Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Lenin and Democracy

In 1919 the Communist International adopted Lenin's "Theses on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat". In it he wrote "It follows that proletarian dictatorship must inevitably entail not only a change in democratic forms and institutions, generally speaking, but precisely such a change as provides an unparalleled extension of the actual enjoyment of democracy by those oppressed by capitalism, the toiling classes."
Interactive Democracy is not communism and is not shaped by any class theory. It is much more egalitarian than that, dispersing democratic power more equally than today. Its purpose is not seizing power, it is to provide a system whereby good ideas for social change can emerge without being trapped in the mire of centre ground party politics. However, combined with the emergence of Web 2.0, ID could loosen the grip that "money" plays in pulling the levers of power. Something Lenin may well have been pleased about.
If Interactive Democracy were, in some way, to lead to the smallest fraction of the terrors of Stalinism, (as Marxism lead through Lenin to Stalin) it should be killed off right now. However, this is unlikely as ID spreads political power and makes it very hard for a dictator to emerge.

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