Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Does anyone know if Karl Marx wrote about direct democracy and capitalism in Switzerland?
Though Switzerland is perceived as a conservative country with many wealthy capitalists it's political system is rooted in the communes. The Swiss have the highest per capita income anywhere in Europe, low taxes and low unemployment. Their currency is strong. They are ethnically and linguistically diverse, which doesn't seem to hinder them. If Marx were alive today, with the modern example Switzerland offers, would he have commented on how voter power (direct democracy style) can counter balance the ills of capitalism; and, looking at other countries, would he comment on how capital can corrupt representative democracy?
Perhaps he would have compared the money economy with the vote economy. On the one hand there is an unequal distribution of capital that flows where the owner decides, accumulating with a few, and on the other an equal distribution of votes, readily available to be cast in favour of fairness.
(Since writing these questions I've discovered this by Engels about the Swiss civil war: he rants bloodthirstily for centralisation.)