We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The Voting Delusion
Orlov lists many of the barriers preventing ordinary people (non-capitalists) from participating in elections, but he misses the 800 pound gorilla that guarantees that nobody interferes with the capitalist agenda to gain more wealth and power.
The gorilla is capitalism, a system that a tiny group of people imposed through violence on the vast majority of humans over the past several centuries. Their system enshrines the right to take possession under rules of "ownership" of all the products and services created by working people. The capitalist ruling class have sought to legitimatize their dominance of society mainly by establishing the so-called "rule of law", and of course these rules, which they made, were designed to serve and protect their system of ownership. And they have many other means that they use to promote the legitimacy of their rule: their domination over every institution of society which they use to indoctrinate people in pro-capitalist values, especially the fake mythology of democracy and their sponsorship of elections. The capitalist class monopoly on the means of indoctrination has been so successful that many critics like Orlov completely miss this 800 pound gorilla.
Capitalism is a system born in the belly of feudalism. Feudalism was based on territory captured through the use of violence imposed on people who lived in those territories. Theirs was a system controlled by these victorious families who laid claim to everything that existed in the territory under their control: the food and crafts produced by working people and on the people themselves. This form of family domination was passed down through patrilineal and primogeniture rules which established the permanent power hierarchy known as monarchs and aristocracy. This ruling class reinforced the legitimacy of their rule by promulgating myths about the "divine right" of monarchs, and religion in general had a very important role in buttressing the rule of feudal authorities.
Feudalism was born in the belly of the rule by military chieftains who imposed violence on others to obtain war booty, slaves, etc. Such is the history of humans, about 2% of human history called "civilization", after the days when primitive communism existed for 98% of our history, but then ceased to exist after military chieftains imposed their violence on humans.
No doubt you have detected a pattern: the history of ruling classes are all ultimately based on violence or the threat of violence imposed by a tiny minority on the vast majority of humans. All else is subterfuge. And this includes elections.