Proletarians of all countries, unite!
The electoral farce in Russia
As the electoral farce in Russia comes to a close, the ruling party United Russia takes almost 50 percent of the votes and 198 of the 225 seats in the Duma. The so-called Communist Party of the Russian Federation gains 9 seats and 18,93% of the votes, and the rest of the seats are distributed among the smaller partiesi. The voter turnout in the parliamentary elections was 51.7% this year. Almost half of the people allowed to vote didn’t participate. Last time, in 2016, only about 47% participated, as in 2011 the number was around 60%ii. The bourgeois press in the US and Europe is foaming about fraudulent elections in Russia, using the cause for “democracy” in their competition against Russian imperialism, to carry far its internal contradictions. The low participation of the masses in the elections is explained by the fraudulency and suppression of the opposition. But for the last thirty years, the voter turnout in the parliamentary elections have never been over 70%. But the voter turnout is Russian parliamentary elections have never been high: between 1991-2016 highest turnout is around 65%iii. The decline in voter turnout is also seen in other countries. The masses see that the elections will not change anything; they will not stop the exploitation, the constant crises, the poverty. It has all been decided for them already. Hence, the tendency of the reactionarisation of the bourgeois state corresponds to the spontaneous tendency of the masses rejecting the old state, its institutions and representatives expressed in the low turnout.
The 1993 constitution of Russian Federation states that elections should be free and fair, and any citizen over the age of 21 has the right to participate in elections. After 1995 parties have had to gather 200 000 signatories and register with the Ministry of Justice at least six months prior to the election. In recent years, many canditates have faced more and more bureuacratic challenges in order to participate in the elections – as well as violent suppressioniv. Recently sympathizers of the imprisoned Alexei Navalnyi were ruled as “extremists” by court and prohibited from participating in the elections. This demagogue is principally a pawn in the various “western” imperialists’ game of driving and sharpening the internal contradictions in Russia. In general the “opposition” of bourgeois parties is integral part of the system and serves to “legitimate” the reign of exploitation and oppression.
Many demo-liberal rights such as press freedom and the freedom to gather for demonstrations have also been restricted. But these are rights that exist in the context of the bourgeois state – even if the Russians did have the ideal rights to participate “freely”, it would only be to the point that it doesn’t threaten the rule of the exploiters, that is represented and upheld through the bourgeois state, which as all states, is upheld with violence and for this reason can only be overthrown with revolutionary violence. In the elections of the bourgeoisie the opposition, which is seen as a sign of a “healthy” democracy, represents just another faction of the bourgeoisie, an illusion of the “freedom of choice” and empty promises of change, serving just the incorporation of the masses into the bourgeois state.
Mariategui saw in the 1920s that the bourgeois democracy has stopped corresponding to the material reality; like feudalism once became outdated with the growth of the bourgeoisie, the bourgeois democracy has also corresponding to the growing forces of production, the arising of the proletariatv. With the deepening crisis of the imperialist system the bourgeoisie is struggling to keep producing great riches that fall into just few hands, throwing more and more people into poverty, more and more people into exploitation. Mariategui writes that the bourgeoisie recognises this decay: however, they think the idea of democracy is decayed, not the form itself. This can be seen all over the world as the bourgeoisie in one hand makes all kinds of tricks to “include” the people in the politics, to “reform” the parliament, trying to fix the illusion that is shattering. Of course, because it is the material basis that is in decay, no tricks will not change this fact. The bourgeoisie has brought about their own gravediggers; the proletariat, that today has its all-mighty weapon, marxism-leninism-maoism, mainly maoism, with its center the proletarian military line, i.e. the people’s war to bring down their oppressors.
The bourgeoisie also knows that their circus won’t suppress the power of the masses, and this is why the reactinarysation of the bourgeois state is developing. As Mariategui writes, as the parliamentary is not corresponding to the material reality, the reactionarys will more and more openly announce their anti-parliamentary goals, developing fascism. In the case of Russian imperialism, the regime is not fascist even though some bourgeois commentaries claim this, as it serves them to deepen, accelerate and broaden the internal problems of Russian imperialism. Bourgeois democracy in general however has the tendency of reactionarisation, and Putin’s government is accelerating this tendency, and the power is highly centralised to the president. Additionally there is a growing cut of bourgeois rights and freedoms. Anti-parliamentary tendencies can be seen in this widespread suppression of demo-liberal rights. In the case of Russian imperialism we see clearly the decay of the bourgeois democracy in an imperialist nuclear superpower.
The so-called communist party, the revisionist party, got a major amount of the votes after United Russia, even though it is seen according to one bourgeois newspaper as “compliant and toothless front”vi, and it is struggling to find new ways to gain popularity among the masses in Russia. This share might also be even higher, as there is allegations about tampering of the votes in favour of United Russia. The support to the revisionist “communist party” is seen as a “protest vote” against the ruling party. The revisionists use the glorious revolutionary past of the Russian people and the party of the proletariat to play their dark role in service to the old state. They do not serve the proletariat; they serve the bourgeoisie. The contradiction between revolutionary violence and parliamentary cretinism is antagonistic; it is a basic truth that the power grows from the barrel of a gun. As seen in the Russian elections, Putin’s reactionary government won’t let itself be voted out of power, and the old state is upheld by reactionary violence. It is accurate that the revionist party is toothless – without the ideology of marxism-leninism-maoism, principally maoism with the universal contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, without the people’s war, and it is compliant, because it plays by the rules of the bourgeoisie. There is nothing to win in the elections for a communist party today, and participating in the elections is counter-revolutionary.
The elections in Russia show the decay of the bourgeois state. The ruling faction of the bourgeoisie tries to suppress its enemies by fraud and violence, by attacking against the parliament, the “heart of the bourgeois democracy”, attacking against the masses and the demo-liberal rights and increasing exploitation. On the other hand this nuclear superpower is an economic dwarf, comparable to Italy – a second imperialist power subordinated in the European Union to France and Germany – in collusion and in struggle and encircled by the principal enemy of the peoples of the world, Yankee imperialism. But the masses will not suffer silently. The increasing activity of the masses is seen in Russia also, and there is also a large amount of the population that is unwilling to participate in the elections of the bourgeoisie. This calls for the Communist Party of Russia to be reconstituted as a marxist-leninist-maoist, principally maoist, militarized party, to initiate the people’s war as fast as possible, to carry out a counter-restoration. A party that is in general a total opposite to the pitiful revisionist bunch of rats dragging the glorious name of the Communist Party of Russia into the mud. The bourgeois state is growing weaker and weaker, and the Russian elections truly show how little the bourgeois democratic ideals really mean in the moment of crisis, and that revolutionary violence, that is, today, the people’s war, truly is the only mean to conquer power.
ivThe EU-Russia Centre Review: The electoral system of Russian Federation. Issue Seventeen. 2011
vJose Carlos Mariategui: El Alma Matinal – y otras estaciones del hombre de hoy. La Crisis de la Democracia.