Communist Electoral Strategy?

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donald parkinson
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Aug 29 2016 22:00

My position on China? I think it was a bourgeois-democratic revolution that was progressive in the sense of breaking pre-capitalist forms and forming a more centralized nation-state but had little do with communism and Mao was ultimately an enemy to working class self-organization when it developed.

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Aug 29 2016 23:02

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Aug 29 2016 22:10

The Kronstadt suppression was a tragedy and instead of "avenging" the reps in a (albeit degenerating) workers state i'd rather speculate what alternatives to suppression existed; personally I would argue that negotiations should have been more thoroughly attempted. Unfortunately history doesn't happen the way we'd like it to, and we must learn lessons from it, but a political programme isn't a answer to the question of "what was the right thing do to in x situation/who were the good guys in this situation".

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Aug 29 2016 22:13

^Exactly. I'm not here to debate who was the perfect flawless example of Marxism nor who was the ultimate villain of humanity nor how they represented or failed to represent communism. I'm here to make something happen in the material conditions workers face now, and I don't think it's wrong to believe that leftists can learn from the past.

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Aug 29 2016 22:22
donald parkinson wrote:
My position on China?

No. Didn't ask you.

donald parkinson wrote:
The Kronstadt suppression was a . . .

Didn't ask you that either.

How 'bout get back on topic?

What are your examples of electoral success?

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jdhthegr8
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Aug 29 2016 22:30

Our endorsement of Mimi explains the points of disagreement with the other parties, if you check that article. We endorsed him, not Gloria La Riva nor anybody else. If Mimi has no ballot or write-in access in a comrades' particular locality then we encourage strategically voting for another candidate. That does not amount to unconditional support of every single thing that they may have had in their party, and it's intellectually dishonest to insinuate that it does. We also by no means agree with every single person or thing in the SPUSA, but for this electoral cycle we feel their candidate best represents the spirit of the Red Party's ideals.

Also, come on now. It's an internet board with a flow of messages. If the subject of a question isn't clarified it's perfectly reasonable for another to suspect it's for them. Besides, I don't think his answering the question as well took anything away from the conversation. No need to react so harshly.

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Aug 29 2016 22:33

So Gloria LaRiva is the lesser evil? (or wingnut?; question to Jdhthegr8, but by all rights anyone can answer)

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Aug 29 2016 22:33

I would say the lesser-good. If no other socialist candidate had presence in my state then I would strategically vote for her as a means of having placed a vote for a socialist candidate. I don't subscribe to two-partyism where the "lesser evil" is what you vote for, I vote for what is the best option available. None of us expect revolutionary change to come from a ballot box in November, we expect it to come from organization-building and principled unity.

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Aug 29 2016 22:59

The use of electoralism by the Socialist Labor Party and Socialist Party of America would stand as examples of success to me. They were able to use a mix of union work and elections to build an existing, is flawed, socialist current in the working class. The IWW also played an important role and often collaborated with the Socialist Party. That's just an example of the USA.

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Aug 29 2016 23:14

These are my thoughts on Donald's article I initially posted somewhere else:

This is what I think of it. His argument against direct action as opposed to electoral politics is that supposedly such a stance would preclude interacting with electoral and parliamentary institutions. His theory of how a communist party would not capitulate to bourgioes politics is that there would be checks on representatives.

The problem with the first argument is that it is false and at worst a straw man. Direct action refers to the direct struggle of the oppressed against their oppression. This would include going up against electoral and parliamentary politics. The real difference between what he is arguing against and the views he holds is that people who reject electoral politics and pose direct action as an alternative don't see electoral politics as a particularly fruitful avenue of struggle since electoral politics are beholden to the will of state bureaucrats and their financial backers in the capitalist class.

The problem with the second argument is that no social democratic party has ever been beholden to those checks. They have no reason to because they are a party in power in the bourgioes state and as such their interests lie in capitulating to the bourgioes state which is what social democratic politics have historically resulted in. This is the problem with the return to social democracy and the minimum program that people like the CPGB, Red Party, and now the CLT are advocating for.

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Aug 29 2016 23:20
Quote:
The use of electoralism by the Socialist Labor Party and Socialist Party of America would stand as examples of success to me. They were able to use a mix of union work and elections to build an existing, is flawed, socialist current in the working class. The IWW also played an important role and often collaborated with the Socialist Party. That's just an example of the USA.

