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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:28 pm 
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You don't have to say abstentionism on its own is enough-- it's tattooed on the principle of abstentionism you've elevated.

I know, you think this thread is about "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."

But, now, it really should be about what your answer to that question is (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: Mon May 15, 2017 2:56 am 
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Oh I knew of the voter suppression already before it was brought up here (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1339), just listen to the WSWS podcast. WSWS does good coverage of it:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/0 ... o-j17.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/0 ... e-j09.html


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:27 am 
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That's not the point.

You're avoiding the real implications of the discussion, where what we say and do can be measured: the real life of the working-class.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:49 am 
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So voting is the real life of the working class?


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:44 am 
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Up until the 3rd page of this thread, you've been the sterile devil's advocate, staying within the boundaries of an intellectual exercise that isn't related to taking a position on any of the subjects raised. But, at that point, what appears to be your actual position on some of these subjects starts to bleed through. Those positions are an excellent starting point to demonstrate why what we say and do matters regardless of how many communists there are or how developed their organization(s) is/are.

If your political position is that workers have nothing to gain from voting and should never participate in the electoral process, is legislation which aims to disenfranchise the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the class an attack on the working-class? If the answer is 'no', it's essentially saying that the further degradation of segments of the proletariat isn't a subject of the class struggle and ignores the real, ongoing struggle to resist voter suppression. If the answer is 'yes' it doesn't validate but exposes cracks in that political position insofar that the class struggle itself has demonstrated that that particular political position is an obstacle.

Why? Because you have to resort to a contorted argument akin to those who give 'critical support' to the Labour Party or Assad regime to maintain such a position.

Our numbers are small for reasons which go way beyond what we think, say and do about elections or any other issue. What makes us matter isn't numbers or the position taken but maintaining a consistent method and framework that doesn't build obstacles so that we may be a tangible force in the class and in the class struggle.

The struggle against voter suppression in the US has largely been expressed through the Democratic Party, NAACP, etc. Could it be otherwise without the revolutionary movement?

I'll answer your question though: is voting the real life of the working-class? No.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:51 pm 
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To answer the question directly, whether or not workers should be in parliament. Would we want Trump in our Party? Would it be disastrous for our Party if someone like Trump had a leading position in our Party?

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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:52 pm 
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The struggle for the right to vote while rejecting electoral participation is inconsistent in the same way that to defend nuclear safety measures is inconsistent with opposition to nuclear energy on principle, ie not.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:29 am 
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To apply the nuclear energy comparison to the first option (of not supporting the struggle against voter repression):

if I opt not to support the struggle for the defense/improvement of nuclear safety measures, it doesn't mean I'm against nuclear safety (or voter "equality"). It would just mean that I don't think such safety measures can eliminate the inherent dangers/drawbacks of nuclear energy.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:31 pm 
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Quote:
To answer the question directly, whether or not workers should be in parliament. Would we want Trump in our Party? Would it be disastrous for our Party if someone like Trump had a leading position in our Party?


Could you clarify that? I'm not sure I understand how that is possible, unless through digging up historic examples like Mussolini or Pilsudski (which is still much different than a Trump in or leading a workers' party).

Quote:
To apply the nuclear energy comparison to the first option (of not supporting the struggle against voter repression):

if I opt not to support the struggle for the defense/improvement of nuclear safety measures, it doesn't mean I'm against nuclear safety (or voter "equality"). It would just mean that I don't think such safety measures can eliminate the inherent dangers/drawbacks of nuclear energy.


Your comparison isn't even close-- one has the potential to directly lead to indiscriminate loss of life and severe health and other (environmental, etc.) problems, while the other targets a particular population in a particular way for particular class interests. Unless there is such a thing as a principled rejection of safety and nuclear disasters only affect a particular class or racial minority?

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(or voter "equality")


That it takes the form of voter suppression doesn't make it about 'voter equality' but one of many other particular forms of degradation targeting particular segments of the class.

Why would you support resistance to voter suppression if you don't think the victory of that resistance advances the class interests of the proletariat?


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 Post subject: Re: The Trap of Electoral Politics
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:20 am 
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Nuclear safety is a vital proletarian interest, much more so than an abstract vote in a circus game. That some capitalists too might suffer from radiation (like some capitalists too might lose their vote due to corruption at the voting station) doesn't mean nuclear safety is not a proletarian interest.

It's true that the nuclear industry neglects safety measures for the sake of profit, and not for the sake of directly attacking/endangering a particular group (its workers and surrounding majority of workers). But so does vote disenfranchisement happen for the sake of holding/winning office, not for the sake of directly attacking a particular group.

Quote:
Unless there is such a thing as a principled rejection of safety and nuclear disasters [that] only affect a particular class or racial minority?


My comparison was to principled rejection of nuclear energy. Nuclear safety measures benefit everyone, but so would better electoral procedures (eg to small bourgeois opposition parties like the Greens, Libertarians, etc.). Or can you defend electoral participation only of marginalized groups in bourgeois elections, without affirming the right to vote of everyone (including capitalists)?

If I were to opt to support resistance to voter suppression, it doesn't necessarily mean that I think a victory will advance the class interests of the proletariat. I could support it for various reasons (or pseudo-justifications): our forces are too small to install the soviet system so we have to start small, "building the movement" (recruiting forces), etc.


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