This is a strong indictment of politics and democracy as decision making tools. You have basically argued that when faced with two sides of an argument voters are incapable of deciding between well funded debaters. You claim this is true even when one side clearly has the preponderance of evidence on their side. This makes it worse.
You could only prove this true if you could show that capitalism in the absence of democracy was better than capitalism in the presence of democracy, or if you could show that democracy in the absence of capitalism is worse than democracy in the presence of capitalism. In other words, you have not isolated the variables. And don’t take this to mean I am an advocate of democracy. I’m not. I just require clear evidence if you’re going to ascribe specific blame to one or the other of these institutions.
My argument is based purely on corporations abusing politics to make money at the expense of the broader well-being of society, which is entirely capitalistic. Presumably, if there were no profit to be garnered from spreading disinformation or from manipulating the political process, it wouldn’t happen to entities driven by capitalistic interests.
What about issues that are less clear cut? Bail out the banks or suffer an even worse recession. Running large deficits causes no financial harm. Strong unions are good for society or they are destructive monopolies. Taxes should be higher or lower.
These seem clear cut to me. Maybe not to you.
If a few Russian ads on Facebook or a change in the Google logo can change election results then democracy is too fragile to be trusted. If a few companies and their supporters can blind voters to this clear and present danger of climate change then how many other terrible policies are endorsed out of ignorance or special interest?
In theory a nuclear missile launched by a foreign power could wipe out a democratic nation. Does that also mean democracy is too fragile? I’m not sure fragility in the face of villainy means we should ignore the villainy. In the case of the nuclear strike, it is probably better to do what we can to prevent one from happening than to fret that democracy is weak because it can be so readily undone by one.
Or it could be that voters are wiser than you and I believe. That they rightly fear slower growth and higher prices that might result from embracing environmentalism more than they fear the predictions of global warming.
The voters don’t have any say in this. The people who enact policy are representatives, and representative democracy is not democracy. It is important to recall that American democracy is not democratic. If the preference of the voters prevailed, American policy would look different than it does now. It’s a lot easier and cheaper for special interests to buy off a few hundred politicians than it is for them to buy off hundreds of millions of everyday citizens. Ergo, the wisdom of the voters is a non-sequitur in this context.
Capitalism on the other hand has proven its worth. We live in a far wealthier, healthier and more innovative society than ever in history.
You have demonstrated there is a correlation, but you have in no way demonstrated causation. For all we know, we could be much better off than we are now, if not for capitalism getting in the way.
Special interests were not invented by capitalism. They existed in every economic and political system ever tried.
Special interests use capital to leverage their influence. Because special interests in previous societies used divine right, military might, or other methods to leverage influence does not absolve capitalism of enabling special interests to do the same.
One thing that all of these systems have had in common is the creation of hierarchies and disparities of power. It stands to reason, then, that the way to halt special interests from being able to exert disproportionate influence is surely not to create a system of wealth disparity and then tie power and influence to wealth. That is precisely what capitalism does. There is nothing superior or more rational about allowing someone born into tremendous wealth to exert disproportionate influence on society than in allowing someone born to royal privilege to exert disproportionate influence on society. Both are arbitrary and irrational.