Democracy but a police measure and a poor

Democracy is one of the crucial concepts of modern-day political
discourse, precisely because so little thoughtful research has
been devoted to it. Some have argued that it is not a surprise that traditional
Marxist authors have practically nothing of substance on the query, for
none of them had private contribution of a complete democracy. However, it is not
fair to argue that Marxism produced virtually nothing of material on the enquiry.
On the contrary, the politics of Marx during his time can be relatively valuable
in understanding democracy as a concept and as a movement. However, below it
will be argued that Mill’s vision of democracy is the most rational
compared to Marx because Mill’s ideas allow mankind to exercise individual
rights than that of Marx.

 

Marx’ initial works are concerned with the liberty of the media and
are infused by Feuerbachian ideals and Hegelian approaches. The
restriction law, he wrote in the Rheinische
Zeitung in May 1842, is not a commandment but a police measure and
a poor one at that. Not long afterwards, he wrote that the state must be systematized according
to the standards of reason and liberty, for it is the countless excellence
of Hobbes, Spinoza, Machiavelli, Fichte, Rousseau and Hegel to have unregulated
the examination of politics from the dominion of the theologians. It was
only sometime after he took up the role of reporter that he discovered
while covering the debate on the law about wood gathering that the regime
was being used as the means of implementing secluded interest rather than
reason or the mutual good.

 

From
Marx’ perspective Marxism and democracy were interlinked from the very first conflicts,
in the middle of the 19th century. As the American socialist Hal Draper inscribed,
the two things are intertwined collectively in Marx’s theory, which “moves
in the direction of defining
consistent democracy in socialist terms, and consistent socialism in the democratic term”
(Hal Draper, pg17, 2010). This movement from the greatest crucial building block
of Marxism that socialism must be the self-emancipation of the proletariat and
can’t be accomplished on its behalf. Our goal is only possible as the act of
the sentient multitudes of the mainstream class in the social order, and that entails
the completest development of democracy.  Workers achieving democracy is dependent on
their own actions and association or by relying on the privileges established
under the current system protected by their deployment.

Although the protectors of the capitalist organisation
need the contrary. They need to repress and comprehend mass participation,
whether within the dogmatic system or in fights and activities external to it.
Therefore, they sought to destabilise or weaken or even eradicate democracy.
This applies not just to conservative ideologues, whose disapproval for genuine
autonomy is apparent, but to liberals whose protection of rank places them in antagonism
to mass expressions of democracy that threaten it. For Marx, this struggle between
the development of democracy and the restriction of it was a vital part of the
class conflict.

Besides, some misunderstanding rises because the administration
is regularly on the incorrect
side of the struggle, although it is the place where democracy is meant
to occur. This is because of the government, as well as its designated constituent
being unbiased. Beneath a capitalist organisation, it’s on the side of the capitalists
which means in the fight for egalitarianism, it’s ultimately on the side of confinement
and restrictions. As Marx and Engels excellently inscribed in the Communist Manifesto, “The
executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common
affairs of the whole bourgeoisie” (Marx et al, pg43, 2008). That does not
mean the government always does the request of each capitalist. First, there
are conflicts among them, and some members or sections of the ruling class lose
out.

Moreover, “managing the common affairs of the whole
bourgeoisie” (Avineri, pg12, 1973) may
mean preventing separate industrialists or segments of capital to defend the
system that benefits them all.

In cases where the war on labours or funding for suppression
and tyranny threatens to release discontent and uncertainty, the state is there
to manage the problem. Occasionally, the method of that administration is to quote
norms of democracy and political rights that evidently apply to all individuals
correspondingly. This shows that the government plays this role in the service
of the ruling class. Its priority is to preserve the fundamentals of the status
quo: most of all, capitalist regulation over the entire working-class community.
This understanding of the government was advanced further by the Russian communists
Lenin and Bukhari in the lead-up to the 1917 rebellion. They remained particularly
troubled in contrasting the bourgeois state beneath capitalism with the Marxist
vision of a workers’ state.

