Tag-Archiv für 'capitalist-state'
[…] An estimated 500,000 took to the streets of Athens on last Sunday, third day of nationwide anti-austerity mobilization. This one was a very motley crowd: one could see from patriot thugs — both leftist and ultra-right — to Stalinists of PAME and Trotskyist factions; also, a lot of middle-aged people who were not part of a specific block; among the diverse crowd were also ultras, unionists, people from popular assemblies, many migrants, insurrectionist and wild youths, anarchist and libertarian individuals and groups. The protest was scattered in many different parts. Massive police force fired tear gas repeatedly at us, as if we were cockroaches destined to be killed due to adverse effects as far as allergies of Power. Demonstrators remained outside the parliament chanting anti-repression slogans. Many steps back, and many steps forth, back and forth, with evolving clashes at the lower part. The sound and stink of flash-bang grenades and chemicals made the entire space feeling like a cage. And most of us did not seem eager to counterattack immediately and raid the brothel of democracy en mass. […] It was only in the morning, and after many hours of efforts, that firefighters managed to extinguish the flames of freedom. And there’s a mourning short period after such events, where citizens eagerly hold candles over their ruins. That hypocrisy is beyond words. Athens seems to have burned scars, with a flood of terror-frenzy scenarios in the media making ‘normality’ extremely fragile. We know as well as the Power knows, that flames rose high in the streets on February 12th, flames that may ignite other fires to burn worldwide. If this brief rebellious manifestation will not extend beyond the state borders, it will not vindicate us. In present times, amidst another round of protests on February 19th, international solidarity and complicity are more important than ever before. Solidarity with the struggle in Greece means to attack directly to any infrastructure of the State and the Capital, often within walking distance from your place. Reciprocal aid means that we are not ‘all Greeks’; we are of no country, of no nationality; we are what our revolutionary solidarity will gradually make us. […]
The problem is that at this stage the proletarian cause is masked by classic democratic demands and the power games within the dominant classes. Very quickly, the insurgents showed that they were incapable of considering themselves as an expression of a social class which is independent and without a country, a class which aspires not only to the overthrow of authoritarian and corrupt regimes but also the destruction of the state, of all states, and, above all, the revolutionary constitution of a centralised cooperative society, without classes, without money, without exploitation and without oppression. As in Iran in the summer and autumn of 2009, the main limit of the movement remains the under-utilisation by workers of the essential weapon at their disposal: the strike. In this way they deprive themselves of the only really solid foundation of their fight and, at the same time, of a form of struggle which is the most effective against the state and the bosses, whether “native” or “foreign”. The heart of the system of domination in any country in the world is production. It is there that we need to strike.
What on Earth could be better than democracy, the power of the sovereign people? As the word “capitalism” assumes more pejorative connotations, “democracy” gains adherents. The whole world is for democracy, whether constitutional monarchy or republic, bourgeois or people’s democracy. If there is one thing everyone accuses their enemies of, it is that they are not democratic enough.
Anyone who criticizes democracy can only be, in the best case, a nostalgic apologist for the old absolute monarchies. Generally the appalling label of “fascist” is the preferred epithet reserved for such people. The most fanatic mudslingers in this regard are often the Marxists and Marxist-Leninists who forget what the founding fathers said about democracy, and who praise democracy so much in order to conceal their own taste for power and dictatorship. Ironically enough, it is certain elements tainted with the brush of Stalinism that will hypocritically accuse us of being Stalinists.
Democracy seems to be the antithesis of capitalist despotism. Where everyone knows that it is a minority that really rules, it is common for people to set against this minority rule the power derived from universal suffrage.
In reality, capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. Democracy is the fig leaf of capital. Democratic values, far from being subversive, are the idealized expression of the really existing and somewhat less than noble tendencies of capitalist society. Communists are no more eager to realize the trinity of “liberty, equality, and fraternity” than that of “work, family, and fatherland”.
If democracy is the consort of capital, why do dictatorship and capitalism so often coexist? Why do most people live under authoritarian regimes? Why is it that, even in democratic states, democratic functions are so often hindered?
Democratic aspirations and values result from capitalism’s tendency to act as a solvent in society. They correspond to the end of the era when the individual had his place in a stable community and network of relations. They also correspond to the need to preserve the image of an idealized community, to regulate conflicts, and to reduce friction for the good of the whole community. The minority yields to the will of the majority.
Democracy is not merely a lie or a vulgar illusion. It derives its content from a shattered social reality, which it seems to reunite into a totality. The democratic aspiration conceals a search for community and respect for others. But the soil in which it is rooted and attempts to grow prevents it from successfully attaining these goals.
Even so, democracy frequently poses too great a threat to capital or at least to certain powerful interests. This is why it is always encountering impediments to its existence. With few exceptions, these constraints and even unadorned dictatorship are presented as victories for democracy. What tyrant does not pretend to rule, if not through the people, at least for the people?
Democracy, which during calm periods can appear to be a useful means to pacify workers struggles, is shamelessly abandoned when this is required for the defense of capital. There are always intellectuals and politicians who are very surprised when they are so easily sacrificed on the altar of the interests of the powerful.
Democracy and dictatorship are two contrasting, but not totally unrelated, forms. Democracy, since it implies the submission of the minority to the majority, is a form of dictatorship. A dictatorial junta may very well have recourse, in order to make decisions, to democratic mechanisms. (mehr…)