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NO TO BUSH - NO TO THE DEMOCRATS

the elections
Workers International League- http://www.socialistappeal.org
In Defense of Marxism- http://www.marxist.com

No to Bush! No to the Democrats!
By the US Socialist Appeal Editorial Board

Making predictions in the complex world of electoral politics is difficult, but we can say without any doubt that regardless of who wins in 2004, the interests of the working class will not be served. The 2004 campaign will be a big business campaign and the winner will be a big-business candidate. Still, in the coming months, there will be a lot of pressure from those on the left who want to defeat Bush at all costs. The logic behind this sentiment is understandable - for millions of Americans, GW Bush represents all that is evil, decrepit, and dangerous in the world (a capitalist world).

But is this a real solution? Can voting for a "lesser evil" candidate lead to genuine, lasting improvement, peace, jobs, stability, universal health care and education? The answer is clearly "No!"

Most working people do not like Bush and the Republicans, but they don't like what the Democrats have to offer either. Millions do not really believe the old "worker friendly" lie any longer, and expressed their discontent by staying away from the polls in 2002. The only political alternative for the US working class and its trade unions is class independence. Signing over our fate to the representatives of the capitalists is a sure recipe for disaster.

Only a mass party of labor, based on the trade unions and armed with a program of socialist demands can fight back in the interests of the hundreds of millions of workers in the USA. Only with such a party can the process of falling wages, dropping living standards and shrinking rights be halted. The Democrats will never be capable of this.

The working class has to become aware of not only its economic power, but its political power as well. It has to be a class by itself and for itself. The only force the working class can trust is itself - its leaders must arise out of the struggle against the bosses, the government, and the labor bureaucracy itself.

The backing of the Democratic Party by the leading bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO is not only counter-productive, more importantly it is a complete betrayal of the rank and file. The energy and finances of the only mass working class organization in the United States are being sold out to the so-called "liberal" representatives of the capitalist class. This is a situation which is completely in contradiction with the class interests of the American workers. The members of the trade unions are expected to not only hand over most of their lifetime in work to the bosses, but through the actions of their own leadership must give up their political independence as well.

The Democrats have already proven in hundreds of incidents that they cannot be trusted to look out for the workers. They refuse to even fulfill one tenth of the meager promises they make. This leaves the labor movement only one alternative - a complete declaration of political independence. And what better opportunity exists for such a move than now? The Democratic Party has proved its utter worthlessness as far as the working class is concerned - it cannot oppose Bush on a class basis. Even AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, nominally their best supporter, has been forced to come out in mild criticism of them. Still, many people will ask, why don't we give critical support to someone "progressive" like Kucinich or Dean? The answer is clear - they are seeking the Presidency as the candidate of a capitalist party. There is no such thing as a "progressive bourgeoisie" in the age of imperialism - even less so in the world's most powerful capitalist country.

The progressive historical role of the capitalist class is long finished - they can bring nothing but instability, war, oppression and misery to the people of the world. The only reason they have held on to power so long is due to the crisis of leadership of the working class and the outright betrayal of their "socialist" and "communist" leadership.

Due to the absence of experienced and theoretically trained revolutionary parties with a clear class and Marxist perspective, all revolutions since October 1917 have failed. What is needed now is to break the masses and the labor movement from the degenerate Democratic Party - not to foment illusions in them, no matter how "progressive" a candidate may seem. Any support whatsoever for a candidate of the capitalist Democratic Party would blur the class interests involved, and would be the worst sort of class collaboration.

The interests of the capitalist class and the working class are 100 percent opposed, and our task is to increase class-consciousness and unity, not confuse the issue by allowing the possibility that "some" capitalists are "OK". While we would be more than happy if all the promises of universal health care, job creation, cuts in the military budget, repeal of anti-labor laws, and so on came to pass, we must explain that no matter how sincere these candidates are, they are acting only to save the capitalist system. The capitalists have had their chance; on the agenda in the coming period is the overthrow of the capitalist system once and for all. We must fight against all illusions in the system and its representatives.

In our discussions with the many honest supporters of the Democrats, who in our two-party system gravitate towards the "left", we must explain the need for class independence and a mass party of working people - there is no solution on a capitalist basis.