Additionally, under capitalism, the part of the state
that’s focused on democracy is only a fragment, and not even the most significant part. Outside the designated
regime is the martial and the government, both of which are supposed to be the topic
to the regulator of a nominated executive, but which have inexplicable influences
that have been used against nominated bureaucrats (Niemi, pg6, 2011). Further,
the state under capitalism is anxious about dogmatic democracy, but not a financial democracy. Below the definitive representations
of demonstrative democracy, even the most liberal administrations have no
formal power over isolated wealth, which remains an assembly of insignificant
tyrannies.  Even though the official democratic
part of the industrial state is damaged and restricted in all kinds of ways,
owing to its dominant role in shielding and helping the marginal ruling class,
that governs society informally and economically, and therefore politically. 

Marx discusses in the Communist
Manifesto about the way in which the working class would take hold of
the control. He maintained that they would eliminate all isolated
property, inheritance rights income tax, and ultimately the class organisation
(Marx et al, pg11, 2008). A characteristic of Marx’s idea that one could contend
is democratic is the way that he evaluates Capitalism in terms of the way
the workers are repressed by the employer. He grasps that in a justly
democratic social order, an individual would be able to generate whatsoever
they required and that through the elimination of societal ranking people
would turn out to be individuals, original and unrestricted. As Marx said,
“In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class
antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of
each is the condition for the free development of all” (Levin, pg6, 1989).
It can be argued the appeal of Marxism lies in “the freedom of
the individual to express their own tastes and personality, explore her
own interests, and thus develop her human potential” (Levin, pg23,
1989). Although there are several optimistic features of the Marxist utopian
vision, that our contemporary civilisation would advocate, such as the eradication
of the growth of individuals, child labour, liberty and the national
control of the transportation systems, there are numerous features of the
Marxist utopian vision that do not agree with a truly democratic
social order.

Furthermore, the enquiry
at hand also aims to determine if democracy can prosper in a Marxist
regime, therefore questioning its compatibility with democracy. Some
political theorists such as, Geras assert that, “it is an axiom
that Socialism should be democratic” (Geras et al, pg21, 2017), nonetheless this
proclamation is not inevitably accurate. It must be argued that Stalin’s
and Lenin’s understanding of the Marxist vision distorted the
original ethics of Marxism. During the period of the Bolshevik October
revolution in 1917 the communists believed “that democracy would
become the price for a premature seizure of power under conditions of underdevelopment”
(Avineri, pg25, 1973). However, Gramsci, an Italian Marxist philosopher, mainly
saw these events as, “a revolution against Marx’s Capital”. This is
because below Lenin there was to be a shortcut on the road to Communism. In an
ideal communal rebellion, Marx explained that there would be steady deviations
to reach true social democracy, but this was not the occasion in
terms of the October Revolution and criticisers of Lenin’s version of
Communism have declared that there are no shortcuts to accomplishing a
true Marxist civilisation. But the most understandable, and significant, declaration
of

Marx democratic
strategy is to be found in the Communist
Manifesto, “The Position of the Communists with regard to the
various Opposition Parties” (Marx et al, pg14, 2008). Here Karl Marx clearly advocates unified
fronts with extremists, egalitarians, even in the United States with mere property
campaigners challenging private possessions in the arenas for the proletariat.
Besides, in the outline of instant demands in the Manifesto one reads that “the
first step in the labour revolution is to raise the proletariat to the
position of a ruling class, the winning of democracy” (Marx et al, pg27, 2008).

The revolutionary events of 1848-49 triggered a brief disruption in Marx’ democratic
approach. The Address of the
Central Committee to the Communist League is occupied with a sense of disillusionment with the
non-proletarian allies. Marx and Engels wrote that, “the workers’ party
goes together with the petty-bourgeois democrats against that faction whose
overthrow both seek, but it is opposed to those Democrats in everything it
wants to do on its own. The democratic bourgeoisie is far detached from
wanting to alter the whole society for the radical proletariat; rather it
strives for deviations in social conditions which will make the predominant
society as bearable and comfortable as possible for itself” (Marx et al, pg23,
2008). It was during this period that Marx took up the Blanquist slogan of “dictatorship
of the proletariat” (Cowling, pg11, 1998) 
.

