| Re: Civil Services Bill, 2009 - The end of the transfer-posting raj
All this, which goes under the ruberic of "progress", "accountability", "transparency", "good governance", etc, etc, is also evidence of the maturing of bourgeois rule (euphemistically known as "democracy") in our country. Interestingly, we are all so conditioned to see these things in a particular manner that we fail to see the whole picture. Most of my life I too have looked upon these milestones as "progress". More particularly, I have repeatedly cited the bipartisan support for governance issues available in all "developed"/ "western" countries as evidence of their "advanced" status. Fortunately or unfortunately the scales dropped, and I can no longer see these things in the same light. Bipartisan support on governance issues is the most telling proof of the consolidation of a particular "rule". It means that the ruling class is now so secure in its rule that it is willing to build/ expand the internal space for debate and dissent. Of course, one has to be a "member" (of the bourgeoise) in good standing to enter this space, and a member in even better standing to make use of this space. In other words, the fundamental principles of that "rule" howsoever inimical to public welfare they may be, are off limits. No criticism of these is permitted.
This process is not unique to the bourgeoise. All ruling elites throughout history, including the feudals and the communists, have followed this path, albeit to greater and lesser degrees. Rome was "democratic" when it was secure. It became a tyranny when that security was threatened (first by its overwhelming military successes and later by its inner contradictions). Similarly, the communists in Russia, and even Castro in Cuba. In the early days the Bolsheviks were far more democratic than they became after the NEP was introduced and. later, under Stalin. The western (bourgeois) powers were so threatened by the rise of communism that they maintained unrelenting pressure upon Russia from the inception of communist rule, till they were forced by their own floundering economies to let them be. In his intial speeches (which are available on the net) Castro freely espoused "democratic" principles, including private property. It is only when his regime was severely threatened by the USA, at the behest of short sighted American capitalists that he became increasingly authoritarian, and socialistic.
The saga of the bourgeois heartland is itself a case in point. Most, if not all, the finest "liberal" traditions were born during the period when Europe (euphemistically used) was all powerful, and without serious challenge. These, so called, traditions have been the first to come under seige whenever Europe has felt threatened, be it by the rise of communism, or of "terror".
So, "professionalising" of the police and the bureaucracy, giving the leader of the "opposition" a significant role in governance issues, etc etc, are all very well. They are essential in one sense and rubbish in another. It all depends on your view point. I must add that, in a sense, our countries (the third world) have far more "real" democracy than Europe. India, for examnple is forced to tolerate dissent to a greater degree than any "developed" country. Our deep divides and fissures, including the naxal/ maoists, compel us to accept situations that would be met with crushing force in even the most liberal "developed" country. The repression, which is also plentiful in India, comes because of the (simultaneous) attempt of the dominant elite to extend the breadth and depth of its rule. As this rule is consolidated, the space for dissent arises once again, though in a much tamer fashion.
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