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DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION WITHOUT ECONOMIC JUSTICE

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The wave of yearning for freedom and liberty taken for granted in a democracy is not without qualification, so every country must look inwards sorting out which part of other country's politics that they admire can be embraced. What stands out is the judicial system in most western democracy that has protected the civil rights of majority, minority and labor unions giving them the chance to get economic justice. Their justice system, even when flawed in some cases, is exemplary. This is what is lacking in most third world countries where the judicial system is either cowed or bribed to follow the direction of the government in power.

There is a universal burning desire, not only in the Arab world, for liberty and freedom as propagated in western democracy. Unfortunately, missing in some of these democracies is economic justice. When the poor man cries out for freedom, there is much more to it. They want the ability to define their own economic destiny by getting justifiable share of what they work for. In fact many working-class become small business man and woman creating jobs as long as they have an enabling environment. Even worse is dictatorship in most communist countries that cannot create an enabling business ingenuity to employ others since power is centralized as in most third world countries.

The middleclass is the backbone of western democracy. They have more people in that class than in the communist or military dictatorship. A great number of people swell into middleclass through availability of college education to the children of the poor and the rise of the unions demanding decent wage for blue collar workers. A post graduate pathologist from Nigeria expressed surprise in the 70s in Toronto, Canada about a beautiful house he visited for a party, owned by a factory worker. That is, professionals and blue-collar workers lived next door to one another in a middleclass neighborhood. While communism failed to adjust to the incentive in the capitalist system, capitalist countries adopt welfare to remain relevant.

However, this achievement by western democracy is being withered away by the greed of the conservatives that keep on taking more share of the pie without paying back. So those envying freedom and liberty of the western world must search their conscience about economic justice that have given most of the wealth to the top five percent or less while trying to neutralize labor unions and government workers bargaining rights in many states. The days when there were no laws against minimum wage, child labor and 80 hours a week, are gone. Conservatives have never shied away from tax breaks at any cost as the budget deficit dips deeper into red at the expense of programs meant to help the poor, the old and the weak.

Though the recession receded in the western world, the poor and the working class cannot find lost jobs. The big corporations that shed workers are back to making record profits and giving bonuses to the very few without any sense of guilt about their role in stock crashes with tax payers' bailouts. Conservative deficit hawks are cutting spending: student grants, loans, community aid and in the words of Paul Krugman: they are stealing food from the mouth of babes – nutritional aid to pregnant women and the very young children. Underground economy in Spain hides taxes from Government to take care of the poor and Socialist country as Greece: both at the mercy of European Union and IMF are forced to cut spending. It is a difficult period.

The third world rulers are watching, learning and acquiring the same greed from the western mirrors. There are military dictators and politicians in the world that would drive a hot shaft through their mothers' gut just to get appointed, elected or take over by coup de tat. The common denominator between conservatives and dictators that copy their lifestyles, is their hypocrisy towards power, position, fame and sex so that they can stay put for life. It does not happen only in politics, it is also in business and religion. Those of us that stay out of politics, business or religion must be boring or hardly exist and may be jealous of those so blessed.

If the western democracies really want it to work in most of the third world countries, they must modify their infectious greed, they need to change their trade policies that disfavor poor countries and make their economies dependant instead of self sufficient to create jobs at home. There is no doubt that each country trades and barters in its own interest but very high unemployment drain local educated brains to seek greener pastures in developed countries where the products acquired originated. Immigration is so sensitive and tolerance for foreign workers is so low, developed world must practice fair trade to help keep migrants at home.

Looking at the differences between Iceland that got repackage of corporate loans from lenders and Ireland that punishes the poor cutting services so that money can be redistributed to the same corporation, we see a trend of economic injustice in western democracies. The glamour of the conservatives mesmerizes the working class into thinking they will accomplish the same status if they follow their propaganda and election promises. How Berlusconi last as the Prime Minister in Italy despite mafia connection and disdain for the poor, except for sex, baffles. So, United States declared two wars and taxes cut for the rich, while the Liberal Democrats sold their soul to Conservative Government in Britain to fight debt at the back of the poor.

The most conservative democracies are the most religious and almost of the same intolerance as other religious extremists. They are against abortion to save lives except the lives of doctors that perform them, against gays and lesbians, against welfare, against gun control, against business or stock regulations, against increase in minimum wage, against universal health since they have. However, they are for corporate welfare like defense contractors, for corporate tax heaven, for obscene salary profit and bonuses, for more prisons than university graduates and for cutting taxes that paid for roads, fire fighters and police at local levels. They will rather turn (exchange) civilized communities into the third world countries that emulate their democracy.

We may be able to cure most of our selfish and outrageous behaviors if we understand and analyze the value of what drives us. When we understand what it is, taste it, we may also want to leave it in place and stay longer because we enjoy the status quo. However, when we go beyond bounds, limitation of community and moral decency standard without guilt or remorse at the peril of other individuals, the right place would be in a gulag. Nevertheless, dictators and religious zealots world-wide are willing to take that risk.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Farouk Martins Aresa and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa