The democratic dialog,in which the rulers call on the subjects to help them to power, has two conditions: a complete state monopoly on violence whose prescriptions for the society are binding and whose underlying principle stands so firm that it doesn’t make any difference which figure takes over the leadership of office. On the other side, subjects who agree to their role as a people and, as such, demand leadership. (Democratic rule is characterized by the fact that sovereignty is based on the will of the people.) Voting is in practice the affirmation of the rule by the checking off of a preferred leader: authorization. For the politicians, the importance of the vote is that being elected entitles them to be in power. (They do not line up an alternative national interest, but present themselves as having the aptitude for the existing office. That's why a lost election does not lead to rebellion, but to the role of the opposition that wants to win the next election.) The people are honored that they are allowed to elect whomever they want to be governed by.
The points of view which are taken in the democratic dialogue and by democratic public opinion are, on the one hand, the demand of the politicians to be authorized; on the other, the right of the people to good leadership of the nation. There is discord only according to these standards. (He has not come across well = the people did not get that he is better / he is not a politician worthy of his office...)
The good reasons to vote are no good (but say something about what an insane society one is in).
- Because one is “affected” by the politicians. One is thus at the mercy of a rule that thoroughly regulates one’s own materialism. One is therefore supposed to take, of all things, a positive interest in their activities!
- By voting one acquires the right to criticize: one may only criticize if one is in favor of it. (Then one also no longer needs to criticize!) First, criticism obligates one to suggest improvements of what – second – has to be a matter of rule, which is why – third – instead of criticism, a request to be heard is directed to the rule. The right to have a say applies only to those who explicitly announce their need for rule.
This finds its reversal in the combatting of any practical criticism. A democratically legitimized rule is not criticizeable; its measures are to be accepted – and anyone who violates this is an enemy of democracy.
In the arguments for voting, as well as in the handling of practical criticism, it is clear that when democracy becomes the argument, it is not about trying to convince, but about calling for absolute validity for the rule.
With these killer arguments for democracy, the elected rulers (and their apologists) claim the respect which an authority is just entitled to:
- The procedure (majority rule) justifies all measures of the supreme power. Without dealing with the content of a decision, it should be all right solely because of the procedure by which it was arrived at.
- Secondly, a big plus is attached to democratic rule. Because decisions are made by elected leaders, it is legitimate rule.
- In the argument, “whoever is democratically elected deserves respect,” it is simply insisted that the state authority is just the authority, therefore it has a claim to obedience (like any state) and the subject as a subject has to obey and otherwise keep one's mouth shut.
It is not because of the brilliance of these arguments that politicians get the respect that they call for. The “arguments” do not establish why they are followed. The fact is that they appeal to subordinate subjects who already have the will to be ruled.
How does the insanity come about that those who are subjected to rule want to be ruled and even worry about the interests of those who rule them?
Democracy and the free-market economy
These two things belong together, as everybody knows. This becomes clear when other political forms of rule are criticized because different economic principles count within their territories. We are ruled by freedom (and all the other beautiful achievements of those uncontroversial goods, democracy & the market economy), which is missing elsewhere in the world. Somewhere else there exists rule which enslaves its subjects for its purposes; vice versa, with the “argument” that here rule is subservient to us, rule is denied.
Ideology: the state kindly donates the “order” which is necessary so that people can do what they want.
- “Order” can only be a predicate of something; there is no “order in general,” but always only “order for something.”
- If the interests of people need an order, then they creates it themselves. That is not rule. A monopoly on violence, which must enforce an order for the interests of the people against the interests of the people, is inconceivable.
- An order which produces rule by violence is thus necessarily an order for ruling purposes which oppose the interests.
Already this is the purpose that democracy forces on its citizens: market economy only!
For this, all subjects are subordinated equally to the state power as those who have to accept its regulatory power (equality). Furthermore, the state creates the terms and conditions for all areas, and everything they do is related to the state.
Setting one’s own purposes is left up to the subjects themselves, under the condition that they adopt the state regulations as their own: freedom. Within the limits of what is permitted (not forbidden) materialism is authorized and the authorized will is protected, which includes that these limits need to be clarified, protected and their violations sanctioned. (Crucially: in democracy, unlike all previous forms of rule, the will is not broken, but is free and placed under conditions.)
