Democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world, far more revolutionary than socialist ideas or anybody else’s ideas. If you have power, you use it to meet the needs of you and your community. This idea of choice is what capitalism talks about all the time (“You’ve got to have a choice.”), but choice depends on the freedom to choose and if you’re shackled with debt you don’t have the freedom to choose.
It seems that it benefits the system if the average working person is shackled with debt.
The people in debt become hopeless, and hopeless don’t vote. So the government says that everyone should vote, but if the poor turned out and voted for people who represented their interests it would be a real democratic revolution. So they don’t want that to happen, so they keep people hopeless and pessimistic. There are two ways in which people are controlled: first of all frighten people and secondly demoralize them. An educated, healthy, and confident nation is harder to govern, and there’s an element of that in the thinking of the government, “We don’t want people to be educated, healthy, and confident because they would get out of control.” The top 1% of the world’s population own 80% of the world’s wealth. It’s incredible that people put up with it, but they are poor…they’re demoralized…they’re frightened and therefore what they think that perhaps the safest thing is to take orders hope for the best.
– Tony Benn, Former Member of Parliament
One of the things that keeps everything running in France is that the government is afraid of the people. They’re afraid of protests they’re afraid of reactions from the people whereas in the States, people are afraid of the government they’re afraid of acting up, they’re afraid of protesting…they’re afraid of getting out. Whereas in France that’s what people do.
– American expatriot living in France