13 February 2010

Articles: Communism Against Democracy

The pamphlet "Communism Against Democracy" (Treason Press, 2005) contains two older articles by (semi-)anonymous authors, namely "Against Democracy", written in 1993 by "Wildcat" (from the UK), and "... And Democracy Continues its March", written also in the 1990s by, presumably, the publisher of the irregular magazine "Against Sleep and Nightmare", one Red Hughes (from the US).

The pamphlet can be read free of charge here (though it is advisable to print it out as otherwise the pagination is all mixed up):


From the introduction: "The two texts in this pamphlet are communist critiques of democracy. Not just 'bourgeois democracy' but democracy as such. Democracy implies the separation of people into isolated, warring individuals. This isolation will be overcome in struggles against capitalism (and thus democracy). These struggles will need to be organised but not by a mass of atomised individuals voting on decisions, then acting. Most struggles do not happen because a mass of citizens vote to take action but because a determined minority of troublemakers take bold action [...].

"Democracy is the ideal form of capitalist rule. Of course capitalism can and does quite happily exist under various forms of undemocratic rule, whether fascist, military dictatorship, monarchy or 'Communism'. But 'one man, one vote' corresponds to the abstract equality of capitalism where my dollar is worth just as much as [late Australian media tycoon] Kerry Packer's. It is no coincidence that in the last 30 years during which life has been subordinated to monetary relations like never before that [sic] more and more states have become democratic."

Excerpts from "Against Democracy": "[R]evolutionaries should oppose democracy in all its forms. [...] I want to suggest that when people talk about 'real' or 'workers' democracy in opposition to bourgeois democracy, in fact they do mean the same thing that the bourgeoisie mean by democracy, despite superficial differences. The fact that they chose to use the word democracy is actually far more significant than they claim. This is why it is important to say 'Death to democracy!'. [...]

"My basic contention here will be that however much you claim to be against property (as Lenino-Trotskyo-Stalinists do) or even against the state (as anarchists do), if you support democracy you are actually for property and for the state. [...] You can say that democracy expresses the essence of capital [...] that equality is just an expression of the equivalence of commodities. [...]

"The miners' strike in the UK in 1984-5 provided many inspiring examples of how the class struggle is anti-democratic in practice. The strike itself did not start democratically – there was no ballot, no series of mass meetings. It began with walk-outs at a few pits threatened with closure, and was then spread by flying pickets. [...] There were also numerous examples of sabotage and destruction [...], such activities, by their very nature, cannot be organised democratically".

From "... And Democracy Continues its March": "Democracy is the language of 'common sense' in a world where capitalism controls people's senses. [...] Today's democracy never has to attack its true enemies but only phantasms within itself. It is only the exchange of one sort of rhetoric for another. [...] This system is the dictatorship of the commodity, the world market and of the billionaires. But simultaneously it is the rule of democracy. Once all action and every person can be translated into empty choices, those choices can be exchanged with each other like dollars or spectacular images. [...] Democracy is now the ideal dialogue of capital. [...]

"The [communist] spirit of collective power, of a community of masters, is exactly the opposite of the democratic spirit. Democracy drowns the individual in the choices of the majority. It presumes that the individual choice is always hostile to the power of the masses. Thus democratic ideology creates the paranoia that everything contrary to its current formalism of process is the same as Stalinist dictatorship. [...]

"Those who are taking back their lives must be strong and alive, not fair and democratic. [...] To be anti-democratic is to reject the fetish of democracy, to not give any voting process an inherently superior position over the total process of living. Proletarians, those who have nothing to lose from the destruction of this society and know it, must become anti-democratic to achieve their ends."

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