The SPUSA and SLP didn't create a movement. Really it was the labor movement that created them. While I think there is something to be said for the SPUSA's history and success they were ultimately thrown out the window by state power through repression and propaganda. The problem is the capitalist class has ways of dealing with elements in state power that are not in line with their interests.

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Aug 29 2016 23:52

Need to historicise more, Donald.

The late-19th/early 20th century socialists operated at a time when the idea of the workers' movement forming political parties, contesting elections and wielding state-power was a novel thing - social democracy was in its nascent period, suffrage was still being fought for, the trade union movement was young, etc. Between then and now, we've seen what a dead-end this whole politico-statist approach is - we hit peak leftism in the '60s/'70s (where I am), when the labour movement was at the height of its powers. It was defeated, and this defeat was accompanied with economic restructuring ('80s). Nowadays, the very notion of doing things that way makes no sense.

"[I]t now becomes necessary [...] that we read his [Marx's] theory in a different light: as a theory of the development and crisis of the modern commodity-producing system (this term embraces logically Western capitalism and the state socialist systems of "catch-up modernization"). This reading of Marx, "against the grain" of the common interpretations, naturally requires two things. First, the historization of Marx’s thought, i.e., the clearing of those elements in which he still thought within the horizon of bourgeois modernization. Secondly, such a reading requires to, so to speak, reverse the polarity of the Marxian Theory, so as to not understand it as a positivistic presentation of capitalist categories, but conversely, as their immanent radical critique. In other words, it is necessary to discover and overcome the contradictions within the Marxian Theory, which are due to the limited historical horizon of Marx’s time. Reading Marx with a negative (instead of a positive) charge is the precondition for rendering his work explosive again. - Kurz

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Aug 30 2016 01:04

A lot to respond to here. My intention is not to denigrate the importance of struggles that rely on direct action. Mass struggles, because of their scale, tend to also produce representative which mediate the struggles. The inevitability that representatives will exists because of the scale of mass politics and the need to make large collective decisions. The question is how these representatives are held accountability to the communist programne that the party is organized around. I have suggested ways this can be be done without having a pure abstentionust position.

That no social-democraic party was subject to these checks isnt' really an argument. I'm not arguing for a social democratic party that makes an alliance with the the coalitionist right, but rather a Communist Party based on the fundamentals of marxist politics. And no anarchist revolution or spontaneous council revolution has been able to win either; every time there is a question of who will lead the smashing of the state and become the new centre of power. Councils aren't revolutionary if they give their political support to a bourgeois party (which the SPD was at that time).

To say that that SLP and SPA were created by the workers movement and not the converse, i'd say that both the labor movement and these parties created what became a 'socialist movement', tho one that was less powerful than those in Europe.

So say I'm not historicizing isn't really an argument to me. I don't think we are in a period of "capitalist decadence", I think the proletariat was defeated in the 20th century and that we need to examine these failures and put them up against orthodox marxist politics. I don't think the labor movement is completely dead; it seems to be having a revival though with different forms from the past. But the political party is not going away anytime soon, though it would of course have to adapt to the times. People aren't against adapting to the times, and the key to this is winning support from youth and preventing orgs from being fossils from the 60s and 70s.

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Aug 30 2016 03:17

Message #40

Quote:
The use of electoralism by the Socialist Labor Party and Socialist Party of America would stand as examples of success to me. They were able to use a mix of union work and elections to build an existing, is flawed, socialist current in the working class. The IWW also played an important role and often collaborated with the Socialist Party. That's just an example of the USA.

Don't forget the achievement of the One Big Union in Canada and its relationship with the Socialist Party of Canada. This development seems to often get side-lined...perhaps because it goes against the grain of many who dismiss the Impossiblist tradition and therefore underplay what was involved.

It did not condemn political action, but rather declared that the only hope for the workers was "in the economic and political solidarity of the working class, One Big Union and One Workers' Party." (The OBU Bulletin, Dec. 20, 1919).

As one of its proponents, Jack Kavanagh, "There can be no question of industrial vs. political, the two are complementary phases of the working class movement"

The OBU did not have all the answers but what they represented was a tendency that was stopped short by so-called revolutionary proponents of Leninism and the reformist apologists of Laborism who were part and parcel of an unholy alliance with the bosses and the government.

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Aug 30 2016 03:45

Message #41

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The problem with the second argument is that no social democratic party has ever been beholden to those checks. They have no reason to because they are a party in power in the bourgioes state and as such their interests lie in capitulating to the bourgioes state which is what social democratic politics have historically resulted in.

