Agitate-organize! Don't Vote!

Louis R Godena louisgodena at
Sat Aug 10 07:37:18 MDT 1996

Neil C writes:

>.....Bourgeois parliamentarianism NO! Active abstentionism YES!
>To advocate a vote for the open parties of  bribed capitalist/reactionary
>or the various 'socialist'  wannabees on the ballot  is to throw your
>principles  and programme away.

and,  warming to his subject:

>NO vote can break down some of the electoral mystification so as to deepen the
>class divide. Do we want more illusions in congress and the president or
>by the class vanguard via the socialist truth connected to the class?
>The workers can easier rediscover itself when it has the conscoiousness and
>combativiity  to dump the ballot and Congressional.

Neil,  it seems that you've put the cart before the horse here ("you've got
it ass-backwards,  Leroy").   Elections are a mass activity in America.
Roughly one hundred million people vote in the Presidential elections.
There are, presumably,  one or two workers among them.   Another sixty
million or so passively participate to one degree or another (watching ads,
hearing speeches, etc.).    Elections, therefore,  are a vehicle for
agitation and propaganda for anti-capitalist and socialist ideas.     They
are not the sole arena of struggle.   They may not even be the most
important means of building a revolutionary movement.    They are,  however,
a clear opportunity for propagating the ideas of the left among the general
population.      An avenue for communicating to the mass of Americans every
idea, slogan, and shibboleth contained in your last one hundred posts.

You said it well, yourself,  Neil:

>.... agitation alone is not enough either, also  we must activlely-
>participate in all active struggles of the class in order to spread the will
>and self-confidence to help re-organize mass struggle on a higher plane.

Exactly.   The purpose of participating in bourgeois elections is precisely
that; to bring the "mass struggle to a higher plane."    The idea of
communists participating in elections is not, of course, merely to elect
this or that friendly personality; rather it is part of a larger strategy of
agitation in all other areas of mass life.    Its goal is  to raise the
consciousness of the working class beyond the merely visceral
anti-capitalist prejudices of the average worker into a fighting program of
the class, for socialism.

Louis (G)

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