The world eagerly watches as the count narrows down between Joe Biden & Donald Trump. Both men, have over a dozen each sexual assault allegations and both men, represent two political parties that have ruthlessly overseen the pillaging of the world and the destitution of the American working class.
Liberals all over are falling over themselves to justify ‘lesser evil’ politics and they are being assisted by certain sections of Communists. Other Communists, with an alternative train of thought, have argued that playing mudgaurd for the Democratic Party is a huge mistake, and only feeds into approving electoral politics in practice, even if ‘theoretically’ they may be opposed to it.
This is the school of thought that I find myself in as well and will outline some of the key lessons that we must learn.
- Organisations that play mudguard to social democratic formations (Democratic Party, Labour, Sinn Fein, Melenchon, SYRIZA, Podemos) undermine the strength of their own organisation. How? In practical terms, the lending of support through parties that are specifically not socialist, we lend our reputation, credibility and resources to amplifying an inherently anti-socialist programme. We might defend this activity by stating that this will open up breathing room, that this will benefit other organisations and so on – but what is occurring in reality is that we are, in the eyes of the working class and public outlining that socialism can be achieved through electoral politics and re-enforcing a false analysis of politics & society.
- Electoral periods regularly put Communist organisations without fielding their own candidates in a strict strategy into a form of paralysis. In Ireland, there have been 3 elections in the last 12 months and we have been unable to engage productively with the electoral period because the spotlight & emphasis was on electoral politics. Our responsibility as Communists is to engage in a limited and strict manner with electoral politics. To advertise and put forward our programme and use electoral politics to build up and strengthen our organisation. Importantly that is the message we must convey to our class, that voting for us and electing Communist Councillors isn’t going to usher in Socialism, neither will voting for anybody else for that matter. Socialism must be built from the mass working class organisations – and if those organisations don’t exist, then we must build them.
- The primary focus for Communists, is to build the Communist movement & Parties in our respective countries. Canvassing, promoting and shilling for social democratic parties directly contravenes that. Those whose interests in social democracy expires or develops, will come to us regardless because material conditions will demand it so. The politicisation of a new generation of young communists has not occurred because of a few people like Bernie Sanders & Jeremy Corbyn, it has occurred, as other rapid moments of politicisation have occurred; the material conditions of capitalism and the crisis it is hurtling itself into.
If we can accept these lessons and learn from them, then the electoral cycles coming up in Ireland for the Parliament, Councils/EU and Presidency will not have a place of primacy to the political strategy. Building a muscular, influential and well entrenched, working class led Communist organisation will take primacy. The stronger the Communist movement is in any given country, the further left the social democrats will clamber to become. The stronger the Communist movement is, the stronger the working class is.
Let’s learn our lessons now and not mysteriously forget them come the next election.
Lets build a Communist movement which has it’s focus the dictatorship of the proletariat — and not the abolition of this law, or the introduction of this law. Let us struggle for a 32 County Socialist Republic in the spirit of James Connolly and not his Labour Party successor sell outs.