However, in the tumultuous years ahead, it is not ruled out that someone like Kucinich could break with the Democrats and run as an independent (perhaps along the lines of Nader's campaign as a Green in 2000). In this case, we would have to examine the situation concretely. If this candidate brought with him or her a significant layer of the radicalized youth, attracted the most militant labor activists and unions, and served as a point of reference in breaking the stranglehold of the two capitalist parties, we would have to consider very critical support. But even outside the Democratic Party, such a candidate would serve only to channel discontent along harmless lines. We would have to continually expose their weaknesses and call on them to break with their class interests, explaining to their supporters the need for class independence, the involvement of the unions, a socialist program, etc. But that is the music of the future - at the present time we must be extremely clear about the class issues involved: we can only trust our own class and our own power - no faith in the representatives and parties of the opposing class! The "left" Democrats will work to confuse the class issues. We must patiently explain to working people that it doesn't matter if the President is black, female, Latino, white, etc. What matters are the class interests defended by that candidate.

Only a system of workers' democracy - socialism - can genuinely improve the conditions of life for all workers. But to recognize this fact is not enough. We must develop a concrete plan of action to begin the fight back against the attacks of the capitalist class. The main point we must emphasize is the utter incapacity of the Democrats to defend the interests of working people - and this has always been the case. But this is not to say that they will not stage a comeback in the future - as we explained above, it is inevitable that they will. It is therefore imperative that we build a real alternative to the two capitalist parties - we can no longer allow a handful of rich people to control our destinies.

July 2003.

Also in this special July 4 edition of the US Socialist Appeal:

USA: No to the War on Workers at Home and Abroad!
Partners in Crime: American Big Business and the Nazis. By Yosef Mikhah.
See also:

Corporate corruption and the Bush administration By Mick Brooks (June 2003)
The cost of more Guantanamos By Michael Roberts (April 28, 2003).
The world economy after Iraq By Michael Roberts (April 27, 2003).
Class War Heats Up in the US. By John Peterson (April 10, 2003)

homepage: homepage: http://www.socialsitappeal.org

Huh? 06.Jul.2003 16:40

Dr. Evil

Jeeze . . . . . .the marxists and leninists have failed every single time they've had power. I noticed that in 1991, it was the Soviet Union that imploded. You know, the
guys who brought us a workers' paradise that killed 20 million of their own people and enslaved much of Europe . . . . .

what's in a name? 06.Jul.2003 17:19

nologo

yep...no doubt about it...them reds sure lost the Cold War.

who won it? anybody?

something 06.Jul.2003 18:32

freddie

The answer doesn't lie with socialisim as we know it, at least not yet. I'm a green party member, and a member of a trade union from which I can be expelled for showing socialist tendencies... I've got a lot of respect for the socialists but The Bush admin is an immediate threat to this country. At the same time I have a hard time holding my nose and voting for democrats. Remember Clinton sold us out with NAFTA, and he sent cruise missles all over the world (Those things do tend to hurt people and break things when they land) I only hope all of us "progressives" can get together before the 04 election. I'll probably follow the recomendations of the "Greens"
Current events and conditions have got me really scared and depressed. From the number of new "homeless" folks out and about on my bicycle ride home (some of these folks speak oxford english you know), to my Chinese-made motorola cell phone, snap-together plastic to save the expense (human labor) of the machine work to make little screws. Nothing has any real value anymore. Technology, and the consumerisim necessary to support this disposable society are spinning out of control. A little super glue scored a small personal victory on my Chinese phone, but how do we fix the bigger problems. I think a "paradigm shift" is neccesary, but unlikely until things get really bad.

Sorry to vent here- just a little discouraged lately.. When is the next 30,000 strong demonstration here in Portland?

socialists I'd like to see 06.Jul.2003 19:18

x

Hey, wouldn't it be cool to see socialists say No do democrats but yes to supporting Kucinich all the way up to the point where a final dem is selected for that party?

Stop. Think. Let the cognitive dissonance and ideological dogma rest.

