I've been reading a bit of An Anarchist FAQ and I have some critiques of what it says about our current capitalist representative democracies.
The FAQ says that representative democracies like Britain or Germany are in fact capitalist dictatorships. There are three reasons for why this is the case.
1) It's expensive to run for office. Getting financial support from capitalists tend to be the easiest way to collect money for running. These capitalists expect to get something in return. Also, politicans are in many cases capitalists themselves.
2) Every state has a bureacracy that does not dissappear after a change in government. They can manipulate the elected members of the state, for example by witholding important information.
3) If a government wants to do something that is not in the interest of the capitalist class, the capitalists can take their economic assets away from the country (capital flight). This means that governments can't make revolutionary changes in the economy.
Therefore, the state remains an instrument of the capitalist class. Thus the state machine remains a tool by which the few can enrich themselves at the expense of the many. This does not mean that the state is immune to popular pressure and that positive changes can't occur. The key is that such changes are not the natural function of the state.
I'm not sure if I completely agree with the FAQ on this issue. I will talk about each argument individually, one by one. Some of the things I will bring up are not arguments but just questions.
1) While this argument does make a valid point about how capitalists or people or parties supported by capitalists have an easier time campaigning for an election than others, I don't think it's a relevant argument for the thesis the FAQ tries to make. It's still possible for anti-capitalist parties or people to get money for campaigning (the FAQ even says this).
Furthermore, the argument merely says that it's easier for pro-capitalists to persuade people to vote for them. What people tend to mean with the expression "representative democracy" is a system in which the population votes on representatives to represent them. Nobody is forcing the population to vote on a conservative or a social democrat etc.
I don't think that the fact that revolutionaries have a more difficult time getting seen or heard or liked (due to indoctrination) by the population means that it's actually a dictatorship. Most people on this forum appear to come from liberal democracies where the education has been pro-capitalist, but that didn't prevent them from becoming anarchists.
2) Let's say an a revolutionary party wins in a landslide election. What can the bureacracy do to manipulate them?
3) Is there no way of preventing capital flight?
The Bolshevik regime took the economic assets of the capitalist class, didn't they? I do not mean to say that I think that the Bolsheviks created a non-capitalist society, but as far as I know they did manage to take the means of production from the capitalist class. In that sense they were anti-(private)
capitalists. Doesn't this refute the idea that governments can't take very anti-capitalist decisions?