In the UK people struggled for centuries to achieve universal suffrage in 1918. The right to vote for all is a key component of democracy.
In the UK today, the right to vote to elect MPs is barely relevant. The main party’s preoccupations have become fossilised arguments about relatively trivial changes in the funding of public services and taxation. Parliament and its activities have become marginalised and unconnected to many of the modern levers of power.
According to Marx, alienation arose when workers sold their labour power to the capitalists who thereby became the owner of the labour process; the product of the workers labour thus became alien to the worker.
The modern day equivalent is the alienation which arises the when the nowadays, middle class worker, is disenfranchised from the rights of his capital or savings as he passes them to the city establishment to manage in return for a modest money rent.
The financial establishment are the monopoly owners of the power that is attached to this capital. The power is derived from the separation of the vote which is stapled to capital in the hand of its owners, and the concentration of that vote into blocks wielded by the city establishments in their own interests – primarily their own enrichment and perpetuation.
Every share, bond and deposit, carries the right to vote in varying circumstances. Very few individual investors bother to vote and many obstacles exist to deter them if they want to. The majority of votes are exercised by the city establishment in pursuit of their own interests, which are not the same interests as the interests of the owners of the voted savings.
The capital power and the rights which run with it, are thereby expropriated by and for the benefit of the financial establishment.
Key policies and decisions over the economy are determined by the financial establishment, whose power is derived from control of people’s capital (savings, pensions, insurances bank deposits, equities etc).
There is no conspiracy; it is the way things have developed as savings capital has increase enormously over the past fifty years, and political awareness of this development has not been encouraged.
This appropriation of votes is reminiscent of voting abuses that The Reform Act of 1832, set out to abolish. Even the labour party has abolished the union block vote at their conferences because it was undemocratic and unfair, but such is the power of the financial establishment that party manifestos are silent on the issues which determine the shape of people’s lives.
How is this going to change?