You have nothing to lose for supporting the most progressive candidate among the smelly democrats right now. Nothing. If you don't champion both that reality and your other ideological ax, you're not really being as opportunistic as you can be.

If Kucinich was selected for the party, he's beat Bush because even 30% of his message not getting censored by the media would change the electorate, would bring people out and would destroy the Bush junta. But all of that is irrelevant to you if you focus stinky on the period between today and the final dem selection for the party. You can't honestly make an argument to slam the democrats picking an honest progressive. If after that person becomes THE candidate, then fine, you can make an argument that no support should be given to that candidate.

Americans Deserve the Pain which is Coming 07.Jul.2003 00:31

End America

"The answer doesn't lie with socialisim as we know it, at least not yet. I'm a green party member, and a member of a trade union from which I can be expelled for showing socialist tendencies... I've got a lot of respect for the socialists but The Bush admin is an immediate threat to this country. At the same time I have a hard time holding my nose and voting for democrats. Remember Clinton sold us out with NAFTA, and he sent cruise missles all over the world (Those things do tend to hurt people and break things when they land) I only hope all of us "progressives" can get together before the 04 election. I'll probably follow the recomendations of the "Greens"
Current events and conditions have got me really scared and depressed. From the number of new "homeless" folks out and about on my bicycle ride home (some of these folks speak oxford english you know), to my Chinese-made motorola cell phone, snap-together plastic to save the expense (human labor) of the machine work to make little screws. Nothing has any real value anymore. Technology, and the consumerisim necessary to support this disposable society are spinning out of control. A little super glue scored a small personal victory on my Chinese phone, but how do we fix the bigger problems. I think a "paradigm shift" is neccesary, but unlikely until things get really bad."

This pathetic rant is hilarious coming from a American Trade Union member and Green party shill. You wouldn't know the difference between socialism and your own asshole. Moreover, I doubt if you'll have to worry yourself about Socialism coming to America. America is the most Right Wing Reactionary nation in the world by far. You Americans are so far Right, what you consider to be "liberal" or "progressive" would be laughed at elsewhere in the world.

There is an old saying that American will become Fascist before it becomes Socialist.

Judging from your comments, I am sure that is true. Americans are jingoistic Nationalists through and through. What passes for a "Workers' Movement" in the USA are protectionist Union hacks and Blue Collar Mafias forever running their mouth about "losing American Jobs overseas" (as if you owned them) or complaining about "cheap imports" coming from other countries (as if the WTO and other American Controlled trade organizations don't force developing countries to accept cheap American imports on a routine basis).

The only future that America has will be a slow and inexorable descent into a Fascist hell of your own making. The only hope for the rest of the world is to isolate and contain America as much as possible so that you cannot drag the rest of the world down with you, as you will most definitely will try to do.

Enjoy your future Americans. God knows that you deserve every second of the hell which is coming.

Whorse than bush 07.Jul.2003 00:31

UO Resident Assistant

US Socialist Appeal - You are the problem.

Just spout off this bullshit and divide up the left, spliter us all up,
so that the minority can drive us out of work and out of the country.

I am in college and so many of my friends want to go live in canada.

Here is some advise for all of you idealist socialist out there-
Work on campaign finance reform. If all the greens work on campaign finance reform (the bill that Loyd Marbet almost got on the ballot last time) and get spending caps put on elections, then we can start making so real change.

The "don't vote, don't work on campaigns, don't vote for democrats" attitude is going to keep us all splintered up and divided and leave the republicans in power and the rich richer.

The problem is not the democrats, it is the money necessary to win an election. Set spending caps on every election (the Marbet bill) is the soloution.

We need to pick our battles.

No, the problem is.... 07.Jul.2003 14:07

Trollmeister

No, the real problem is that you and your friends haven't moved to Canada yet, what's keeping you? Don't let the doorknob hit you in the ass on the way out. As for End America, damn straight, if America goes down, we're taking you with us.

'TRAITORmeister'-- 07.Jul.2003 14:25

xx

"damn straight, if America goes down, we're taking you with us"

IS America going down? I thought we were going up?

why don't you keep your tongue where it belongs--firmly emplaced up the asshole of your millionaire masters.