Fake democracy

by on June 1, 2017 in society

The political class constantly lecture us about how we have ‘democracy’.

Democracy is used to justify foreign wars. (Entirely selectively since many of our allies are hardly ‘democratic’). It is used to sell the current political-economic system to the population. (Yes; you may be relatively poor but you are free). It is used as a stick to bash e.g. Russia who is presented as not ‘democratic’. Etc.

The only occasion for the practice of democracy in a bourgeois parliamentary democracy is at the ballot box every few years and the occasional referendum. And; look what happens. The campaign by the Tory party in favour of a No vote in the Scottish independence referendum was characterised by fear and scaremongering. The campaign for a ‘Remain’ vote in the EU referendum was run on the same basis. (For example the taxpayer funded leaflet produced by the government in favour of ‘Remain’ linked leaving the EU to being threatened by an Iranian nuclear missile; a claim precisely on a par with the mocked up “45 minute” claim that was used to justify the Iraq war). These campaigns are precisely not democratic political campaigns. They don’t present arguments and appeal to reason. They are produced by people who work in the advertising industry, or who have similar skills, and are aimed at manipulating people through the mass media. They use fear and shame. They often aim to do no more than make it hard for people to make the other choice. (The Tory party attack ad. on Corbyn’s history of not condemning IRA bombings is of this ilk [1]). The political class are not ‘doing democracy’. Theresa May said she did not attend the main national televised debate in the election which she called because she doesn’t believe in “squabbling”. The likely reason is that a strategist has determined that her appearance would give wind to the sails of the Labour opposition by making it appear like a genuine race. Her non-appearance is tactical and manipulative. Parliamentary democracy is a limited form of democracy. And these people cannot live with even that. They are mocking it.

Why then should anyone accept the rationale for the foreign invasions? Or the justification for a society of wild economic inequality?

The whole thing is a sham.

Notes

1. In fact it turns out that the Tory attack ad which offered quotes suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn had declined to condemn IRA bombings was cooked up. Corbyn’s words were highly edited to the extent that he was completely misrepresented. As this Guardian article (which links to the original interview) shows.

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