We Speak of Liberal or Bourgeois Democracy
Democracy is colloquially quoted as if it were an absolute term, whose meaning we should all understand just by mentioning it (as well as culture, nation, freedom, left, right) and which is also burdened with the heavy responsibility of having to comply with the wishes of each individual, however delirious they may be. This is easily verified on a daily basis in any media or social network. The one discussed here, which is the one implemented in Europe and the United States with different characteristics, is bourgeois liberal democracy. Its origin is usually fixed in three revolutions (England, the colonies that later formed the USA, and France) which, together with the industrial revolution, established the political supremacy of the bourgeoisie over the aristocracy and the lower classes of the Ancien Régime, relegated to exploited workers in the factories of the cities.
In bourgeois democracy, society (or the people) does not evolve spontaneously but is influenced and controlled by its ruling class, which has mutated from local bourgeois with its domicile next to its factory, to international oligarchies. That is why their great victory is to make the citizens (or the people) believe that they vote, think and act freely, as if the influence of the politicians, the press-dogs and the consumerist advertising that the same oligarchies finance, did not exist.
As an illustrative example, recent history in Europe has shown that democratizing consists of privatizing public enterprises, as in the cases of Spain after Francoism and the Warsaw Pact countries, as well as turning any country into a free market economy. It is therefore the ideal system for the control and defense of the interests of the financial oligarchies, where the degree of freedom of each citizen is directly proportional to the size of his or her wealth.
For more than half a century, a country has been democratic or not according to the criteria of the US president. If tomorrow Vladimir Putin decided to cede the exploitation of all his natural resources to Anglo-Saxon companies, the now accused “dictator” would become an exemplary democrat and a true man of peace aspiring to the corresponding Nobel Prize.
Following on from the above, it is fashionable to classify the slogan of the World Economic Forum (You will own nothing and you will be happy) as undemocratic. On the contrary, it is very democratic. In his 1845 book, The Condition of the Working Class in England, Friedrich Engels stated the following:
(Before the English bourgeois revolution)… Thus the workers lived an entirely bearable existence and led an honest and quiet life in all piety and honorability; their material situation was much better than that of their successors; they had no need to kill themselves at work, they did no more than they wished, and yet they earned enough to meet their needs. They had time for healthy work in their garden or on their plot, work which was for them a diversion.”
(After the English Bourgeois Revolution)
This is how the class of agricultural weavers gradually disappeared completely, merging into the new class of those who were exclusively weavers, who lived solely on their wages, did not possess property, not even the illusion of ownership conferred by the lease of land.
Almost two hundred years after the publication of this book, and after innumerable wars, revolutions and dictatorships, the people would only have become happier. Sometimes happiness consists simply in ignoring.
a) First Reason for Failure: Spanish Financial, Political and Charlatan Elites are Unpatriotic.
It is in our collective imagination, like so many other things, that the high industrial development of Catalonia and the Basque Country was due to its incipient and original bourgeoisie of Europeanist character, as opposed to the rest of the country, which maintained an aristocratic structure typical of the Ancien Régime. Here, tariffs and the possibility of trading within an Empire that traced trade routes halfway around the world mattered little. But the truth is that these bourgeoisies were the ones who, based on racist criteria classified as scientific at the time, founded the separation of these territories.
Before and after these nationalisms, politicians and charlatans predominated, who in the name of democracy have wanted Spain to be a colony of France, England, USA and even the USSR; but these, unlike what the current propaganda tells, aspired to exterminate the bourgeoisie to implement their dictatorship of the proletariat.
In our times, we can see, among other nonsense: how a foreign minister asked to cede tons of sovereignty to Europe; parents with their little Spanish flag on their wrists enroll their children in any British school; some high-ranking military members understand that the freedom of Spain consists in submitting to the US and NATO; businessmen who in the search for their greatest profit take their production centers to other countries; or large landowners who cede their lands to the construction of solar panels and invest their profits in Morocco.
In short, the elites who should direct the “democracy we have given ourselves,” have particular interests opposed to those necessary for a correct eutaxia of Spain.
b) Second Reason for Failure: Spaniards Await the Arrival of an Idyllic Democracy that has Never Existed and Never will Exist in Real Life.
The generation born during the years of Desarrollismo (developmentalism) will have the dubious honor of being the first that, in general terms, lived better than their children. I do not blame them for being deceived according to the dictates of the Tardofranquismo (Late Francoism) and the Transition, but they are guilty of having militated and voted in an irrational and fanatical way for corrupt parties full of politicians and well-connected people who only look after their personal interests, while keeping their children and grandchildren deceived about the consequences of their votes. If, as we have been told by those born in that generation, that the democracy we have been given is the government of the people, for the people, then what have you had in your heads during all these decades?
