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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Engels in 1865 criticising universal suffrage (admittedly, without the requisite conditions).
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And regarding universal direct suffrage itself, one has only to go to France to realise what tame elections it can give rise to, if one has only a large and ignorant rural population, a well-organised bureaucracy, a well-regimented press, associations sufficiently kept down by the police and no political meetings at all. How many workers' representatives does universal direct suffrage send to the French chamber, then? And yet the French proletariat has the advantage over the German of far greater concentration and longer experience of struggle and organisation.

...
Now even in France, where after all virtually all the peasants are free and own their land and where the feudal aristocracy has long been deprived of all political power, universal suffrage has not put workers into the Chamber but has almost totally excluded them from it. What would be the consequence of universal suffrage in Germany, where the feudal aristocracy is still a real social and political power and where there are two agricultural day labourers for every industrial worker? The battle against feudal and bureaucratic reaction — for the two are inseparable in our country — is in Germany identical with the struggle for the intellectual and political emancipation of the rural proletariat — and until such time as the rural proletariat is also swept along into the movement, the urban proletariat cannot and will not achieve anything at all in Germany and universal direct suffrage will not be a weapon for the proletariat but a snare.


https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... /02/12.htm


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:05 pm 
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Well we all know that universal suffrage is not revolutionary, but what do then do when the society a)doesn't allow women to vote b)attempts to prevent people from voting.

Like what do you say now Noa about the voter repression which, operating in tandemwith attacks on immigrants, and the proliferation of right to work laws, forms the basis of the assault on living conditions of the working class? "Oh elections are a trick"? Do you oppose voter repression; poll taxes; literacy tests; voter ID laws?


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:41 pm 
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It's a bit like the complaint of workers after they received their notice of dismissal from the boss that they didn't quite like his tone.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:54 pm 
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No, it's not like that at all. The struggle for the vote for blacks, for women, was a struggle for equality. Since when do Marxists abstain from struggles for equality-- unless of course you are in the ICC/IP etc. part of spectrum?

What you state is absolute ignorance, and arrogance. You think the struggle against the poll tax; for the right to vote in the South was about "tone"???

You don't think it had everything to do with the obsolescence of the old sharecropper relations that had circumscribed black labor, and the years of black migration into the working class?

You don't think the attempts to intimidate black people, the elderly, brown people from voting need to be combated?

Your smugness is enough to gag a maggot.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:57 am 
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Compared to lynchings/shootings, employment discrimination, segregation etc., the fight against poll tax was about tone and it was granted. Subsequently, did voting in the 2-party system help black workers' conditions? Anyway, your point is more specific and fundamental, not about the thesis of this thread, which is that whatever you and I think/say about politics (or elections in general) is a waste of time/meaningless, since we're just a tiny minority. So if I were truly smug, I would not even bother to reply you, because changing your ideas would mean winning just one vote, and one vote doesn't matter in the whole population.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:04 am 
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Sophistry


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:16 am 
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Quote:
did voting in the 2-party system help black workers' conditions?


The immediate question is: if there is a single episode in which it did, by any measure, what does that mean? I don't think the collective we are capable of following that up.

As the growing over, layering and generalization of the attacks SA talked about take place on the parliamentary terrain, those are the kind of questions we should be tackling.

That doesn't necessarily mean airing out the binary of 'vote/don't vote'. But it does mean that abstentionism isn't a strategy for resisting and defeating such attacks on its own.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 11:18 am 
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Indeed it doesn't mean airing out the binary of vote/don't vote. So Artesian's question to me was irrelevant sophistry. Since if I agree that we should tackle issues of voter suppression, it still wouldn't follow that the way we do that is by voting. And of course nobody said that abstentionism on its own is enough, that's just a typical lazy attack on left communism. If you no longer think Bordiga and Gorter are cool, I won't bite you, but at least try to make an argument against them instead of packing up your toys and going home.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:15 pm 
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I had in mind your earlier comments, not Gorter or Bordiga (or Marx or Engels, just you).

Quote:
And of course nobody said that abstentionism on its own is enough


You don't have to, it's tattooed on the principle of abstentionism you've elevated.

Quote:
Since if I agree that we should tackle issues of voter suppression, it still wouldn't follow that the way we do that is by voting.


It may be premature to raise that question, I'm more interested in this one:

Is voter suppression in the United States an attack on the working-class?


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:54 pm 
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I don't have to ... what?

Start another thread if you're interested in voter suppression.


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