Lukacs on Bourgeois Democracy

The moment of deception lies in the undialectical concept of the majority… many workers suffer from the illusion that a purely formal democracy, in which the voice of every citizen is equally valid, is the most suitable instrument for expressing and representing the interests of society as a whole. But this fails to take into account the simple – simple! – detail that men are not just abstract individuals, abstract citizens or isolated atoms within the totality of the state, but are always concrete human beings who occupy specific positions within social production, whose social being (and mediated through it, whose thinking) is determined by this position. The pure democracy of bourgeois society excludes this mediation. It connects the naked and abstract individual directly with the totality of the state, which in this context appears equally abstract. This fundamentally formal character of pure democracy is alone enough to pulverize bourgeois society politically – which is not merely an advantage for the bourgeoisie but is precisely the decisive condition of its class rule.

Georg Lukacs,
Lenin: A Study on the Unity of His Thought (1924)

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