This argument has been often discussed within the SPGB.
The checks begin with the structure of the political party - whether it is a hierarchal top-down party or one that is based on no leadership and control by the party's membership. Another issue is, of course, the nature of the membership. Just those who accept the SPGB's case for socialism gets to join. It is not a broad church where anybody is entitled to enrol regardless of agreement and for the price of a membership card. And that compatibility is tested for.

The second crucial importance is how does a social democratic party (and we use that in the original sense, not the modern one) get elected. If they appeal to votes on a platform of reforms and palliatives then i don't consider not achieving those objectives as capitulation. But rather the reality of capitalism imposing themselves upon false promises.
By calling for votes on mitigating the effects of capitalism rather than abolishing it, the votes they get are little different from the votes given to overt pro-capitalist parties. They are elected to run capitalism better than their rivals...and they are de-elected when they fail to the goods and the voter return to the promises of the pro-capitalist camp. The voter is not asked to fundamentally change his views or opinions. The party makes plenty of pledges to get elected, but doesn't make socialists to get the vote from them

But the SPGB campaigns in elections for one demand only - socialism. It is the genuine one-issue organisation.

And it asks only for the vote of people who understand its case and shares in its aim. It doesn't canvass for popularity and uninformed votes.
I don't think any political party has ever been elected on such a manifesto and in such a way and so there has not been any capitulation in the past.

I dont think the debate between the Possiblists and the Impossiblists and the Anarchists has really advanced much from the original argument at the turn of the century. Some words and terminology may be different but the core of the disagreement hasn't changed too much.

In fact, it has probably grown more blurred with the years and that's without the muddying of the waters by the Leninists/Trotskyists

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Aug 30 2016 09:30
jdhthegr8 wrote:
and I don't think it's wrong to believe that leftists can learn from the past.

Then they should have learnt that voting is a waste of time and launching parties a waste of time energy and resources.

jdhthegr8 wrote:
Our endorsement of Mimi explains the points of disagreement with the other parties, if you check that article. We endorsed him, not Gloria La Riva nor anybody else. If Mimi has no ballot or write-in access in a comrades' particular locality then we encourage strategically voting for another candidate. That does not amount to unconditional support of every single thing that they may have had in their party, and it's intellectually dishonest to insinuate that it does.

What you are describing is voting for the least worst candidate.

jdhthegr8 wrote:
I would say the lesser-good. If no other socialist candidate had presence in my state then I would strategically vote for her as a means of having placed a vote for a socialist candidate. I don't subscribe to two-partyism where the "lesser evil" is what you vote for, I vote for what is the best option available. None of us expect revolutionary change to come from a ballot box in November, we expect it to come from organization-building and principled unity.

You seem to think voting is important and that you can (and should) pick a best option rather than a least worst option.

bastarx
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Aug 31 2016 12:11
iexist wrote:
bastarx wrote:
The days of big parties and big unions are over and seem unlikely to return. Working class struggle largely takes the form of massive street movements which seemingly appear from nowhere and then disappear just as quickly plus small isolated strikes with occasional big union orchestrated strikes that are designed to fail.

That's what communists have to work with not fantasies about replaying the early 20th century only without the betrayals.

Yea, except that those fantasmic movements almost always emerge from long histories of local organizing.

Do they? Provide as many examples as you need.

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Aug 31 2016 14:20

Yeah, Ajjohnstone, as Debs once put it, socialists want a vote for a program, not this or that personality. A program of overthrow of the constitutional order by workers I might add!

syndicalist
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Aug 31 2016 17:20
Pennoid wrote:
Yeah, Ajjohnstone, as Debs once put it, socialists want a vote for a program, not this or that personality. A program of overthrow of the constitutional order by workers I might add!

OK, I'll accept that on face value, even if I don't agree with it (cause we live in an age of personalities, basically).

What then would the evolutionary / revolutionary / socialist program be that your tendency might propose?

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Sep 1 2016 22:51
Quote:
Then they should have learnt that voting is a waste of time and launching parties a waste of time energy and resources.

Voting is not the way to revolution, but electoral campaigns are a useful means of spreading revolutionary ideals. I don't expect socialism to come from the ballot box, but elections are an opportunity to promote it.

Quote:
You seem to think voting is important and that you can (and should) pick a best option rather than a least worst option.

