“Until there is economic equality, political equality is just talk.”
In earlier articles in this series we have described in detail exactly why democracy is no longer up to the task of managing a complex and crisis-torn planet. Starting with “Democracy — The Primary Fatal Flaw” and then “Democracy — The Other Fatal Flaws,” we then presented a progressive, radical alternative towards creating a Democratic Meritocracy. We now introduce Economic Equality as an essential condition for a true democracy:
“I want to say firstly that the democracy that exists today is not a complete democracy. And secondly, democracy cannot be complete until we create a system for economic equality. Political equality alone cannot make democracy complete: those who are economically unequal may be called politically equal, but in reality they are not equal.
“Until there is economic equality, political equality is just talk; equality will be just a plaything in the hands of a few people. So, here in India there is democracy and in other countries such as America there is also democracy — but even in America that democracy is partial. Democracy cannot be complete until an atmosphere of economic equality also emerges.
“And I want to say this: whatever alternatives are going on in the world, none of them is democracy in the real sense of the word. One alternative has been in Soviet Russia, but it too was not a democracy because economic equality was given, but political equality taken away. That too is a partial democracy. It may be called a dictatorship or whatever else, but the name makes no any difference.
“And in countries where there is political freedom but no economic equality, there too democracy is half. The democracy that I call democracy has not yet been born in this world. By this I do not mean that the only alternative to this democracy is dictatorship. No, the only alternative to this democracy is complete democracy.
“Until we plan thoroughly for economic equality, there will be democracy only in word. From behind, “money-cracy” will continue. So, on the face of it we think there is democracy, but the rich are dominant and run the system. And they will continue to do so: it is natural…