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A Question for U.S. Comrades

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Do you plan on voting in the 2012 election?

Yes, I plan on voting for Obama.
2
10%
Yes, I plan on voting for Romney.
1
5%
Yes, I plan on voting for a third-party candidate. (Who?)
6
30%
No, I do not plan on voting.
8
40%
Other
3
15%
 
Total votes : 20
Post 28 Jun 2012, 03:22
The availability of birth control, affordable medical care, and the legality of abortion are all issues that directly effect the working class.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 03:31
Romney won't touch abortion or birth control. "Obamacare", if it survives the Supreme Court, will survive Romney in the same watered-down form it currently maintains. It's already been hacked to pieces, they'll keep hacking until it's gone no matter who wins the White House.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 08:47
Nonetheless, these issues on the surface can serve to mobilize people politically; even if in it's implementation they get bogged down. I say make a deal out of it, then show the farce of the Dems when they can't implement them properly.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 08:50
We don't need to elect democrats to show that they're worthless. I say we should all stop voting in America altogether. The only way to get out of this loop is to stop perpetuating it.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 09:10
I'm sorry to bring up a piece of satire, but let's go back four years ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3_95F5e-Ac

I wasn't even in the states, and I remember very well how big Obama-mania was; hell, they even gave him a Nobel prize just on "hope" he would do something. The same thing happened with college people and "slackers" coming out en masse to vote for Clinton back in 91.

You'd think people would know better, but it just takes some years of years of GOP rule for the Democrats to look good again. You're right; it is a loop, but I'm not sure marginalizing yourselves from it doesn't help. The network that rises up to back a more-to-the-left candidate can be drawn into more activism; through this activism they can become informed how distant their candidate is from their aspirations; this dissappointment might mean a radicalizing. Remember all those who came out to support Obama against the surefire candidate that was Hiillary.

I'm not saying vote Democrat; just, don't shun elections and their usefulness.

I'm not in the US, though, I might be loooking at it too schematicallyl
Post 28 Jun 2012, 09:27
I don't mean to marginalize myself but to get everyone to admit that voting changes nothing in America. The best way to do that, to show our complete dissatisfaction with the two, is to never vote for either of them. Besides the Dems are the only ones who win when you vote for them. It's not a blow to the conservatives and worse yet it lends credence to the idea that they represent anything different from the republicans. I'm not saying we should leave them alone, or leave parliamentarianism to them, but that we should do everything we can to take votes away from them both.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 14:32
Quote:
I have noticed a decidedly more aggressive rhetoric coming from Obama lately though.


He's scared now. Romney was treated like a joke earlier this year, but now there's a substantial chance that he might actually win. I can pretty much guarantee that Obama won't carry Florida this year, and without that he can only make it back into the white house by the seat of his pants.

Dagoth Ur wrote:
I say we should all stop voting in America altogether. The only way to get out of this loop is to stop perpetuating it.


To not vote at all is to perpetuate the problem. The reason the two party system is so strong now isn't because too many people vote Democrat or Republican, but so few people vote at all and those who do vote either don't vote for what they really want because they don't think they're going to get it, or focus on a single issue which two broad parties can give lip service to. It's a better idea to mobilize people to vote for party candidates they actually support rather than withdrawing from the electoral arena altogether.

Dagoth Ur wrote:
I don't mean to marginalize myself but to get everyone to admit that voting changes nothing in America.


That's a problem that needs to be fixed. It's exactly that attitude that ensures voting changes nothing in America. The more people who see that the Democrats are useless and the Republicans are dangerous and vote accordingly, the better.

Dagoth Ur wrote:
I'm not saying we should leave them alone, or leave parliamentarianism to them, but that we should do everything we can to take votes away from them both.


One can't do that unless one votes.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 16:58
Yeah, I can't think of any historical elections anywhere in the world where boycotting them has done any good.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 19:36
Quote:
To not vote at all is to perpetuate the problem.


No, because to not vote allows people to try to solve their problems without relying on their oppressors. To do this, they need to self-organize, to create class-based, proletarian means of solving their problems, such as neighborhood committees or Soviets that can deal with stuff in a dual power kind of way. This is called class autonomy, and this is what we want, amirite?

