“Democracy is, as I take all forms of government to be, a contradiction in itself, an untruth, nothing but hypocrisy (theology, as we Germans call it), at the bottom. Political liberty is sham-liberty, the worst possible slavery; the appearance of liberty, and therefore the reality of servitude. Political equality is the same; therefore democracy, as well as every other form of government, must ultimately break to pieces: hypocrisy cannot subsist, the contradiction hidden in it must come out; we must have either a regular slavery — that is, an undisguised despotism, or real liberty, and real equality — that is, Communism.”

Engels. Progress of Social Reform On the Continent. 1843

"In true democracy, the political state disappears… [I]t is evident that all forms of the state have democracy for their truth, and for that reason are false to the extent that they are not democracy.”

Marx. Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. 1843

“The proletariat too needs democratic forms for the seizure of political power but they are for it, like all political forms, mere means. But if today democracy is wanted as an end it is necessary to rely on the peasantry and petty bourgeoisie [instead].”

Engels. Friedrich Engels to Eduard Bernstein In Zurich. 1884


Well, he's right that Democracy is an untruth.

can someone explain this critique of democracy for me? Never understood it.
Or at least link me some kind of reading for more info.

It's only a critique of democracy in the sense that as of the 19th century the word "democracy" came to become a synonym of plutocracy. Today the vulgarization of this word has only multiplied itself. "Democracy" is nothing more than the rallying cry for the subjugation of foreign nations to the will of Western powers.

All forms of government have a dominant class character, democracy concceils this truth very effectively.

so the whole "america is going to bring you liberty" type thing?

does leftypol think democracy is impossibe? how would democracy run under a communist society?

Engels was such an autist.

Sure thing, Mugabe.

It isn't real. Where does sovereignty actually lie? Not with the executive, for sure, at least not in America. The system of separation of powers is just a total mess. Meanwhile, the actual holders of power can basically run wild behind the scenes, unchecked. It's like you have at least two crypto-monarchies fighting each other for control over the State.

Well, he's right insofar as Western democracy promotion is largely an imperialist project, though I'm sure there are plenty of true believers. Just get people to install a nice US-inspired constitution with separation of powers, democracy, etc. then the State department, Foundations, etc. can run wild like they do back home.

I see, just like electrification and education.

Mugabe, of course, isn't good at much except ethnic cleansing.

Equal status for ethnic groups is a facet of western democracy and therefor imperialist as well.

Western imperialism would, in all likelihood, be an improvement in Zimbabwe.

To expand on this, American-style democratic-expansionist imperialism is probably actually worse than colonialism for a country. At least the British leave schools and infrastructure behind when they're exploiting you. America leaves you radical Islam and a non-functioning "democracy" that usually just sells out to its resource extraction companies.

Improvements are imperialist, the proper anti-imperialist thing to do is hack of inoculated arms.


Just think of everything your xenophobia makes you miss out on.

Big surprise!

*coughs in the four official languages of Burkina Faso*

It is possible only in a society without classes.