Reprint from Volume 34 Issue #14 of THE WORKER - Newspaper of the Workers Party, U.S.A
The People Are Effectively Denied the Right to Vote, as All the Candidates on the Ballot Have Already Received Their Real "Mandate" From the Big Monied Interests
August-25, 2020 - It is very clear from the analysis published in The Worker and the party's action program that the political line of the Workers Party, U.S.A. is carried out independent of and in opposition to both political parties – the Republicans and Democrats. It is clear to us that the existence of the two parties is designed to secure political power for the capitalist class at the expense of the working class and people. We regularly go to the people with independent working class politics, tell the truth about and get organized on the basis of the fact that the result of the elections this year will not result in a change in the mode of operation or in the fundamental policies of the government.
The capitalist class, especially when demanding consent for its program during election time, does endless propaganda about the virtues of "American democracy." But the reality is that the government is nothing but the tool of the capitalists themselves, of this tiny minority of exploiting billionaires. And the aims of the capitalists are so completely reactionary, so set against the peoples, that their government is nothing but a gang of murderers and thieves carrying out its real program behind the backs of the people, plotting and executing the most heinous crimes.
What typifies the American political process is complete denial that the grave crises confronting the U.S. – the stagnating economy, the budget deficits, the shortage of necessities of life, the growing unemployment, poverty and exploitation of the people, etc. – are all products of the state monopoly capitalist system.
Maneuvers combining state-monopoly capitalism and the private capitalism of free enterprise, giving priority sometimes to one form sometimes to the other form in the conditions of capitalism, are the order of the day in the U.S. today. These are only maneuvers of the bourgeoisie to ensure the continuity of its political and economic power and to guarantee its own profits. All reforms in the capitalist economy and society are based, in the first place, on the intensification of oppression and exploitation of the working masses.
Today we live not just in a capitalist society but in a capitalist society that has reached the stage of monopoly and imperialism. At home, a handful of mega-billionaires dominate the entire economic, political, military, cultural and other aspects of life while on a world-scale, U.S. imperialism has become the biggest colonial and neo-colonial power – oppressing nations and peoples throughout the world, establishing its military on all the oceans and continents and launching repeated wars of aggression against the peoples. Today we live in an era when the U.S. capitalist class – confronted by the demands of the working people for economic and political rights, confronted by the revolutionary tide of national liberation which is sweeping the world – is carrying out an all-round program of fascistization of the state. Today there is an all-out assault by the capitalists against the democratic liberties of the people. Today while the living standards of people are under severe attack the capitalist state tries to suppress any and all resistance. Today there is unprecedented promotion of chauvinism and war psychosis.
The U.S. is a capitalist country in which the power and domination of the giant monopolies reigns supreme. Monopoly capital seeks maximum profit in the shortest period of time and in order to achieve this goal, any method that works is legitimate. The monopoly capitalists maximize their profits through the unbridled exploitation of the working people at home, through the plunder and enslavement of whole nations around the world, through the militarization of the economy, the plundering of the federal treasury, etc., etc. As in economics, so in politics. The hucksters and thieves who rise to prominence in the Democratic and Republican parties, if they are not themselves multi-millionaires, are the paid lackeys of the billionaires who are out to make their fortune by committing any crime asked of them by the capitalists. It is the workers' tax dollars which are stolen through fat contracts, pay-offs and bailouts, even while the capitalist politicians are screaming that they must cut the deficit by slashing social programs.
While campaigning these days for yet more cuts to social programs and privatization of the public sector of the economy, the capitalists and their two parties are not only using the campaigns to attack the working class and people and especially the most vulnerable sections of the people, but are openly demanding that irrationality and anarchy must reign supreme in economic affairs. The current elections are an all-out assault, a real propaganda and ideological war against the consciousness of the people. When all the diversions and empty advertising are set aside, the Republicans and Democrats are using the campaign to carry on non-stop propaganda for the agenda of big business – the agenda of relieving government of any and all social responsibility.
But the working people have a great deal of experience with the capitalist economy and well know that the anarchy of production acts like a blind natural force wreaking havoc on the lives of the working people – resulting in the perpetual crisis of capitalism, in unemployment, in under-utilization of society's productive capacities, in inflation, etc., etc., etc. The experience of the working people shows that the monopoly capitalist class knows no restraint in its pursuit of plunder and profit. Any crime can be and is committed in order to fatten the bottom line. Domination of the entire social life by a tiny handful of billionaires and the use of any and every method to insure their domination and profits – this is what characterizes U.S. society today. Such monopoly in economics and monopoly in politics inevitably stands in opposition to democracy and the needs of the people all along the line.
This is why in the current elections there is no space for those who are opposed to war and imperialism, to racism and repression, to poverty and exploitation. Even as the Democrats and Republicans maintain a real monopoly over the government by maintaining a monopoly over the nomination of candidates for office, the people are in turn denied any possibility of voting their conscience, voting for candidates of their choosing. The reality is that the people are deprived of any real role in choosing their representatives. In fact, we do not have the right to vote. This is not a democracy but a dictatorship of the rich and their twin parties – the Republicans and Democrats.
The working people can only express our aspirations and advance our cause by strengthening our own political party, our own mass organizations and our own struggles.
So too, the people need a new, modern definition of politics which is based on mobilizing the people to claim their right to participate in deciding the affairs of government and the direction of society. Genuine democracy can only be realized through the creation of a new political power which arises from the workers themselves and brings the people to the fore as the creators and shapers of their own human and social environment.
The fact that the workers make up the vast majority of the population – the ever-sharpening polarization of society into rich and poor, into exploiters and exploited – has already brought to a head this fundamental issue of political power. The people need to pit the power of their numbers against the power of big money. Such a new politics encompasses a much broader arena than simply elections.
So too, the people must be guaranteed the means to participate equally and directly both in the selection of candidates and in the process of governance itself. The people must be guaranteed access to the mass media and the other tools necessary to organize politically. The electorate must be empowered to work out its own program and agenda and to insure that this agenda is implemented by elected officials.
Political parties, of course, must have every guarantee of the right to organize. But they must not be given state sanction and a role in nomination. Rather than being machines for electing careerists and returning favors, the true role of political parties must be to politicize people, to advocate policies and programs, provide information and attempt to mobilize people in support of policies.
Looking at the experience of the working class movement, both the successes and setbacks, brings out two fundamental lessons. The first is the absolute necessity for the working class to organize itself as an independent political force – keeping the politics and organization of its own movement in its own hands. The second is that the independent movement of the working class and the struggle for the all-around democratization of political life and the empowerment of the people cannot aim at simply taking hold of the existing state apparatus, but rather must create a new kind of state, a new political system.
The objective conditions for change exist and the masses are struggling to bring about such change. Our experience is that the struggles of the masses cry out for independent political organization and leadership. Why shouldn't the political process and political system be changed in such a way that the decision making power is made subordinate to the people at all times?
The goal of the independent working class movement can be nothing less than creating a new political power which arises from and is wielded by the people themselves. The first step in creating such a new politics is to bring the working class and people into the center of political life with their own aims and agenda for society.
Don't Vote! They're All The Same!