Title

The Corruption of Liberal and Social Democracies

Publication Title

Fordham Law Review

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2016

Abstract

Thomas Piketty repeats throughout Capital in the Twenty-First Century that today's levels of inequality were not inevitable, much less natural, and has connected the state of democracy worldwide to rising economic inequality. Wealth transfers from the state to the private sector, wealth transfers from labor to capital, and tax laws favorable to the concentration of wealth require that the participatory and representative facets of democracy be kept in check. Beyond suitable material conditions, the growth and maintenance of inequality necessitates a justificatory ideology. This Article explores the possibility that the laws of political finance can help connect the dots. Legal patterns in the financing of campaigns and political parties point to two distinct forms of oligarchy in play: plutocracy, representing the decay of liberal democracy, and partyocracy, representing the decay of social democracy. Together, these legal forms of corruption appear to have co-opted democracy's values and outputs, paving the way for neoliberalism. This Article focuses on plutocracy, the form of corruption most affecting the United States at present.

Comments

External Links

Westlaw

Lexis Advance

HeinOnline

SSRN

Web

Recommended Citation

Timothy K. Kuhner, The Corruptions of Liberal and Social Democracies, 84 Fordham L. Rev. 2453 (2016).

DOI

10.2139/ssrn.2691048

Volume

84

Issue

6

First Page

2453

Last Page

2476