Don’t vote! Organize! On the US elections in 2012
Don’t Vote! Organize! On the US elections in 2012
Elections in the United States take place November 6, 2012. The presidency and many congressional races will be decided. It is almost a certainty that Obama and the Democratic Party will retain the Presidency. Romney, the Republican candidate, is trailing by a wide margin in the polls. His candidacy has little traction even among the traditional Republican base. The election results will contain very few surprises. Leading Light is boycotting the upcoming elections.
1. Despite differences in rhetoric and style, the Democratic Party and Republican Party are mostly the same from the standpoint of the international proletariat. While the two parties are slightly different, both are parties of the global bourgeoisie. The struggle between the Democrats and Republicans is a struggle between various factions of the bourgeoisie. The Obama wing of the Democratic Party and the Romney wing of the Republican Party will behave in similar ways on the international scene. Not only are both imperialist, but they both represent a similar approach to imperial control. Both represent more globalist tendencies among the US bourgeoisie. It is unlikely that either will return to the kind of unilateralism seen under the George W. Bush administration. Both will continue the dirty wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, etc. Both will continue occupations. Both will solidly support Israel in its war against the Palestinians and others. Both will continue to beat the war drums against Iran. Both will continue to threaten Venezuela, Cuba, northern Korea, etc. Covert wars, drone attacks, occupations, extra-judicial detentions, etc. will continue no matter which bourgeois party is in power. The mainstream of both the Republican Party and Democratic Party are committed to the so-called “war on terror” to justify their endless imperialist acts. From the standpoint of the poor peoples of the world, it matters little who heads the imperial beast.
2. Both parties are also wedded to the extension of the security state in the United States and globally. Civil rights have been assaulted in the name of security and the “war on terror” by the mainstream of both parties. Extra-judicial detentions continue. Attacks on undocumented communities and deportations will continue. Assaults continue on privacy and free speech, especially online. We will continue to see the growth of private and state security under any administration. Whatever administration is in power, activists in the United States can expect an increase in the monitoring of their activities.
3. There are arguments by First Worldists that Obama and the Democrats are the “lesser of two evils” and that they should be supported against Romney and the Republicans. For example, First Worldists will argue that Democrats are better than Republicans for workers and women in the United States. While this is probably true, it matters little from the standpoint of the global proletariat. The population of the United States as a whole is thoroughly bourgeois. Revolutionaries should not be all that concerned with improving the lot of the bourgeoisie, with improving the standing of class enemies. Revolutionaries are not in the business of creating a better, more inclusive empire. Contradictions between the bourgeoisie of the First World — between First World workers and bosses or between First World women and men — are not antagonistic. These contradictions are contradictions among the enemy, they are not contradictions that can be exploited in any real way by the global proletariat. Even if these contradictions were ones that could be exploited by revolutionaries, it is not a given that lining up with the Democrats, or even First World workers or First World women, is the way to go. It is not a given that agitating around the interests of the middle and lower strata of the First World puts us closer to advancing proletarian, Third World interests. In fact, agitating for First World populations almost always amounts to fascism of one kind or another. Almost the entire population of the First World, including workers and women, are enemies of the global proletariat. Our duty is to the global proletariat, to the vast majority of humanity, to the Third World workers, peasants, lumpen, women and youth.
4. In some sense, Obama’s victory may be a greater set back for the global proletariat. Obama puts a Black face on the empire. Obama’s appearance and rhetoric make him a harder target for the anti-imperialist and Communist movements. Identity politics shields Obama from criticism. Also Obama’s charisma and humanist, internationalist rhetoric deceive many internationally. It is much easier to expose a Bush or Romney than an Obama, even though Obama has presided over an administration that has continued and expanded Bush’s imperial and security policies.
5. Obama’s victory is a setback for Black national liberation. The contradiction between the Black nation and the White nation in the United States has become less and less antagonistic over recent decades. The Black national liberation movement has been in decline at least since the 1970s. The reason for its decline has to do with the social-democratic opening up of society in the United States. While White supremacy still exists in harsh and disgusting forms, it does not exist as it used to. More and more, Blacks have joined Whites as junior partners in enjoying the privileges and power of First World empire. Even though the Black movement has been in decline, it still attracts anomalies within the Black community to oppose the system. The Black movement is still a space of resistance, albeit one that had diminished over the decades. Obama’s victory deals a great blow to Black resistance. Obama’s victory tells Blacks that the United States is their country also. It gives legitimacy to the claim that Blacks should work within empire instead of opposing it, that Blacks should join Whites, and unify as Americans against the Third World.
The act of voting and participating in electoral politics sends a subtle message that the system can be supported. As Leading Lights, as leaders of the global revolution, we need to send a very clear message: the system is a total failure. The system cannot be redeemed. The only solution is the destruction of the First World, the creation of global equality, the end of all exploitation and oppression. The only solution is Leading Light Communism. Don’t vote! Organize! Global people’s war!