Virginia Worker Editorial Board Member Sal Rojo argues against supporting capitalist democracy as election Tuesday is underway for the 2022 midterm elections
Another midterm election cycle between the two corporate parties, with each rallying and fearmongering their base around their pointed issues (abortions, parental rights, inflation, fascism, etc) and yet nothing fundamental is being done to ensure workers’ livelihoods.
Virginia gets the choice between woke CIA agents like Abigail Spanberger and trumper cops like Yesli Vega as candidates, emblematic of what the two parties have to offer workers. There may be a left-wing within the Democrats, but time and again from the state to federal level we see that left-wing towing the party line and throwing workers under the bus, rather than win any sort of substantial political power for workers. Remember the failed PRO Act campaign, which followed the failed EFCA campaign?
Of course, the strategists of both parties know how to control their supporters, take their money, and garner their votes. Democrats especially have been running for years now with the line that “our democracy is fragile and under attack” (either by supposed foreign forces like Russia or by pro-Trump “insurrectionists,” even claiming collaboration between the two).
Conspiracy theories have run rampant and been promoted by both corporate parties all in order to mask the reality that they both are irredeemable, corrupt entities many people do not want to be blackmailed into supporting, but with no alternative many either rationalize their “choice” to vote for the so called lesser-evil or they abstain from elections in general, knowing nothing will really change no matter who they choose in this highly controlled democracy which leaves working people with no real choice, representation, or voice in government.
This isn’t abnormal, this is by design. The founders of the US based their concept and system of democracy on Greek and Roman slaveowning citizens who were a minority of their total populations while the majority were slaves who had no say or representation, either.
While workers have fought for generations to expand the franchise to all people who were not just rich white men, these rich people have still kept their political and economic power. It’s their government, it’s their political system, and they have made sure to make it as hard as possible for any alternative to the two corporate parties to form. In fact, with the expansion of the franchise to practically all adults in the US, it has become a useful ideological tool to manipulate people into shoring up support for the two party system.
How many times have we been told our votes will be wasted if we don’t settle for one of the two parties? That voting for a third party would actually ruin the ability of say Democrats from enacting a more “realistic and progressive” agenda by splitting the vote and thereby indirectly supporting Republicans?
We are blackmailed every election by these parties to pick one or the other. What has this gotten workers?
Even worker organizations like unions have become bought off by these politicians to not only endorse them, but to use workers’ wages via dues to fund their campaigns despite no real gains for workers.
The only way this will change is by resolutely defending the necessity of class independence. We need a workers party based on a political program centered on the principle of class struggle with the ultimate goal of workers power and workers democracy. We need a workers party which can hold its candidates accountable to that program and its membership— who won’t hesitate to purge opportunists from their ranks. We need a party of action which will boost militant struggle by workers against the bosses, landlords, and other class enemies, who are entrenched in both the Democrat and Republican parties. Such a party will have little in common with the ‘third parties’ that run vanity campaigns every two or four years. A real workers’ party is a coordinator and leader of class struggle, not a mere ballot line.
We workers must understand that this capitalist democracy we witness year after year is not the only kind of democracy possible. When we advocate for workers democracy we are talking about the most radical, broad, and far-reaching democracy, which empowers the majority of the general population— who are workers. This entails establishing new political bodies—like worker councils— all the way down to the shopfloor.
This entails the creation of worker control over our jobs and everyday lives, while disempowering and disenfranchising our class enemies— like the corporate forces who own and control mass media, who control the government, who control all facets of our lives while we have no say under this current democracy.
We must not fall for the argument that because fascism is a serious threat that the best way to defeat it is by voting for Democrats— who, by the way, have no problem supporting fascists abroad, in places like Ukraine— to further the US imperialist agenda. Fascism has never been defeated by a vote, and fascists have never allowed election results to deter them from taking state power.
They will engage in both legal and extralegal political activity to achieve their goals— which historically the US and Democrats have aided after World War II to prevent the rise of socialist and democratic movements from winning power outside the US. From Operation Gladio in Italy, support for Pinochet in Chile, support for the Mujahadeen in Aghanistan… the list goes on and on of supposed US democracy supporting fascist movements to murder, torture, and repress peoples’ fighting for more say in their nations.
The feigned concern for democracy is hollow by Democrats and those who support US imperialism. They exploit high-sounding ideals to justify their realpolitik of geopolitical maneuvering and domestic social control over US workers.
The only way to defeat reactionaries is by first establishing class independence for workers and through our organizations – like the unions – and by establishing a workers party of a new type, which isn’t primarily concerned about winning votes and seats, but building and aiding independent working class power through militant mass action – such as strikes, occupations, and boycotts.
We must champion worker democracy and understand it is the only progressive alternative available to workers which goes beyond this current sham of a democracy controlled by the rich.
DOWN WITH CAPITALIST DEMOCRACY!
FOR WORKERS DEMOCRACY!
BUILD A MILITANT WORKERS PARTY!