Reform or Revolution? The Answer Remains Unchanged.
Today is "Super Tuesday" in the US; a day when Presidential primaries in many of the nation´s states will significantly influence choice of the major parties´ candidates for the Presidency next November. Some believe history is in the making because the Democratic Party race has come down to a decision between a male candidate of African descent and a woman of European descent and that party appears likely to win the eventual contest against the Republican Party candidate. In this contest, the comrades of the International Republican Socialist Network see not a historical advance, however, but yet another election offering the working class no option other than one or another member of the ruling class.
The election of Barak Obama will not be an end the double oppression of workers of color, any more than the naming of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court did; nor will the election of Hillary Clinton end the double oppression of women workers anymore than did the election of Margaret Thatcher in Britain. Accordingly, the comrades of the IRSN have no interest in either candidate. They represent, for us, but a continuation of our class oppression. Racism and sexism are but devices whereby capitalism impedes the development of class consciousness among working people. For class conscious workers there is only one division of any importance, the class divide. Those who mistakenly believe the election of a capitalist candidate of their own ethnic background or gender is of consequence for them as working people only demonstrate the extent to which they remain under the sway of bourgeois ideology.
Likewise, the contest between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party holds for us no interest. Those who view such matters through the prism of a spectrum of political perspectives ranging from Right to Left and mistakenly believe that those furthest to the Left within that spectrum are somehow "closer" to those of us within the revolutionary socialist movement remain under the influence of the hegemony of bourgeois ideology. Revolutionary socialists are not a further step to the Left along the political spectrum that includes the Republican and Democratic Parties; we are, in fact, not on that spectrum at all. Instead the entire spectrum, from Right to Left, exists only within the confines of the capitalist order and, insofar as our position stands for the overthrow of that order, we have nothing in common with those whose political positions can be mapped within its confines.
Today, as we confront capitalism in its present form, decadent and deeply immersed in crisis, we have nothing to be gained from alliances with competing sections of the capitalist class that might have once formed tactical options for the working class movement. Capitalism has shown itself incapable of being reformed such that it can serve the interests of the working class and this is not the time to encourage such delusions among those sections of our class whose consciousness is less well developed. Those within the socialist movement who perpetuate the myth of capitalist reform through electoral participation on the basis of a minimum program or encourage working people to believe that they have an interest in whether one or another bourgeois candidate is elected are failing in the most urgent task confronting us today; the task of raising the consciousness of our class as a whole.
While there is room for genuinely revolutionary activists to differ on the viability of pursuing electoral intervention as a tactic for socialists to pursue, there is no room whatsoever for actions or propaganda that encourage working people to cling to myths concerning the ability of capitalism to be reformed in the interests of working people. Neither is there room at this juncture for those who would promote the view that working women have any interest in the advances made by bourgeois women, nor those who promote the view that working class people of color have an interest in the advances made by members of the bourgeoisie from similar ethnic backgrounds. Instead, it is the responsibility of all socialists to, at all times, insists on the liberation of all members of our class from oppression, including the additional oppression caused by racism, sexism, heterosexism, or sectarianism.
Because our class is both female and male, we must consistently reject sexism; because our class is multi-ethnic, we must consistently reject racism; because our class includes various expressions of sexuality, we must reject heterosexism. However, while combating these forms of oppression which the capitalists use in their attempts to render us divided and weakened consistently, we must be equally consistent in pressing forward the thing that remains central to all of these struggles-the necessity of liberating our class from oppression and exploitation by the capitalist system. Accordingly, we must reject any attempt to sway sections of our class to align themselves with sections of the ruling class.
Whether choosing to vote for a socialist candidate as a means of propaganda or "voting with ones feet" by staying away from the polling booth in a rejection of the sham of bourgeois democracy, what remains the responsibility of all of us who stand beneath the banner of revolutionary socialism is that must do whatever is in our power to raise class consciousness among working people. To do that, we must consistently oppose the myths that bourgeois democracy offers any genuine options for the working class or that working class people can win liberation through pursuit of a liberal political agenda. The vile scourges of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and sectarianism must be eradicated, but only the overthrow of the capitalist system, in the interest of which these ideologies are perpetuated, can bring about that eradication.
Comrade, International Republican Socialist Network