 

At every point in this theoretical examination, Marx used unambiguous
democratic ideas and ethics to move towards his conclusion. Although, when
Marx said dictatorship of
the proletariat he did not mean the repression of the democratic rights of
non-proletarians or even of non-violent anti-socialists. This is clear enough
in the class struggles in France which
appeared in the Neue Rheinische
Zeitung between January and October 1850 in precisely the period
during which Marx was rethinking his attitude toward the democratic movement.
In that essay, Marx described the
constitutional republic as the “dictatorship of their united
exploiters; the social
democratic, the red, Republic is the dictatorship of its allies” (Marx
et al, pg141, 1972). Autocracy then can be legitimate and republican, even
social democratic in the French meaning of that term in 1848. The term applies
to the social content, and the consequent limits, of a regime, not to its
political structure. For, as Marx made quite clear a little later, during that
time of dictatorship the proletariat enjoyed the freedom of press, speech and
organization. The difficulty, as remarked in an earlier discussion of these
matters, is that the average reader or the not-so-average Stalinist is quite
likely to interpret dictatorship as the meaning dictatorship, pure and simple.

 

On the contrary, it can be argued that
Marx had twisted views of human nature that don’t correlate with reality to the
extent that Mill does. Marx’s theories depend on the assumption that people
will not be disheartened by the prospect of never owning property. Mill
formulated his theories with a view of human nature that seems more accurate.
Mill believed that humans were individuals and respected the inherent
individual nature of man. In his discussion on the fallacy of custom, he noted
that man is “not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do
exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and
develop itself on all sides according to the tendency of the inward forces
which make it a living thing” (Anschutz, pg114, 1953). This is
most in contrast to Marx, whose vision of democracy rests on the assumption
that people will fall into their positions in life without following any inward
forces that may motivate them to want more. Mill said that impulses are equally
a part of human nature as are restraints. This is a true statement of human
nature; one cannot ignore the existence of human impulses and emphasize
restraints.

Mill, on the other hand, demonstrated a profound
interest in representative democracy. Mill denying justification of both
idealist and mechanistic theory of state attempted to draw a balance between
the two and argued that government was an organisation, acquired and evolved by
the people, in course of time, by the habit of obedience of its laws and by
actively participating in it. These conditions are discernible in democracy. To
him, democracy was the best form of government despite a variety

of intrinsic vices. Democracy might give an
opportunity to people to have a better life, even if it falls short of the
objective of making much qualitative improvement in their lives. Democracy
shows prospects of carrying-out individual interests. However, Mill’s concern
was to evolve a kind of political arrangement to make peoples individual
freedom defensible.

Hence, Mill’s ultimate political criterion, good
government should advance the common good to its people. According to Mill,
democracy can promote the common good in two ways: Firstly, by identifying the
common good as people through proper deliberation about issues affecting the
common good; and secondly, by identifying how proper representation and
articulation of their interests would help meet the common good.

To inquire further, Mill’s argument of democracy is
grounded on two contemporary political currents: Utilitarianism and liberal
individualism. Borrowing from utilitarianism, Mill stated that democracy was
the form of government that could best secure the happiness of all, following
the maxim of the “greatest happiness of the greatest number” (Anschutz, pg34, 1953). Although slightly going away from the
core assumption of utilitarianism and acknowledging individualism, Mill
stressed that the end of democracy was not just well-being, but more than that
such as a tendency to foster self-development and individuality. Mill wrote as:
“Representative
government is a form which best encourages individuality. It leads people to
take a more active and intelligent participation in society. It provides moral
training and encourages the development of natural human sympathies. The result
is the habit of looking at social questions from an impersonal perspective
rather than that of self-interest” (Miller, pg54, 2010).

