Corrupt and Anti-Democratic Nature of the Political Party
Extract from ‘Parliamentarism and Democracy’ (by Jiri Polak)
The vast majority of people probably believe that parliamentary systems are the chief form of democracy and the only one that can work in practice. The presidential systems (the USA, France and some others) are not very different because in them, like in parliamentarism, the candidates are put forward and supported by political parties.
On reflexion, however, no party-based system can be democratic, no matter how many parties are involved. There are no democratic parties. Each party is anti-democratic by definition. Each party pretends to advance the interests of a certain category of citizens in opposition to other categories (which means in fact the whole society).
Democracy, by contrast, advances the interests of all (or the vast majority of) citizens. That is to say, it cannot be based on party politics. This simple insight dawns on an increasing number of people but most are still too brainwashed to see through the bluff. As a result, most people, including the big media, still participate in the charade.
Obviously, the party-based illusion of democracy has historical roots. Blatantly anti-democratic feudal or semi-feudal systems existed in Europe as late as the beginning of the twentieth century. In feudalism, power was concentrated in the hands of a few people who got their privileges by birth. The vast majority of citizens had no say. Understandingly, the disadvantaged could not but believe that democracy meant only general suffrage and secret ballot. On the then existing level of socio-economic development, nothing more could be demanded. Society consisted of a few homogenous groups (workers, entrepreneurs, farmers ...) trying to acquire as much as possible of the wealth produced in their society. Almost all attention was focused on domestic problems within the framework of a rather simple structure.
Establishment of, and voting for political parties was the only way to achieve this purpose. But as soon as firmly established, party-political leaderships began to obey Michel´s Iron Law of Oligarchy. The inherent anti-democratic character of party-political steering was increasingly exacerbated by the leaderships´ selfish, corruption-promoting behavior.
In all societies, political development lags behind socio-economic development. Political elites cling to the ideology justifying their power, while socio-economic changes make this ideology increasingly obsolete. The gap keeps increasing until social tension reaches a stage when the existing Political Formula looses all credibility and breaks down. This is what we witness in current Western societies at present. Party-political power monopoly is doomed. The DD movement contributes to digging its grave, but the most important part of the work is done by party bosses themselves.
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