It's not, really. At the end of the day what I put on the ballot myself is symbolic as far as I'm concerned. I think the interpretation you're making of my post is different from what I actually mean, but it's a common misconception to assume that because we endorsed a candidate and would like people to write their name in that therefore we expect them to win or gain meaningful change directly from that. What actually happens on election day itself is irrelevant. It's everything that happens UP to election day that matters. It's a time when we can draw attention to an alternative system through a candidate and possibly win hearts and minds. It's using the electoral cycle to create something outside of it

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Sep 2 2016 04:29
jdhthegr8 wrote:
It's a time when we can draw attention to an alternative system through a candidate and possibly win hearts and minds.

Winning "hearts and minds" has come to sound like merely an advertising slogan it's become so hackneyed and devoid of meaning. It's such a shallow way to skirt dealing with consciousness.

jdhthegr8 wrote:
It's using the electoral cycle to create something outside of it

So what you're basically saying is that we can use liberal means to achieve revolutionary ends. That's called magical thinking.

All this dogma and mechanistic formulae seem rooted in Lenin's deeply flawed blueprint for revolution in texts like “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder.

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2016 02:01

I'd suggest you all look at the record of the De Leanest SLP. The US SLP ran its own candidate in every Presidential election from 1892 to 1976....
Of course they ran candidates for all sorts of offices on the local and state level as well. Unlike;y they advanced socialism very far as their numbers continued to fall off until they only exist in a handful of non-public members. And you figure they had a socialist message that was at least somewhat revolutionary. And a look at contemporary Sawant may also give a feel for electoral-socialism-in-action.

SLP presidential votes:

* 1892 - Simon Wing - 21,163 votes
* 1896 - Charles H. Matchett - 36,356
* 1900 - Joseph F. Malloney - 40,900
* 1904 - Charles H. Corregan - 33,156
* 1908 - August Gillhaus - 14,018
* 1912 - Arthur E. Reimer - 29,374
* 1916 - Arthur E. Reimer - 15,284
* 1920 - William W. Cox - 31,716
* 1924 - Frank T. Johns - 28,746
* 1928 - Verne L. Reynolds - 21,608
* 1932 - Verne L. Reynolds - 34,028
* 1936 - John W. Aiken - 12,818
* 1940 - John W. Aiken - 14,914
* 1944 - Edward A. Teichert - 45,226
* 1948 - Edward A. Teichert - 29,038
* 1952 - Eric Hass - 30,250
* 1956 - Eric Hass - 44,300
* 1960 - Eric Hass - 47,522
* 1964 - Eric Hass - 45,187
* 1968 - Henning A. Blomen - 52,591
* 1972 - Louis Fisher - 53,811
* 1976 - Jules Levin - 9,616
http://www.ourcampaigns.com/PartyDetail.html?PartyID=97

ajjohnstone
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Sep 2 2016 05:38

Syndicalist, perhaps you can post the membership trend of the IWW over the last century?

I can be corrected but something in the back of my mind recalls Fred Thompson's history saying at one point in the late 1950s the IWW members dropped to below 100.

That too would make depressing reading for those who seek the primacy of industrial action over political action.

Something is amiss in both camps.Is it the theories or the practices?

Shouldn't we try to identify where things have gone wrong so we can begin to discuss how to remedy the situation?

I think i said this on another topic thread.

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Sep 2 2016 07:10
Hieronymous wrote:
Winning "hearts and minds" has come to sound like merely an advertising slogan it's become so hackneyed and devoid of meaning

Fair point, but I don't think my phrasing detracts from the message which is that it is a useful tool. I'm not sure how it 'skirts dealing with class consciousness' either. I can reasonably say that thought was never going through my mind when I typed this up.

Hieronymous wrote:
So what you're basically saying is that we can use liberal means to achieve revolutionary ends. That's called magical thinking.

I would agree that it was magical thinking if that were what I was saying, but it is not. I am saying that right now, and for the next two months, all of the American public's eyes are on bourgeois elections. What good does it do us to vehemently reject any mention of this in our reaching out to workers? If I claimed this were our ONLY tool, that outside of these remaining two months then there was nothing else for socialists to do and that running a candidate was the ONLY useful way to spread the word, then you could rightfully call it magical thinking. As it is though your stance amounts to puritanism and empty words over substance. The RP will continue to try and organize outside of elections just as much, and we will adapt our message to the circumstances of the time. On the flipside, what is your strategy? That's not meant to sound condescending, I just want to hear it.

