Why American Democracy is Dead

It’s the economy, stupid.

Anna Mercury
5 min readAug 30, 2021


Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

Statistically speaking, you’re probably one of the 162,810,000 American adults who currently lives under an authoritarian regime. You serve a president who can legally curtail your free speech, revoke your free expression and punish you for assembling with your fellow citizens. You don’t vote for your legislature. You don’t vote for your lower-level leaders. The meager semblance of a judiciary, if you have one, directly serves your president — oh, and you personally cannot vote him out either (statistically speaking, it’s a him).

If you’re lucky, by contrast, you’re among the measly 6,734 American adults who don’t. If you’re lucky, you’re employed in a democratic workplace.

Democracy is dead in our politics because it is dead in our economy. It’s not just astronomical wealth inequities and unchecked corporate political spending we’re talking about here. All that was an inevitable outcome of the structure itself, because our economy is comprised of dictatorships.

These dictatorships might have some regulations curtailing the worst abuses, but they have no intrinsic checks and balances on power within them. The vast majority of companies are not governed by or for the people who work for them. The interests of any company are the financial interests of its shareholders, not any real needs of its employees.

When money is power, and our economy is divorced from any person’s actual best interest, it’s no wonder our politics are too. Corporate lobbyists represent certain interests and groom the political establishment to serve them. What interests are those? The financial interests of the corporation’s shareholders — not the personal interests of anyone, especially not anyone who works at the company.

The freedoms we have under our political institutions are moot when our survival is dependent on workplaces that aren’t beholden to our interests. At the moment, the CEO of Starbucks couldn’t kill or imprison you for breaking the de facto laws it imposes on its employees, but he could remove your livelihood and actively contribute to you losing access to housing, healthcare and food.

You could get a different job, but that job would almost certainly require you to submit to some other…



Anna Mercury

Level 5 laser lotus, writing for a world where many worlds fit | www.allgodsnomasters.com