In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favorable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slaveowners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that “they cannot be bothered with democracy,” “cannot be bothered with politics”; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life. The
Why, how can you ask such a question? You are a republican."
A republican! Yes; but that word specifies nothing. Res publica; that is, the public thing. Now, whoever is interested in public affairs -- no matter under what form of government -- may call himself a republican. Even kings are republicans."
Well! You are a democrat?"
What! "you would have a monarchy?"
Then you are an aristocrat?"
Not at all!"
You want a mixed form of government?"
Then what are you?"
I am an anarchist."
Oh! I understand you; you speak satirically. This is a hit at the government."
By no means. I have just given you my serious and well-considered profession of faith. Although a firm friend of order, I am (in the full force of the term) an anarchist. Listen to me.
[... ] no one had lived up to the roles they acted out in public. They wasted their years trying to live the lies that they had created for themselves. Only in private could they really be the demons, hypocrites and sinners they really were, and woe betide anyone who caught them at their game, because the only thing worse than a lie is a lie exposed.
There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.