Economic Development And Democracies In Modern Society

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The Sierra Leone case clearly illustrates some of the problems with economic development and the growth or consolidation of democracies in modern society. Another problem with economic development is that it often brings about the isolation or division of classes. Lipset maintains that through economic development, the representatives of the lower strata of society become part of the governing classes or “members of the club.” In modern democracies, rarely does the working class become incorporated into the “legitimate body politic.” Lipset paints a highly idealistic or unrealistic view of society. Even De Schweinitz states (and this was also the view of Huntington) that “if the less developed countries are to grow economically, they must…show more content…
All of these conditions are brought about through the subordination of a democratic society to the market. Economic development under neoliberal capitalism cannot be democratic because it sacrifices the public sphere for economic security, capital, and the imperatives of profitability. Democracy thus loses touch with the working class (or lower socioeconomic strands of the population)—a massive part of its constituency—simply because it is unable to participate in the games of the market. Individuals and communities then lose authority and democratic control over issues like ecosystem protection, public education systems, rent and housing laws, natural resource extraction, and employer relations, all because economic development prioritizes the demands of the market over civic needs and democratic quality. The result, is what this paper identifies as pseudo-democracies, or states that maintain democratic governments as a mass display, instead of democratic systems driven by the people, for the people, from…show more content…
In fact, capital is not concerned with democracy, employment, debt levels, equality, or even productivity—as long as unemployment, high debt, inequality, and low productivity are supplemented by rising profits. This is what we see in most ‘democracies’ today—rising profits through declining wages. When the states of the EU are located within a larger transnational market, and markets are no longer located in the individual states—the only enforcers of democracy—democracy cannot flourish. As a result, the European Union experiences scenarios like the Greek referendum or Brexit, where voters react against the disparity, disempowerment, and lack of democracy created by the EU. Voters aim to return decision making to national levels in order for citizens to enjoy more participation and control as they resist the undemocratic, supranational EU entity. Democracy, even in insufficient forms, can only exist within national and local political structures because the nation-state is the only entity with some autonomy towards capital. In a neoliberal globalized world, the sovereignty of the nation-state (and thus the manifestation of democracy and political confrontation) is becoming more and more challenging to maintain. Due to the effects of globalization, democracy as defined by Lipset is

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