[Marxism] Fascism, Marxism and Voting (was Stan Goff,Bill Fletcher...)

Austin, Andrew austina at uwgb.edu
Thu Nov 2 19:34:16 MST 2006

Vigilante mass movement is not a key element of fascism.  Fascism
manifests itself in many ways, and the bullyboy is a sometimes effect,
not a causal agent.  Electing Democrats instead of Republicans makes a
difference because the Republican Party is the vehicle through which
fascism is manifest. The immediate concern of Marxists is manifold; but
with respect to the November 7th election, there is only one choice that
possibly relieves the suffering of working people and civilians around
the world: voting against Republicans.  You only accomplish this
objective by voting for Democrats.  Voting for Democrats does not mean
that you don't also work to build working class resistance.  But
capitalism and imperialism are not on the ballot on November 7.  These
are bourgeois elections.  People are acting as if it is a free election
where their principles can be reflected.  The bourgeois political
process doesn't work that way.  Since it is impossible to end capitalism
and imperialism through the ballot box, the proper use of the ballot box
is to undermine Republican control over the government.  The ballot box
is only one strategic moment in the overall struggle against the most
oppressive form of capitalism at this point in history.  Your argument
is not based on BASIC MARXISM because no BASIC MARXIST would advocate
using a bourgeois political process to advance communism at this point
in time.  There is no viable communist or socialist party.  Andrew

-----Original Message-----
From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of Rohan
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 6:19 PM
To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
Subject: [Marxism] Fascism, Marxism and Voting (was Stan Goff,Bill

I have restrained myself from participating in the discussion re
Andrew's position because I summed it up as one that wasn't going to be
productive.  However I think it is worthwhile to make some brief points.
  1.  Fascism is not imminent in the US.  A key ingredient of fascism is
a vigilante mass movement to crush working class resistance.  In the US
there are embryonic organisational forms of this (Minutemen) but an
acorn is not an oak tree.
  2.  If fascism is imminent, ie if the ruling class has decided it is
necessary to go down that road, electing the Democrats instead of
Republicans would make virtually no difference.
  3.  If (or when) fascism is imminent, the immediate concern for
marxists is organising working class defence, ie mass-action resistance
involving trade unions etc, NOT calling for Democrat votes in an
  4.  If you are trying to get people to vote for a (small) working
class alternative to one of the two bourgeois parties, it is an
advantage to have a preferential voting system, like Australia has.  The
electoral pressure to vote for a party that "can form government" will
still be huge though.  In other words, preferentional voting and
proportional representation won't prevent the entrenching of two-party
politics.  Such an entrenchment is the product of the bourgeois class
  5.  Points 1 to 3 are based on BASIC MARXISM.  It is the working
class, not bourgeois politicians, that we should look to to defend our
class interests.
  Rohan G

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