Spikymike
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Sep 2 2016 11:14

Not sure the absence of a successful growth in a consistent large scale revolutionary communist movement in recent decades let alone a successful world revolution can be put down to the various 'revolutionary' organisations and parties past mistaken strategies. We can with the benefit of hindsight consider mistakes made in the past at certain high points in the class struggle which might have helped to move things forward or at least avoid catastrophic failures, but these endless searches by our minority tendencies for the 'magic bullet' that might suddenly transform our influence and the potential for revolutionary change seems to ignore the material changes past and present in the evolution of capitalism that have been the more significant factors influencing the relevance or otherwise of the various different political and economic organisations claiming the communist project as their own. Analysing these and understanding how we might adapt to them would seem more fruitful than simply replaying the past historical debates between parliamentary and anti-parliamentary, political and economic, anarchist and marxist etc

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Sep 2 2016 16:58

1. Spikymike no one has presented any of this as a silver bullet. Look closer.
2. Also, the whole 'material conditions have changed' line is just bullshit when you're not able/willing to articulate what that consists of specifically.
3. "Stop looking" I'm sorry, but are you suggesing that the failures of the past were inevitable? Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose, though that can be incredibly deceptive.
4. Hieronymus, it would be using a particular set of means as directed toward a particular end, with no illusions whatsoever as to the content and usefulness of that end. For example, a union might demand and interrupt work to get a co-worker back on the job from being sacked for being pro union. That does not make a revolution. But it does increase the scope and possibility for organizing as well as defend working class people. Similarly, legislative electoralist could potentially (in abstract, admittedly) provide for the legalization of public sector workers to strike, thus giving them a greater tool for organization. Of course, this would not be won without a great deal of direct action on their end but it could be legally secured as a means of hanging on to the win. Why this is suddenly different than a negotiated peace with the boss is not readily apparent and if you're serious about arguing against it, it seems you would martial the many inhibitory aspects in your favor.
5. It appears that what we have are considerable challenges to working out what exactly would keep althe electoral elements of a party accountable. Any examples in the past or present would be instructive. SLP presidential elections are interesting but sort of missing the point; did Donald not reject executive branch pursuits?

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Sep 3 2016 23:20
jdhthegr8 wrote:
Quote:
Then they should have learnt that voting is a waste of time and launching parties a waste of time energy and resources.

Voting is not the way to revolution, but electoral campaigns are a useful means of spreading revolutionary ideals. I don't expect socialism to come from the ballot box, but elections are an opportunity to promote it.

Quote:
You seem to think voting is important and that you can (and should) pick a best option rather than a least worst option.

It's not, really. At the end of the day what I put on the ballot myself is symbolic as far as I'm concerned. I think the interpretation you're making of my post is different from what I actually mean, but it's a common misconception to assume that because we endorsed a candidate and would like people to write their name in that therefore we expect them to win or gain meaningful change directly from that. What actually happens on election day itself is irrelevant. It's everything that happens UP to election day that matters. It's a time when we can draw attention to an alternative system through a candidate and possibly win hearts and minds. It's using the electoral cycle to create something outside of it

I really don't understand how this would work. IT's like entering a battle of the bands to encourage people to play football.

syndicalist
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Sep 4 2016 04:01
ajjohnstone wrote:
Syndicalist, perhaps you can post the membership trend of the IWW over the last century?

I can be corrected but something in the back of my mind recalls Fred Thompson's history saying at one point in the late 1950s the IWW members dropped to below 100.

That too would make depressing reading for those who seek the primacy of industrial action over political action.

Something is amiss in both camps.Is it the theories or the practices?

Shouldn't we try to identify where things have gone wrong so we can begin to discuss how to remedy the situation?

I think i said this on another topic thread.

Thanks for the reply. I'm on a cell but would like to reply at some length
at some point. One significant difference between the SLP and IWW (of which I'm not a member)
can be tactical. Growing up and getting involved during the anti viet nam war period, I recall the SLP refusing to partake in demos, even just to hand out their leaflets. On the other hand
the IWW did. They made an effort to reach out to a rebelling generation. The SLP became old, they became totally sectarian and couldn't reverse their demise. Btw, I do not gladly cheer the demise of the crusty ole SLP .

