The main cause of the disempowerment of the American people is the corruption of democracy by powerful economic forces. As a solution, many seek to revitalize democracy and gain independence from the tyranny of corporations. But this independence is not likely to come through efforts to revitalize political democracy. The American people should instead embrace a movement for economic democracy. The call for economic democracy could rally Americans around a common purpose and create a common agenda to replace the tyranny of corporate power with the economic empowerment of the people.
Communal economic activity had deep roots in Russia’s pre-Revolution village economies. With the collapse of communism, Russia again found itself at a momentous juncture, with a choice of futures before it. Were Russia to choose a cooperative economy to replace communism, there would be a compatibility with the sentiment for social equity not only found in the village economies of old, but also which 20th Century socialism imbued in the Russian psyche. More importantly, such an economic system would be consistent with the cooperative instinct that is deep is human nature
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. 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, and with this comes the false promises of politicians, vote rigging, corruption, tyranny of state power, cronyism, and economic exploitation. To resolve the failures of political democracy, PROUT advocates economic democracy, in which the people enjoy maximum economic empowerment.
The myth of capitalism is that the free market economy is guided by an “invisible hand” to bring benefit to all. But capitalism’s inability to deal responsibly with the externalized costs of production belies this myth. In response to this failure, reform strategies have arisen for dealing with capitalism’s destructive external costs. Taken together, they constitute a movement toward a greening of capitalism—capitalism with a responsible face. But are these greening tendencies enough to salvage capitalism, or is humanity in need of a more powerful economic vision?