Where economic power is centralized, democracy is subverted. Centralization of economic power cannot coexist with a government that is of, by and for the people; centralization of economic power twists political power into government by, for and of the special interests. Government becomes controlled by the power of money.
Some functions of the state may remain responsive to popular influence, but where there are decisions to be made that affect big moneyed interests, the voice of the people becomes pathetically weak and is trumped by corporate lobbyists and legislators beholden to corporate campaign contributions.
To end this tyranny, PROUT advocates economic democracy rather than political democracy. In political democracy there is universal voting rights and centralization of economic power. In liberal democracy, economic power is centralized in the hands of large corporations; under socialist democracy, economic power is centralized in the hands of the state. But both are systems of political democracy.
Political democracy is easily corrupted. And it is a governing system that is highly tolerant of economic exploitation. In many Asian and African nations, European colonial rule was replaced by political democracy. People fought for their independence, and for the right to be democratically self-governed. But how much have the lives of the common people improved? In almost all cases, political democracy became a disappointment for people who suffered under colonialism and, upon independence, had such high hopes for life under democracy.
With political democracy comes the false promises of politicians, vote rigging, rampant corruption, tyranny of state power, cronyism, and economic exploitation. The aspirations of the people remain frustrated, and political alienation and cynicism grows — as does extremism and political polarization.
Political democracy discourages honest, competent leaders and attracts ideologues, demagogues, power-seekers, and the self-serving. It also impedes people’s aspirations for economic liberation and privileges the interests of big corporations, allowing their corrupting influence over government to stifle regulations that would protect workers, communities, health, and the environment.