[Marxism] DSA member Ocasio-Cortez elected

Jason jasonh99 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 11:55:46 MDT 2018


Right, it was "It was only about an agreement on electors"--and the
political basis for that agreement was meant to prevent votes for the
Bolsheviks from ending up 'spoiling' certain electoral outcomes by throwing
a seat to a reactionary party from a "counterrevolutionary" but liberal
party.

We don't have electors but we do have the 'spoiler' problem and
particularly with Trump in office, a left that intervenes in elections in a
way that ignores the possibility of empowering a Trump-ist Republican Party
is a left that will be isolated from the millions it needs to reach and
rightfully so.

However, we also do not have truly membership based electoral parties with
internal discipline, which means the left can use the Democratic Party
ballot without any built-in mechanism to require them to "sell-out."
Rather, the mechanism of accountability is primarily who controls their
ability to be re-elected, which today means who controls the "ground
game"--the canvassing--and the left and far left are in a better position
to do that than the moneyed centers of traditional Democratic Party power.

This doesn't mean there won't be a million pressures to conform or flip or
what have you, but just pointing to the existence of such pressures solves
nothing and carried to its logical end means adopting the stance of the
'ultra-left' of the Third Congress and after who refused to run anyone at
all because of the "pressures" of parliamentarianism, since those pressures
would exist, just in a different way, for someone elected on a different
ballot line.

Further, the Bolsheviks and electors example is just one such example. It
was the standard practice of the Second International, including its left
wing, to use a range of tactical and strategic judgements in the second
round of elections. Philippe Bourrinet, historian of the 'ultra-left',
summarized this when writing about the left split in Holland:

"The left, like the left in other parties, did not refuse, during the
course of the elections, to support liberal candidates who took a stand in
favour of universal suffrage against property-based electoral rights."

I agree Lenin was against "blocs" in some general sense: maintain the
separate organization and program and criticize and point out the
limitations of the other parties, yes (and plenty of those who supported
Sanders did not do this), but again, that did not rule out voting for such
parties or even working within them if one had freedom of criticism and
organization (as they did in the Labor Party and as the DSA has today in
relationship to the Democratic Party in a different way).

-Jason



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