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Sep 4 2016 06:25
jdhthegr8 wrote:
On the flipside, what is your strategy? That's not meant to sound condescending, I just want to hear it.

First, I don't ever actively discourage anyone from voting (anymore). If someone asks, I explain why I don't vote. If they say, "That's nuts, I've never heard that argument before," I respond with some historical quotes:

Henry David Thoreau wrote:
All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it.

Or I would point to Emma Goldman, who viewed the state as a tool of social control and ruling class oppression. She felt that voting was useless at best and dangerous at worst. Instead of voting, which gives the illusion of participation while veiling the true nature of class domination, she advocated fighting back with strikes, protests, and "direct action against the invasive, meddlesome authority of our moral code." She held fast to her anti-voting position and opposed the struggle for women's suffrage. Emma thought that anarchist power was wasted when funneled into oppositional voting blocks and would be much more effectively used to help foment nationwide strikes.

Or I would selectively quote anarchist poet (and occasional Wobbly) Kenneth Rexroth's tale (from his An Autobiographical Novel) of hitchhiking across the Dakotas and Montana in the early 1920s, before most roads were paved, and how he caught a long, slow ride in Billings from:

Kenneth Rexroth wrote:
"a hard-boiled, well-to-do man who seemed to know everything and believe nothing. . . For orthodox politics and politicians, his scorn was far beneath contempt. . . He was full of good advice and sound opinions . . . One night I said to him, 'Don't you believe in the integrity of any politician whatsoever? Don't you believe that a few rare people are motivated by a disinterested desire to serve society?" He didn't. 'How about La Follette and Burton Wheeler?' [The gentleman responded] 'Did you ever go to a baseball game?'. . . 'Of coarse,' I said. 'Uh hunh,' he said. 'What's behind he catcher?' 'Why, there's nothing behind the catcher except the umpire.' 'Oh yes there is,' he said. 'Think.' 'I can't think of anything. There's just the boxes in the grandstand.' 'What's between the box seats and the catcher.' 'Nothing.' 'Oh yes there is; there's a wire net called the backstop. It catches the balls the catcher misses, and all the fouls that go off in that direction, so that nobody in the box seats gets hurt. That's the function of guys like La Follette and Wheeler, and believe me, they know it if you don't.'"

The next day the man's car got stuck in the mud near a rural farm and recognizing the man, a farmer with a team of mules eagerly pulled the car out. The man offered the farmer a $10 tip, which he refused and said "No, thank you Senator, it's been an honor I'll always remember." Rexroth's ride was with U.S. Senator Burton K. Wheeler, who as a Montana state legislator in the teens had a reputation as a staunch defender of the miners doing battle with the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. In his memoir, Rexroth wrote that the week he traveled with Wheeler was more "illuminating than all the economics and political-science courses in all the universities in the country."

Rexroth, who broke his revolutionary teeth as a soapboxer at Bughouse Square in Chicago, was also an important defender of an anti-authoritarian tradition, rooted working class self-activity, against the increasingly ossifying vanguardist dogma of Lenin and the corrupt idea of importing the Bolshevik ideology to the U.S. -- or anywhere else -- as an ahistorical blueprint for revolution.

And lastly, my strategy is best expressed in my posts here on libcom, as well as generally agreeing with a libertarian anti-Bolshevik communist perspective best expressed in libcom.org: an introduction (click on the link).

Below is the poster my comrades and I wheatpasted all over San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley in the run-up to the 1992 election. I met many comrades on those nights for the first time and most of us are still close today.

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Sep 4 2016 22:34
klas batalo wrote:
https://communistleaguetampa.org/2016/08/22/towards-a-communist-electora...

What do Libcom users think of this piece by DP of CLT?

Interested in anarchist / left communist / impossiblist thoughts on it.

I'm a bit late to the party but the CLT article is soft soaping classical Leninsm via Kautsky Second Internationalism. True that Trump-Clinton and their parties campaigns are all about cynical electioneering but there's a cynicism in the electioneering model proposed by the article. It's pragmatic but rewrites history to claim 1914 (the betrayal narrative) and 1917 changed everything. Despite using an image at the top from the Debs campaign to illustrate it, the SPA is entirely skipped over. The SPA was still riding high in the late 1910s - after and due to Debs 1912 campaign, the CPA consistently tried to undermine the SPA but couldn't compete fairly which is probably why they favoured non electoral strategy including illegal activity. The CPA were formed as wreckers and the CLT should probably concede that.