A will is prescribed that knows it is lacking independence in everything that it plans because it is dependent on state regulations. (No other will is recognized by the democratic monopoly on violence anyway!) The state requires that its regulations, which are the conditions for any getting along by the subjects whatsoever, become the contents of the will of the subjects. If the people get involved in incorporating the state limits into the program of their will (to “unify”), then they are nationalists. The equation of will = permitted, the relativizing of interests by the scale of the legal (authorized interests), happens only under the condition that one sees in these limits not the dictates of a superior force, but the regulations of a community which one feels oneself to be a partner in: the nation.
How does an innocent person become a nationalist?
The objective condition is that one is subordinated to a superior force. The interpretation that one is not subjected to it, but belongs to it (to gain something from this community), comes from the interest in wanting to use the rule. The quality is attributed to it of being useful, i.e. one's own, for me.
This misinterpretation – conceiving of the rule as a collective – is required by democratic rule of its subjects. It demands not only capitulation to its power, but requires that it be taken up by the will of its subjects. Vice versa, the existence and every freedom of the democratic sovereignty are based on this small contribution of the subjects, which is why this false consciousness is constantly maintained.
This necessarily false (these two attributes actually directly contradict each other!) consciousness is determined by the constitution of this community. It is “necessary” in that one must find a way of getting by in social conditions dictated by force. It is “false” in that one extends this practical necessity into a theoretical judgment and thinks not only that one has to, but that one is willing and able to get along in these social conditions. Then the negative conditions are translated into a lot of positive conditions for one’s advancement (restrictions as means) and a lot of incorrect judgments about the set-up of this society. All things get “should” as attributes – something that immunizes them against every negative experience. The addressee of the “should” is the monopoly on violence, which should use its power to govern with these idealisms. So the subjects have a positive interest in the state. Then it matters to them that the correct person sits in power. So the insanity comes about that the subjects advise those in power about their leadership responsibilities. That is rightful to them owing to the fact that the state strongly commits them to capitalism. All idealisms are not destroyed, but are served with interpretations: fulfilling demands is difficult because of the “objective constraints” which the government is also subjected to (but which it creates itself) and is also connected with unpleasant side effects, but of course is in the best of hands with the state ...
The practice of the rule does not agree with the subordinated, and not only at the starting point, but in all areas there is the possibility of gaining clarity about the purposes of the community and discontinuing allegiance to it. Otherwise, great demands are made of the mind in order to make peace with it.
Everyone is to brood over the correct dose of freedom. Everyone knows that the allocation of the correct dose is the business of the supreme power, and also say that this is decided by the rule, but they talk as if freedom is created for the people. Instead of asking the obvious question: what does the rule want with freedom if the order to be free is already its deed?
The real content of freedom is decided by the state: which interests are advanced follow from its purposes. If the people discuss their idealism of freedom and the correct doses of it, they first of all know that the state is the decision maker, secondly it is clear to them that they may speak only of authorized interests, and it is also well-known to them that the content of freedom is property, i.e. how much freedom one enjoys is a matter of their means. The popular saying that the rich become even richer and the poor become even poorer expresses that this is felt to be unfair, while the existence of rich and poor, who pursue their freedom with quite different means, is acceptable.
It is not “simply so” that these means are so unequally distributed, but it is contained in the program. The relations of distribution follow from the fact that production is committed to property. Where the state decrees everything property – i.e., the needy must bring the object of their need into their possession by money in order to use it, and for the owners useful things are suitable for enriching themselves because they are excluded from the needy – it creates the need to acquire money. Then work must be good for an income, and demand must be solvent. Production must be profitable for what it is organized for, and all employment has to relate to this criterion. All this is considered natural. And that it appears as natural to the false consciousness of the subjects is a necessary condition for the fact that it is like that.
Property imposes the condition over need that one must own an object for its satisfaction, before one uses it. The measure of needs is no more everything that exists as use values, as lies in the nature of needs, but the sum of money which one disposes of. Hence the quantitative restriction of needs in a society of abundance in which nature represents no barrier to production.
If a need finds its satisfaction only through the market, then the separation of property and benefit is presupposed: the needy are excluded from the useful things which they are centered on and whose owners in turn do not need them. If the benefit only takes place with money, then any benefit lies in money as the power of access; quantitatively: which needs one meets depends on the sum of money. That's why it is clear that the whole world chases after money. Materialism now means striving to acquire private wealth. In money acquisition, the exclusion of others is acquired (and not physical control as with a toothbrush or lemonade, where nothing is taken from anybody!) With the mutual reliance on one another, in which humans exist in a division of labor, every need is used as a lever for private enrichment at the expense of others. Each sale takes place on condition that the salesman earns more money from it, and each demand counts only to the extent that it is solvent. The freedom of the market means that every benefit depends on the money which one is thus forced to acquire. The state also provides for the existence of the money that it orders its society to hunt after. The people who are subsumed under its monopoly of violence are compelled by the state's stipulations to earn money; then the expansion of money (and not the satisfaction of needs) is the purpose of the economy.
