Two Types of Rigging

Democracy consists of oligarchic groups doing their business behind the backs of their voters.

I am touched by the scandal that the avalanche of “isolated cases” of vote buying is provoking among the unwary. I am also touched by the fact that there are still oafs who resort to such Pleistocene tricks, having at their disposal much safer and more aseptic procedures of vote-buying, from the rampant nationalizations to the biopolitical manipulation of consciences, passing through the computer tricks in the counting of votes. It seems unbelievable that the State party, with its mastery of the democratic technique, still harbors in its ranks such oafs.

Democracy has a double technique: on the one hand, a very euphonious doctrinal technique—division of powers, national sovereignty, representation, etc.—to cajole the unwary; on the other hand, an operative and instrumental technique, with Machiavellian trickery, electoral picaresque, vote-rigging? In short, a series of shameful resources to achieve pragmatic ends which, of course, are hidden from the unwary; for, as Machiavelli teaches, in modern politics “he who knows best how to act like a fox is more successful.”

Let us leave aside, then, euphonies for the unwary. Democracy, as Carlyle teaches us, is the organization of fraud with the lure of utopia. The unwary are told that with their will they will be able to “decide” the utopia of their choice, and so they set up schemes called “elections” that wrest appointments from “popular sovereignty,” on the basis of lists presented by the parties, the result of concessions, bartering and chicanery that the unwary cannot even imagine. And, after being appointed, the representatives dedicate themselves to do whatever they want. In other words, democracy, stripped of euphonies for the unwary, consists of oligarchic groups doing their business behind the backs of their voters; and of the latter having neither art nor part in the effective governance of the res publica. Is there any more gigantic form of fraud?

And all this without going into the ‘operative technique’ of democracy, which allows the most exquisite forms of picaresque (also the crudest, as these oafs who have been caught buying votes prove).

Liberal democracy is nothing more than the surrender of the country to those who are the masters of the art of demagogy, who justify themselves in the legal fiction of complying with the constitutional precepts. Everything sinks, everything rots, everything disintegrates; but, oh, marvel, every four years the unwary can go to the polls and vote for those whom the parties force them to… if a cheat has not voted for them before.

Carlyle warned us that universal suffrage was a sinister invention, because it equated Jesus and Barabbas, putting each one with a ballot in his hand before the same ballot box. Once this aberration was admitted, that Barabbas put two, two hundred or two thousand ballots in the ballot box, instead of one, is “peccata minuta.” Only the unwary are scandalized by electoral frauds.

Juan Manuel de Prada writes from Spain. This articles appears through the kind courtesy of El Manifiesto.

Featured: Boss Tweed, by Thomas Nast, 1871.