Quote:
That's a problem that needs to be fixed. It's exactly that attitude that ensures voting changes nothing in America.


I don't think that the charade that is parliament can be fixed. I think that with the development of a capitalist society, parliament is pretty much progressively ossified in a linear way. At a certain level of development of a bourgeois society, parliament and unions become superfluous because they lose even the possibility of expressing oppositional views. I guess this is the case in the richest imperialist countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, France, Japan and maybe a couple others. Elections in these countries do not change anything, because the powers that be have succeeded in manipulating the system in a way that prevents substantial change.

Quote:
Yeah, I can't think of any historical elections anywhere in the world where boycotting them has done any good.


The Bolsheviks boycotted the 1905 election to the Duma because the development of proletarian class autonomy had rendered the Duma superfluous. Communists only have to care about parliament if the class cares about it, because communist participation in parliament is only ever a means to reach the workers with agitation to stimulate their self-organization and class autonomy.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 20:22
praxicoide wrote:
Nonetheless, these issues on the surface can serve to mobilize people politically. I say make a deal out of it, then show the farce of the Dems when they can't implement them properly.

I agree. Actually, a lot of Democrats that I know are truly would-be communists who just lack the exposure to Marxist ideas in order to analyze the current system critically. They essentially want the same things we do, and Democrat political rhetoric can often have leftist undertones that can be pretty convincing until you see them in action.

Indigo wrote:
It's a better idea to mobilize people to vote for party candidates they actually support rather than withdrawing from the electoral arena altogether.

But that's the problem. Real change isn't going to come from a bourgeois election. Even if we got a socialist in power as president, that wouldn't fix a fundamentally flawed system, and thus would probably turn people off from leftist ideas in general. Revolution is needed, but in the meantime, we need to protect the basic rights of at-risk groups by exercising our meagre "democratic rights" and voting, while simultaneously critiquing the election and available candidates. It sucks that the system forces us into this position, but we should vote for the candidate that kills the least number of people, protects basic rights for minority groups and women, gives us space to organize outside the political system, and has a decent chance of winning. I would personally love to start some propaganda where masses of people take photos of themselves at the election booths holding a sign "I voted for you Obama, but I don't like you" (off the top of my head, dumb idea, but you get the gist), and thus have his victory be as bittersweet as it deserves to be.

Mabool wrote:
No, because to not vote allows people to try to solve their problems without relying on their oppressors. To do this, they need to self-organize, to create class-based, proletarian means of solving their problems, such as neighborhood committees or Soviets that can deal with stuff in a dual power kind of way. This is called class autonomy, and this is what we want, amirite?

The two are not mutually-exclusive. Just because you vote, doesn't mean you are buying into the farce of democracy or that your vote is going to change anything. You can simultaneously cast a ballot and decry the system.

Quote:
At a certain level of development of a bourgeois society, parliament and unions become superfluous because they lose even the possibility of expressing oppositional views. I guess this is the case in the richest imperialist countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, France, Japan and maybe a couple others. Elections in these countries do not change anything, because the powers that be have succeeded in manipulating the system in a way that prevents substantial change.

This, 100%.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 20:39
Quote:
Actually, a lot of Democrats that I know are truly would-be communists who just lack the exposure to Marxist ideas in order to analyze the current system critically. They essentially want the same things we do, and Democrat political rhetoric can often have leftist undertones that can be pretty convincing until you see them in action.


... which is the reason why entryism is a good idea, but even that can only serve to dispel the illusions in parliament that people have, so ...

Quote:
The two are not mutually-exclusive. Just because you vote, doesn't mean you are buying into the farce of democracy or that your vote is going to change anything. You can simultaneously cast a ballot and decry the system.


... I'd actually find it more sensible to join a party and stop voting instead of doing the opposite.


I dunno. If you agree with me that in our countries, the system has developed in a way that voting cannot change anything anymore, why should you cast a ballot? I mean it doesn't hurt, but why should you? I'd rather smoke a joint and go for a walk.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 20:48
If I wasn't a woman, maybe I wouldn't be so concerned with single issues such as birth control and abortion. Those are surface issues that would obviously be solved easily in a socialist state, but to me, they make it worth a half an hour of my time to vote.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 21:41
You keep bringing that up without showing how the republicans will do anything beyond huff and puff. Bush had eight years to destroy abortion and didn't do shit. Neither did Reagan. Romney won't ostracize the gross majority of women either.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 22:49
khlib wrote:
But that's the problem. Real change isn't going to come from a bourgeois election.