The politicized subject tries to gain something from this. For this purpose, the one and the same stipulation is separated into good and (unfortunately) bad aspects: capitalism bestows an immense supply of commodities (unfortunately not enough to oneself), one can buy whatever one wants (as long as one has enough money), and one can be happy for what one has as one's “own” (which is only a great thing in a world of property!). Money as a means of exclusion is a fine thing if one can exclude others, “on the other hand” it is unfortunate that most things belong to other people!
Those people who have no means at hand “look for work” for the purpose of acquiring money. Whether they get the property they need is not up to them. They must make themselves into the means for someone else's acquisition of property, thus be suitable for this. However, the “usefulness” which consequently is required of the worker cannot be produced by himself at all. “Usefulness” is not a quality, but a relation. “Profitability” as a criterion means that the workers are measured by whether their employment is worthwhile for the profit of the company.
- Work is profitable, if it costs little, which leaves the worker with little left over for his standard of living.
- Work is profitable if the work delivers as many products as possible, if as much is leached out of the workers as intensively as possible.
- The purpose of profitable work, to throw off a surplus of money, is in itself limitless: accumulation / economic growth: ever more profitability is the joke.
- Profitability is not at all decided in production, but in the market, where capitalists reciprocally contest the demand. The relation of wages and output must prove satisfactory compared with that of other producers, whereby it is ultimately decided whether the work was worthwhile.
Unemployment exists for two reasons: continuous rationalization (unit wage costs are saved on for the purpose of the price competition) in profitable enterprises creates at the same time the losers of the competition, whose business failure sets their workers free.
The affirmative subject sees this differently also. He applies the logic of dependency. Because his source of income depends (negatively) on the survival of the entrepreneur in competition, he accepts austerities for the sake of the competitive success of his employer. It makes sense to him that he must restrict himself just because of his wage, always with the idealism that when “investments” are made, there is also something in it for him. Of course, this conception is constantly disappointed. The affirmative subject displaces this onto the incompetence of management and so retains his idealism: if the bums up there did their job, then the investments would have led to the protection of jobs, etc.
It is necessary for this intellectual performance to double the purpose of capital. One must rescue the “enterprise” on which entrepreneurs and employees equally depend. The entrepreneurs continuously mess up what the employees get from it.
The requirements of the enterprise will arise if supplemented by union-organized voluntary give-backs to avoid the bankruptcy of the business.
In the end, the workers still act as if they were the active subjects of the company and actively pursue competition between themselves. They diligently argue which of their colleagues deserve layoffs. The competition among themselves, which is a means of capital, is again thought to be a means for themselves and it is consistently concluded that the injury of other proletarians must be pursued.
The workers make themselves cheaper with their concessions. The entire question is whether more jobs result from it. One is left with the hope for work (and for that, further cut backs will not be given up), and one resigns oneself that unfortunately only the jobs exist which exist; those must be profitable, and unfortunately there are necessities which prevent more of them.
The judgment about work is thus neither that it is a means (that would be the prelude to wage struggles), nor that it is not (that would be revolution), but exactly in between: work should be my means; too bad it isn't.
The welfare state is considered by modern citizens as having overcome the class state. However, if it does not abolish class misery, but manages it, then that is evidence to the contrary. The political reason why the welfare state takes care of those who are not immediately useful for capital (which does not mean that it keeps them in the lap of luxury) was the threat to its social order by class warfare by part of that class whose survival is not possible through work without state regulation. The management of the working class guarantees social peace. As soon as the welfare state exists, the state discovers a means in it for economic policy.
For financing social benefits, the state makes the working class responsible for its funding. No state dough is spent on proletarians. Vice versa, the fact that the state treats social insurance as a component of its budget, pays for it with tax revenues and administers certain social measures with budgetary appropriations documents that it regards “social spending” as a component of its state purpose: on the one hand, wages are a contribution to its financial apparatus, on the other hand the expenditures in the realm of the “social” are necessary for the establishment and supervision of its state purpose. As long as wages prove satisfactory as a source of state income, it makes no fuss about social welfare services.