#7:LRNA says vote Nader

Dayne Goodwin dayneg at SPAMshell.aros.net
Thu Nov 2 14:10:46 MST 2000


[BRC] WHAT TO DO ON ELECTION DAY -- AND BEYOND

Statement by the League of Revolutionaries for a New America
http://www.lrna.org

Statement by the League of Revolutionaries for a New America

November 7 is election day 2000. How will Americans greet
that day? Well, it no doubt depends on who you are. Will
you sleep on silk sheets in a $30 million mansion the night
before, or will you lay your head on the stone cold pavement
in an urban doorway? Will you rise early to see what the
stock market is doing, or will you drag yourself up to get
to one of the two minimum-wage jobs that you hold to feed
your family?

Despite the talk of prosperity, few things more clearly show
the nature of the times and the system we live under than
the obscene gap between the rich and the rest of us. The
average U.S. factory worker made $23,712 last year, while
the average CEO of the 350 biggest corporations made $12.4
million in salary and stock options. The average CEO in
America makes 500 times what the average worker makes. The
top one percent of our population controls $620 billion.
Never before have so few been so rich, or so many so poor.

We live in a country where even formerly "middle class"
workers are being sucked into the swelling ranks of the new
poor as incomes shrink and jobs vanish; where millions are
homeless; where millions have no health care and even those
with insurance can't get good care; and where millions of
children are denied a decent education. In our country,
more prisons than schools are being built; it is common
for prisoners to be tortured and murdered in the jails;
and, for millions of us, the police are not protectors
but tormentors.

It doesn't have to be this way. We can have a new society,
one that guarantees the economic, social and cultural well-
being of everyone. The new technology and the globalization
that have produced the super rich and the desperately poor
have also given us the opportunity and the means to create
a new society that can provide for all, if we're willing to
struggle for it. But we are going to have to stand up and
fight. The ruling class has already spent years preparing
for this struggle by, among other things, opening a war on
the poor, passing repressive laws and shifting the country's
politics to the right. They are preparing the people to
accept a more repressive form of rule, without even the
pretense of democracy.

The fight for a new system is already under way. It takes
the form of the struggle for health care, for jobs, for good
wages, for housing, and so on. But to kick it into high gear,
several things have to happen. We, the people, have to cut
the political strings that tie us to the ruling class. We
have to educate ourselves as to who are our real enemies and
who are our real friends. And the struggle in our country
must be approached from the perspective of the poor, from
the viewpoint of all those whose needs are not being met.
All this will take time, of course, but it's high time
we got started. So what can we, the people, do, in this
election and beyond, to begin cutting ourselves loose
from the ruling class?

First of all, in this election it makes no sense to choose
"the lesser of two evils." The Democratic Party's drift to
the right over the past 25 years has made more clear than
ever that the Democratic and Republican parties are the
twin representatives of private property and wealth. The
two parties may sound like they have different programs,
but we've been down this road before, and look where it got
us. Recent experience has shown that voting for the lesser
of two evils doesn't give us any less evil. In fact, the
programs of the two parties today are essentially identical:
protect the wealth and privilege of the few at all costs,
and crush any dissent.

On the other hand, we dare not avoid voting. At this point,
that would amount to telling the ruling class that we're
letting them off the hook, that we won't hold the government
responsible for our well-being.

What to do on election day? Vote for Ralph Nader. Nader is
at least speaking to some of the real issues, and a vote for
him would tell the ruling class, "We are awake, and we are
going to hold you accountable." But beyond this, we should
have no illusions. For a campaign like Nader's to be truly
successful, there must be a real movement of people
consciously fighting in their class interests, and
no such conscious movement exists in the country
today.

The crucial question is what to do after the election. It's
critical to recognize that elections are just one aspect of
politics. We must be active in the day-to-day political life
of our country. The issues we are dealing with every day --
poverty, health care, jobs, education -- will remain long after
the election, and we must find practical ways of continuing
the fight around the issues all year long. At the same time,
in fighting around the issues we need to be doing what is
necessary to raise the consciousness of the American people
-- to get them to understand that the fight they're engaged
in is a class struggle, and that their real enemy is the
tiny, wealthy ruling class that controls our country, and
the system they represent.

Indeed, the greatest danger that faces us today is not the
threat of a Bush victory, but the American people's low
level of political understanding. If we continue to think
with our enemy's ideas, we will continue to fight one
another. To unite and confront our real enemy, we have
to develop our own class outlook. We also need our own
independent political program and the institutions --
the Labor Party is a good example -- to carry it out.

What does it mean to have our own class outlook? For
decades, the ruling class has taught us that freedom,
prosperity and private property go hand in hand. But these
ideas are increasingly contradicted by the reality of a
world where new technology is making jobs disappear and
wages shrink, where workers are being told to sink or swim
in a global labor market, and where the police are a bigger
threat to the average person than the criminals. High
technology and globalization are at once creating an
abundance of everything we need, and making the mass
of humanity too poor to buy anything.

Isn't there something wrong with a society where people
decked out in diamonds and fur coats are stepping over
homeless people on the sidewalk? Isn't there something
wrong with a system that prides itself on throwing women
and children off welfare in the midst of spreading poverty?

The ultimate question confronting us is not just moral, but
practical: Will we have a society where the private control
of society's wealth by a powerful few causes mass suffering
and repression, or will we have a cooperative society, where
the people own and control the abundance the new technology
can provide, and where everything necessary for a full, rich,
cultured life is guaranteed to every person? Sooner or later,
for the majority of us, the question of whether we'll have a
cooperative society is not an ideological question. It's a
matter of morality, and a matter of survival.

This year doesn't have to be one more election year with no
choices. It can be the start of year after year of determined
struggle to achieve real freedom and real prosperity.

****************************************************************
Speakers are available on this statement. For information
call toll free at 1-800-691-6888 or e-mail to speakers at noc.org.
You can write the League of Revolutionaries for a New America
at PO Box 477113, Chicago, IL 60647 or e-mail to league at noc.org
****************************************************************

[IMPORTANT NOTE: The views and opinions expressed on this
list are solely those of the authors and/or organizations,
and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official
political positions of the Black Radical Congress (BRC).]
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