The 20th century has drawn to a close to the sound of a vast concert celebrating the advance of democracy all over the world, and its supposed benefits. Throughout the century, its victories are celebrated over dictatorships both red and brown, and its heroes - Gandhi, Walesa, Mandela, Martin Luther King et.al. - are fêted for the application of its "great and generous principles". If we are to believe the propaganda, the situation since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the struggles which have taken place since to defend and develop democracy are cause for hope in a future of peace and harmony which should be thoroughly encouraging for mankind as a whole. We have been treated to regular crusades by the great democracies, to impose and defend "human rights" in countries which did not respect them, by force if necessary - in other words at the cost of the most barbaric massacres. We have been offered the sight of an International Court of Justice, set up to judge and punish those found guilty of "crimes against humanity". Let the dictators tremble! And for the years to come, we are promised the emergence of a "world-wide democracy" based on a "growing role for civil society". The recent demonstrations during the WTO negotia negotiations, with the Roquefort Revolutionary José Bové at their head, are supposedly forerunners of this "world-wide democracy" or even of a "People�s International" in struggle against the dictatorship of the market, unrestrained capitalism, and bad food. For today�s proletarians, the only worthwhile struggle seems to be for the creation of democratic regimes in every country in the world, which will bring with it equal rights for both sexes and all races, and which will defend an "attitude of good citizenship". The ideology-vendors of every description, and especially on the left, are more mobilised than ever to convince the workers that this is the good fight, and to push them into it. And for any who have doubts, or hesitate to take part, the message is: "Despite its faults, democracy is the only regime which can be reformed and perfected - and anyway there�s no hope of any other". Faced with the growing poverty and barbarism imposed on us by capitalism, there is supposedly no other possibility than to behave as a "good citizen", to accept the system because we are told there is no other choice.