Mill also going away from natural rights and social
contract theories of state given by Hobbes, Lock and Rousseau wrote in
his On Liberty: “Forms of government
are, rather, to be judged according to the utility in the largest sense,
grounded on the permanent interest of man as a progressive being” (Mill, pg42, 1863). Therefore, by all these arguments, he stands for a type of
political institution that is to be evaluated in terms of its capacity to
enable each person to exercise and develop in his or her own way to his or her capacity
for higher forms of human happiness. Such development will be an end for
everyone, but also a means for society to develop and to make life better for
all. Furthermore, Mill did not recommend a direct form of democracy. This type
of democracy was representative, according to Mill.

In a country with a large population, direct democracy
is not feasible, so a democratic government should be a representative
democracy. Mill argued that the preferably best form of rule is that in which
the authority, or ultimate supervisory authority in the last option, is vested
in the entire collection of the society. Each inhabitant not only having an ability
to speak in the exercise of that ultimate supremacy but being, at least irregularly,
called on to take a real part in the regime, by the private liberation of some
public occupation, native or universal (Mill, pg63, 1863). Rights and interests
of every or any person are only secure from being disregarded when the person
interested is himself able, and habitually disposed to stand up for them and
that the general prosperity attains a greater height, and is more widely
diffused, in proportion to the amount and variety of the personal energies
enlisted in promoting it.

Additionally, the general interest is better promoted when people are self-protecting
and self-dependent. For that participation of people in all political affairs
affecting them is necessary. Mill then argues that democratic government best
promotes these desirable tendencies while despotism weakens such tendencies.
Mill, however, did not consider his scheme of representative democracy is
applicable to all kinds of societies. Societies where willingness and ability
of people to fulfil the duties and discharge the function accordingly are
absent, their possibility of succeeding such type of system would be low.
Besides, according to Mill, uncivilized and barbaric societies are suitable for
the despotic rule it is because a barbarous people lack the disposition to
obedience to duly constituted authority and must be trained to it by a
nondemocratic government.

In addition, it cannot be denied that Mill’s comments about
the faults of democracy and states are logical. A contradiction of democracy is
that even though they are often usually referred to as exercises in autonomy or
“government by the people for the people” (Mill, pg15, 1863), the administration
does not continuously replicate the needs of all the people. There are a few
reasons for this that Mill sensibly points out. Firstly, what appears to be the
will of the mainstream is truly the will of only the most active part of
society (Anschutz, pg17, 1953). These individuals
are just those who “succeed in making themselves accepted as a
majority” (Mill, p66). What is professed as the mainstream predominantly regarding
certain concepts about which individuals feel strongly, which is frequently a
false majority.

Moreover, in a democracy, those who exert the authority are
not those over whom the authority is exercised. Looking at the mechanisms of a democracy,
this point turns out to be apparent as we see the party-political class manufacture
verdicts that affect the rest of the community, without essentially needing the
consent of those their choices affect. Additionally, an autonomous republic may
give escalation to a fresh kind of oppression, which is what it was implemented
to avoid. Democracies are fitting to give the path to a “tyranny of the
majority” (Mill, pg37) a term devised by Alexis de Tocqueville and reapplied
by Mill. This distinct type of dictatorship is practised not by the power
acting autonomously, but by the social order itself. Even though less intimidating
in terms of consequences than a tyrannical regime, the tyranny of the majority
is more treacherous because it is the more problematic to escape. In this case,
the gathering implementing domination does not live in a castle far away, but
rather is your fellow citizen. Collapsing this kind of oppression would be more
intricate than eliminating a sole tyrant.

In conclusion, Mill’s vision of democracy is the most
compelling compared to that of Marx. Mill’s ideas make reasonable sense and deliver
for the wellbeing and individual authorisation of the public. The vision of Marx
does not deliver sufficiently for the well-being of the individuals. Mill cautiously
observes all sides of his declarations and arguments. The discipline with which
he observes his arguments makes them seem extremely likely to be true. Virtually
all, if not all, of the main points that Mill takes on democracy, are
understood without difficulty. Thus, Mill’s vision of egalitarianism triumphs
as the most gripping for judging both theories.