Once more on you know what...

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Fri Dec 15 06:12:40 MST 2000


>>I got punched when I suggested that the Argentinean "mandatory voting"
system
was more democratic than the American one. But I still keep stuck to the
idea.
Mandatory voting makes it an obligation for the State to provide equality of
opportunities for every vote by every citizen, the country over. It is a
tradition stemming directly from the French Revolution, in fact.<<

    It is not more democratic. Perhaps it is in the land of milk, honey,
motherhood and apple pie, but in the here and now, today, to punish people
for NOT voting is just one MORE repressive tool in the hands of the
bourgeoisie.

    All the reforms in the world are worthless in "fixing" U.S. bourgeois
democracy. It is, as we say in Spanish, a "democracía," with the emphasis on
the "CIA."

    Defense of the right to vote of working people and especially the
oppressed peoples who have historically been systematically denied this
right is NOT THE SAME as trying to make bourgeois "democracy" more truly
democratic. We need the former the better to fight to OVERTHROW bourgeois
democracy. Making bourgeois democracy "work" or even "work better" is a
hopelessly utopian quest.

    As Fidel explained in a recent interview with Salvadoran journalist
Mauricio Funes, it is impossible to speak of democracy in any meaningful
sense when one man has $90 billion and the other sleeps under a bridge. For
"one person, one vote" to be meaningful, there must be substantive equality
for the "one person" compared to other "one persons."

    It is the same as all other bourgeois-democratic rights. The right of
freedom for the press belongs to those who own one. The right to present a
defense when the bourgeois state wants to put you in jail belongs to those
who can buy the lawyers, investigators and expert witnesses it takes to
present such a defense. The right to live in any neighborhood you want to is
predicated on being able to buy the house financially. The right to send
your child to the best schools depends on your ability to pay the tuition.

    Does that mean working people should abandon the fight? Since bourgeois
freedom of speech is such a farce, should we simply cross our hands and say,
"no concern of ours," when they pass censorship laws? Does that fact that
Blacks and Hispanics can rarely afford houses in the best neighborhoods mean
that we shouldn't care when the right-wingers move to repeal
anti-discrimination laws? Does the fact that the bourgeoisie have all the
politicians in their pocket mean we should care less when tens or hundreds
of thousands of our class brothers and sisters are disenfranchised?

    Of course not. Despite their bourgeois nature, the working class defends
bourgeois-democratic rights and strives to make use of them, NOT to make the
system more democratic but to get rid of an inherently undemocratic system,
by organizing its own newspapers, its own schools (albeit in the US the Left
universally considers the bourgeois state to be the ideal school master for
the proletariat, why I'm sure I'll never understand), its own parties that
run candidates for office, defense committees to finance and publicize the
fight against ruling class attempts to put our brothers and sisters in
prison.

    Making voting "mandatory" in no way furthers these fights. It is like
requiring everyone to buy a newspaper in order to further "freedom of the
press." That is not the way to make working class votes count. The way to
make our vote count is to organize ourselves independently of the ruling
class parties and put up our own candidates.

José
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky" <Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 6:59 AM
Subject: Re: Once more on you know what...


En relación a Once more on you know what...,
el 15 Dec 00, a las 21:27, Gary MacLennan dijo:

> To argue that
> non-participation in elections automatically makes you ahead is truly an
> anarchist position.

Yes, I agree. I still cannot understand the position of the American Left on
this issue. The current American system seems to have been designed in order
to
elliminate Tom Paine's "one man, one vote". Can't understand why don't they
struggle in order to impose the "one person, one vote" principle again.
American capitalism has developed in such a corporatist direction that the
basic ideas of their best bourgeois heritage have been betrayed. What are
American Leftists waiting to use this in their own benefit, for Marx's sake?

I got punched when I suggested that the Argentinean "mandatory voting"
system
was more democratic than the American one. But I still keep stuck to the
idea.
Mandatory voting makes it an obligation for the State to provide equality of
opportunities for every vote by every citizen, the country over. It is a
tradition stemming directly from the French Revolution, in fact.

Please enlighten me, American comrades... I admit that I am much of a
"blockhead" on thse issues, but maybe you can explain what is it that I do
not
understand.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar







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