Communist Youth Organization

The Youth Branch of The Workers’ Communist Party of Iran

Chia Barsen: Bourgeois elections – a sham

The working class of the UK are to have their say about the Government by voting in the General Election. Sadly, voting in the UK election this week only serves to legitimize the bourgeois hegemony of society. Bourgeois elections are vacuous and are meticulously structured to keep out the left and to encapsulate the status-quo. “Democracy” is assiduously showcased to create the illusion of choice, where working people have unbridled control of their life and society. However, in this election there are only two major neoliberal political parties, which only represent business interests, and have the financial power and the media presence. This leaves 22 lefty parties without finance and given no major media coverage.  Further, the working class is sent one at a time into singular polling booths to think and decide alone about individualistic issues, only then does their vote count, and not when millions turn out in the streets in protest: that social force does not count for a single vote in bourgeois democracy. It is only in a bourgeois democracy, where capitalism allocation of social wealth is ossified and unquestioned, where one finds the universal human rights to housing, education and healthcare are flouted and actually put to a vote and made redundant. And finally it is in these elections that wage slavery (the economic exploitation of labour during production of social wealth) is never discussed and the working class is left to flounder from one bourgeois election to the next. Voting every 4 years, the working class are sent home and effectively kept out of politics and negated from revolutionary praxis of daily social and economic engagement.

Even though all major neoliberal bourgeois parties emphatically claim to uphold the best interests of the working people, this election is a continuation of the neoliberal agenda of cutbacks to social services for the 99% (the working people) and the reduction of taxes for the 1%. Capital continues with its aim to reduce the social responsibility for subsidizing the reproduction of labour through public education, NHS, and social housing and to relay that cost on to the working class itself. Moreover, by augmenting the pressure on the unions and working class associations, wages and benefits will continue to remain stagnant (real wages will decrease against the rate of inflation) and the gap between the social wealth of the business elite and the working people will become staggering in the years to come.

The confluence between major bourgeois parties such UKIP, Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrats is in their realization of the tumultuous and revolutionary character of the working class today. Only through continuous manufacturing of consent via public media, and the monopoly on violence (the police and the army) has the bourgeois been able to legitimize and control such a vast amount of social wealth without a revolutionary working class opposition movement. During elections, bourgeois parties are especially aware of working class power and it is during these times that the bourgeois hides its real character and pretends to accede to some of the working class demands: only after the election does it put itself back into an invidious position against the working class.

Pillaging the working class of all social wealth and quelling uprisings and protests with state power is not a long-term solution for capitalism. Neoliberal cutbacks to social services and the reduction of wages and benefits has and will continue to deepen the economic cycles. Capitalism, as global system, functions through the realization of profits which predicates on the economic demand of the working people (mainly): by cutting away the disposable income of the working people (through wage cuts, social benefits and offshoring jobs) capital is also damaging the habitat for its own existence. Simply put, the economic, political difference between capital and labour is insoluble. Any politics orchestrated by the bourgeois during elections will always occlude the interests of the working people.
Chia Barsen

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