter where you are in the world, you find that there is this common cooperative notion, this idea that we all agree that we should collectively come together, and we shouldn't let some benefit while most of us aren't able to do anything.”
This Fourth of July, we thank you for the continued support of Democracy at Work and share this reminder: to meet the goals of the American project, we must do better than capitalism.
Democracy at Work is made possible through the support of our audience’s donations. With your support, we can continue to critically analyze America and the rest of the world’s relationship to capitalism, and share our message for a better possible future. For the Fourth of July, consider supporting our mission to advocate for a better society… one worth celebrating.