[Marxism] Voting by the U.S. Left--and the main stategicgoalof2004

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Thu Feb 26 11:58:08 MST 2004

Marvin Gandall wrote:
> The commonplace denunciations of their "perfidy" - which come
> from more than a few disillusioned liberals as well as angry radicals -
> borrows more from the worldview and vocabulary of morality and religion
> which defines personalities and struggles in terms of "good" and "evil"
> than from materialism.

I'm all too aware that such denunciations are "commonplace," but they
are profoundly false, and in substance they constitute a defense rather
than an attack on the DP. The assumption behind them is that the DP
leadership really believes in good things but for various bad reasons
fails to carry through. Other versions are references to the "cowardice"
of the leadership, or statements that they are merely interested in
"getting elected." I also put in the same category references to the
Republicans as the "Repugs" -- that use is almost always accompanied by
some version of the ABB approach to politics. (After all, most of those
pushing the ABB line insist that they recognize how repugnant the DP is;
and if they believe that, they ought not to single out the Republicans
as "repugs.")

The DP is a principled, not an unprincipled, party: what is wrong is not
lack of principle but _vicious_ principle.

The DP leadership are courageous: they would honestly rather lose an
election than betray their principles.

And the core of those principles is that there shall be no
politicization of the general public. The DP exists to absorb or blunt
any upsurge of popular political action.

Because they would rather lose than betray this principle is why the
party consistently refuses to launch mass voter registration efforts
(and will often interfere with those who do attempt that).

Voting, considered in itself, is an essentially apolitical act; it is
not an exercise of power but the passived giving away of power to
someone the voter thinks may do good things.

And few political slogans in u.s. history have so exemplified this basic
DP principle as the ABB slogan. That slogan takes it for granted that
the people are (and always will be) powerless. It represents a serious
failure of nerve on the part of so many radicals who have for decades
been characterized by their courage. (I am thinking particularly of


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