September 23, 2012

My life partner, Tom, made an interesting statement yesterday: “Capitalism is NOT democracy.” Obvious, I guess. But in the U.S. – or certainly with certain people and candidates and companies and political parties – capitalism and democracy are pretty much interchangeable.

Here’s what Wikipedia says: “Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods and services for profit.” And what about democracy? “Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.”

Sure. Yes. Capitalism is good. But not always and not totally. Good government ensures that capitalism doesn’t infringe on democracy. Good government compensates for the ills of capitalism that threaten democracy.

But government doesn’t so much compensate for the ills of capitalism in the U.S. Not anymore. And this election is yet another test of how U.S. citizens will respond to what’s happening in this country. Sadly, I don’t have too much hope.

Filed under: Social Commentary

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About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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