Mabool wrote:
No, because to not vote allows people to try to solve their problems without relying on their oppressors.


Mabool wrote:
I don't think that the charade that is parliament can be fixed. I think that with the development of a capitalist society, parliament is pretty much progressively ossified in a linear way.


All can be pretty much chalked up to the nirvana fallacy. There's no reason to believe participating in an election should be avoided just because it isn't going to completely change the system or to believe that participation in elections is completely exclusive to non-parliamentary activism. Any class based organization has to attack all aspects of life. Attempting to change the civil society and ignoring politics is doomed to failure.

Mabool wrote:
I don't think that the charade that is parliament can be fixed. I think that with the development of a capitalist society, parliament is pretty much progressively ossified in a linear way. At a certain level of development of a bourgeois society, parliament and unions become superfluous because they lose even the possibility of expressing oppositional views.


Voting is how most people are politically active. The idea is not to restore people's faith in parliament but to get them to recognize that their political participation is worthwhile.

khlib wrote:
They essentially want the same things we do, and Democrat political rhetoric can often have leftist undertones that can be pretty convincing until you see them in action.


I find that that's rarely true. Their ultimate aims are the preservation of capitalism and the promotion of the endless accumulation of capital. Anything they say with leftist overtones is a method of channeling discontent to a safe place and patching up the holes in the system.

Mabool wrote:
... which is the reason why entryism is a good idea, but even that can only serve to dispel the illusions in parliament that people have, so ...


Entryism isn't anything that resembles a viable option in this country, anyway.
Post 28 Jun 2012, 23:59
Quote:
The idea is not to restore people's faith in parliament but to get them to recognize that their political participation is worthwhile.


But this isn't something that can be possibly recognized, because it's not true! Their political participation, i.e. their voting, is not worthwhile because it does not change anything at all! What they have to recognize is that if they want to change something, they have to do other things than vote!
Post 29 Jun 2012, 00:07
I have no idea why you assumed that when I said "political participation" I meant "vote, to the exclusion of everything else".
Post 29 Jun 2012, 00:10
Claiming that voting is a worthwhile activity can only restore faith in parliaments or at the very least lends credibility to voted-for parties. Not voting is a far louder condemnation of our system than voting for lesser evils.
Post 29 Jun 2012, 00:20
Indigo wrote:
There's no reason to believe participating in an election should be avoided just because it isn't going to completely change the system or to believe that participation in elections is completely exclusive to non-parliamentary activism. Any class based organization has to attack all aspects of life. Attempting to change the civil society and ignoring politics is doomed to failure.

I agree; that's what I saaaaid.

khlib wrote:
I find that that's rarely true. Their ultimate aims are the preservation of capitalism and the promotion of the endless accumulation of capital. Anything they say with leftist overtones is a method of channeling discontent to a safe place and patching up the holes in the system.

I am talking about people who vote Democrat, not the party or candidates themselves. Most leftists that I know in the U.S. are former Democrats, including myself.
Post 29 Jun 2012, 00:22
By that logic, buying food is an endorsement of capitalism. Not voting is rolling over and accepting the dominance of bourgeois politicians. There are non "lesser evil" parties to vote for, and refusing to vote for them only legitimizes the monopoly that the Democrats and Republicans have in the political arena.

Edit:

Quote:
I agree; that's what I saaaaid.


Sorry, I didn't read through.

Quote:
I am talking about people who vote Democrat, not the party or candidates themselves. Most leftists that I know in the U.S. are former Democrats, including myself.


I'll just go with we've had different experiences with Democratic voters. That can probably be attributed to the Mason-Dixon line.
Last edited by Indigo on 29 Jun 2012, 00:25, edited 1 time in total.
Post 29 Jun 2012, 00:25
Voting for either of them is an endorsement of the two-party system. You don't need to vote to live either and neither option will kill us. Both will make our lives worse.

@khlib: That's just evidence to the extensive nature of American Liberal indoctrination. Our connection to them is that of a rouge slave on the lamb.
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