On the other hand, what would you have labeled any individual who at Christmas 1978 would have addressed the anti-Francoists and predicted that after 40 years of democracy Spain would have the highest unemployment rate in Europe, temporary employment companies would boom and the number of millionaires and vulnerable people would increase; state companies, including strategic ones, would pass into the hands of large private capital; GDP would fall below that of Mexico, sovereign debt would exceed 100% of GDP, and countries that did not exist at the time, such as the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia and Lithuania, would be ahead in the per capita income ranking; the industrial sector would go from around 30% to 16% of GDP, the fields would lie fallow while food prices would rise without limit and livestock farming would show such a state of crisis that there would be no choice but to import milk from France; with only the salary of one of the two parents—in general, a family would not be able to live with dignity even though salaries would reach historical maximums, skyrocketing the expense in social benefits; supporting a child would become a privilege; young people would take time to find a decent job and would pay for any house, if they could buy it, with a thirty-year mortgage; drugs and delinquency would be accepted to the point that squatters would have more rights than homeowners; ETA would have more than 379 unsolved crimes since then and a presence in Parliament; the educational content in education would be worse and worse, and respect for authority and elders would be lost; the main political positions would be held by people who have not done anything in their lives and would not fulfill anything of what they promise in election campaigns, and the main political parties would accumulate countless cases of corruption?
The reality is indisputable. If until 1978, according to what they say, the people longed for a democracy, 40 years later, the children and grandchildren of that town, born and educated in that dream, aspire for their salary to last until the end of the month, to have a job decent, not lose the house and, in the best of cases, save something. And in each electoral campaign they promise a reindustrialization (up to 20% of the GDP); the same ones whose political existence makes it impossible for that industrial objective to be fulfilled. (And not only due to lack of interest and incapacity).
In order for this to go unnoticed to a greater extent and for Spaniards not to rebel against the financial elites, who become wealthier with each passing year, and crises, politicians and press-dogs at their service take care of dividing and confronting society with mental drugs from which they also obtain economic benefits, namely animalism, ecologism, gender ideologies or fragmentary nationalisms. It is also curious that in times of change, as in the 1980s and today, there is an increase in drug use. More and more democrats aspire to legalize it, so that the people do not become aware of the misdeeds of those they vote for.
Another idea of the collective imagination is that in Francoism there was always soccer when there were social problems, although it is well known by soccer fans that it was played on Sunday afternoons at coffee time. For the last decade, perhaps since the 2008 crisis, there have been soccer matches and programs every day of the week, from the morning news until the early hours of the next morning. Every political regime is bread and circus—but when the price of bread goes through the roof, the circus also grows in parallel: in our case, the media circus.
A Case that Began to Open my Eyes
I started to become politically aware (rather of the existing parties) during Aznar’s term of office, when I was in the 4th year of ESO. For someone who lived surrounded by a leftist environment defined within the undefined Left, that is, defined by repeating and believing everything published by the media related to the PSOE, later Podemos, but not by knowing how to define what is left of all life that they supposedly defended.
Therefore, it was not surprising that it was accepted that Aznar was a Francoist, especially because he supported a war, defended privatizations and sank the Prestige. At that time, the first two points were beyond me, but on the other hand, about the oil spill, I was struck by the fact that my environment gave so much importance to that disaster (even volunteers went to clean “oil sludge”), when the same did not happen with the spills from the Aznalcóllar mine, less than 100 kilometers from our residences and which reached Doñana. Environmentalism only matters depending on who governs.
Regarding the Iraq War, what once seemed to me undemocratic, now seems to me the true essence of democracy, so I correct my mistake and affirm that the leader of the PP acted as a true democrat, together with the two oldest democracies in the world. Moreover, over the years I discovered that Aznar followed the process of privatization of INI companies, started by the PSOE and due to EU demands and whose income below their value was used to falsify the accounts that allowed us to access the Euro, a system that has brought us so much prosperity(!). To this we must add that he was the one who gave the most to the independentists with the Majestic Pact, who eliminated the “Mili,” tripled the number of regularizations of illegal immigrants with respect to the PSOE, or allowed the repair of the nuclear submarine Tirelles in Gibraltar.
If one wanted to place Aznar within one of the different families of Francoism, one would have to place him next to those who were in exile with the support of England, a nationality which, like so many of the PP, he seems to yearn for.
This year there will be three electoral periods: run to vote to rid Spain of fascism or social communism, which are so “dangerous” that they can be defeated simply with votes, and not with weapons! On the other hand, why does nobody want to save us from liberalism? The answer is quite simple, the five main parties are different formats of liberalism.
Manuel Rodríguez Sancho is a Railway engineer and author of the political novel, El último tren de la democracia (The Last Train of Democracy). He runs his own blog. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Posmodernia.
Featured: La Niña Bonita, or Mariana Española. Poster, April 14, 1931.