Elections are a weapon of mass deception and diversion
Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 6th April, 2021
Elections to the legislative assemblies of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry which began in March will end on May 2nd with declaration of results.
These elections are taking place at a time when the whole country is caught in an all-sided crisis, with economic crisis at the base. Agricultural incomes, industrial employment and service exports have all been declining, from even before the Corona virus broke out. Recent times have witnessed a tremendous growth in mass protest actions by workers’ unions and kisan unions, with active participation of women and youth, despite the lockdown restrictions.
Contradictions are becoming intense, not only between the exploiters and the exploited, but also within the exploiting minority. There are conflicts over how to rule and how to implement the program of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation. The assembly elections have come at such a time of acute contradictions.
Elections in the existing system provide a platform for the capitalist class to bombard the people with all-sided lying propaganda. Elections serve to keep alive the big lie that by casting their vote, people are electing the government of their choice. The truth is that monopoly capitalists use elections to decide which of their parties is best suited to implement their agenda while effectively fooling the people.
The capitalist class, headed by the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Adanis and other monopoly houses, sets the agenda of the election campaigns. The TV media channels play a big role in pushing the agenda set by the monopoly houses. In every state and union territory going to the polls, the corporate media has portrayed the election as being mainly a competition between two rival gangs of self-serving parties and politicians. In some cases there may be three coalitions. All other candidates are completely ignored.
In West Bengal the election is presented as a contest between Modi and Mamta. In Tamilnadu it is DMK versus AIADMK. In Assam it is a BJP-led coalition versus a Congress led coalition. In Kerala it is between coalitions led by Congress Party and by CPI(M), with BJP appearing as a third force.
The ruling class propaganda creates the impression that there is a close race in every case. People come under the pressure of choosing one or the other so-called winning horse. Which one of the close contenders finally wins is decided by the ruling class, which has numerous methods to manufacture votes and fix the result.
In recent decades, this system of parliamentary democracy has revealed its grotesque features more starkly than ever before. The use of modern communication technology along with monopoly capitalist control over vital data, such as the crores of whatsapp and email accounts of people, have added tremendously to the arsenal deployed by the capitalist monopoly houses to determine electoral outcomes.
BJP enjoys a major advantage over its rivals at this time, due to the enormous size of campaign funding it has received from Indian and foreign monopoly companies, through electoral bonds and other means. It also enjoys the advantage of being in charge of the central government, and hence in control of the purse strings when it comes to state governments. The slogan of “double engine government” advanced by BJP is nothing but a bribe being offered, a promise of larger amounts of central funds to the state if BJP forms the state government.
Both sides in the so-called big fight divert people’s attention from the truth. In West Bengal, BJP accuses TMC for being anti-Hindu while TMC calls BJP anti-Bengali. Both sides are seeking to divert public attention from the fact that the economic and political system and the official policy agenda is pro-capitalist and anti-people. Workers and peasants get exploited intensely, be they Hindus or Muslims, Bengalis or Biharis or of any other identity.
During the election campaign, all the major rival alliances promise to fulfill the demands of workers and peasants. Once in charge of executive power, they strictly fulfill the demands of the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Adanis and other capitalist monopoly houses.
In a class divided society such as ours, different classes of people form political parties in order to achieve their class aims.
The bourgeoisie, the class of modern day capitalists, is split into competing individual and factional interests. The existence of a number of rival parties suits its class interest. A political system in which rival parties trained to serve the bourgeoisie compete for control over the state machinery serves to maintain bourgeois rule. It serves to line up the people behind rival factions of the bourgeoisie.
The proletariat, the class of workers who have nothing to sell except their labour power, objectively gravitates towards socialism. To realize its aim of eliminating all forms of exploitation of human labour, the proletariat must transform itself into a united political force. The advanced section of the class must be organised into the vanguard communist party. The broad section must be organised in a united front which is linked integrally with all the toiling and oppressed people.
The land owning kisans and other petty commodity producers also form their political parties. However, such intermediate strata do not have distinct interests of their own, which can be fulfilled without either maintaining capitalism or going over to socialism. These are the only two possible paths at the present stage of society, the capitalist-imperialist path of the bourgeoisie and the socialist path of the proletariat. Parties which emerge from the intermediate strata vacillate between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. They end up siding with one or the other.
In the present system, the vast majority of people have no role in deciding who forms the government, what program it implements and what laws are passed. Decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of the party which has majority support in the legislative body. The party in charge of the executive acts as the management team for the bourgeois class in power.
Facts and phenomena have clearly exposed the truth that elections in the present system have nothing at all to do with the people’s will. It is the will of the capitalist class, headed by the monopoly houses, which is imposed on the whole of society.
The victory of BJP or some other party is not a reflection of what people want. It is not the people who determine the outcome of elections. It is the bourgeoisie, headed by the monopoly houses, who decide. They determine the outcome using a wide range of methods of mass deception, diversion, sectarian division and rigging, including through the manipulation and theft of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
For workers and peasants to become decision-makers, it is necessary to fight for the replacement of the existing outdated, alien and thoroughly discredited system of parliamentary democracy by a modern democratic system in which people exercise decision-making power.
Workers and peasants, who make up the majority of the population, must be able to select and elect their trusted representatives to the highest decision-making bodies. They must be able to participate in setting the agenda for society. They must be able to hold those elected to account and to recall them at any time. People must have the right to make and change laws, to approve or reject laws or policy decisions through referendums.
With decision-making power in our hands, we workers and peasants can reorganize and reorient the economy towards ensuring secure livelihood and prosperity for all, instead of being geared to maximize capitalist profits.
The present situation demands that all political parties and individuals interested in lifting Indian society out of crisis must reject all the rival fronts of the bourgeoisie. We must focus all our energies on building and strengthening the revolutionary worker-peasant front.
We workers and peasants who create the wealth of India with our labour must become the ruler of the country. We must become the collective decision-maker and decider of India’s fate. We must develop an economic system and State that guarantee prosperity and protection for all. We must wage our struggle for our immediate demands with this aim and perspective.
In the course of waging the struggle against the aggressive drive of monopoly capitalists, we must build and strengthen the revolutionary united front capable of bringing about the qualitative transformation, the satta parivartan for which Indian society is crying out.