By REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST NETWORK
After the November election, the pressing need for political organizing and protest will not end for working people and the oppressed. We must step up the fight to defend democratic rights against ruling-class efforts to strangle them through the suppression of votes and other means. The fight must go on! Following the police murder of George Floyd, this country saw the largest street protests in decades. We must remain in the streets, fighting there and in our workplaces and schools for our rights, working conditions, and basic needs.
Below, we reprint the text of a flyer that supporters of the Revolutionary Socialist Network (RSN) are distributing around the country at post-election demonstrations for democracy. Socialist Resurgence is a member of the RSN.
WE NEED MORE DEMOCRACY THAN THEY CAN OFFER
Bourgeois elections are a thin veneer of democracy over a fundamentally undemocratic system. Political power flows from economic power. Most government officials are unelected and unaccountable to the public. Policies and decisions are made according to the whims of investors, irrespective of the wishes of the vast majority. In the last presidential election, the person who got the most votes lost!
Decades of lesser-evil voting have only moved both capitalist parties to the right. Though it poses as an ally, the Democratic Party is owned and operated by the investor class and is thus irreconcilably opposed to the interests of working-class and oppressed people.
CLASS STRUGGLE IS THE MOTOR FORCE OF HISTORY
Democracy is not only integral to the goal of socialism, but to the means of getting there as well. Much of the U.S. left seeks progressive change through the Democratic Party, and through electoral, incremental, and legal means more broadly. By contrast, revolutionary socialists look to democratic, working-class self-organization and mass action, in the form of strikes, protests, and revolts.
In the struggle of class against class for political power, strikes, protests, and revolts are not only the most effective way to force change, but the best way to advance the political consciousness of those involved. In this way, we can prepare ourselves to not only overthrow the system, but to reorganize society in the interests of the vast majority.
OUR POWER IS IN OUR STREETS AND WORKPLACES
Limits on democracy under the capitalist system allow the two big business parties to ignore majority opinion on how to handle the ills facing society. While the majority supports emergency action to save us from climate chaos, neither party will take the needed steps.
While the majority of working people want an end to war, they continue to spend on it. While the majority wants an end to police brutality and more money for our communities, the bosses’ parties maintain the status quo. While the majority wants a guarantee for the full rights of women and LGBTQIA people, neither party is even promising what we need. While the majority favors the right to organize unions without hindrance, no party has pledged to rollback decades of anti-worker laws, regulations, and court decisions.
For these reasons, we need to go back into the streets and workplaces, where our real power lies.
WHAT LITTLE DEMOCRACY WE HAVE IS UNDER ATTACK
Voter suppression, gerrymandering, and blocking ballot access are long-standing bipartisan projects. In recent months, Trump has threatened not to concede the election and has signalled to the far right to support him with intimidation and vigilante violence. We cannot rely on the state or the Democratic Party to defend our democratic rights—only independent mass action can do that.
• Voting rights for immigrants, teenagers, and current and former prisoners
• Safe access to the polls
• Expanded mail-in voting
• Making Election Day a national holiday
• Abolishing the Electoral College, a relic of slavery
• Public financing of elections
• Ballot access for working-class and independent candidates
Socialists seek the widest-possible expansion of democracy, extending beyond the political realm to the economic. While we recognize their limits, we value democratic rights, such as freedoms of speech, assembly, organization, and the press. These hard-won rights provide a basis for us to fight for more, to expose their limits, and to defeat the capitalist system itself.
• Defund the police!
• Money for jobs, housing, schools, and public health measures to keep us safe from pandemics—not war!
• Guarantee employment by cutting the workweek with no cut in pay!
• Abortion and child care are a right!
• Emergency action to protect us from climate catastrophe!
THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY IS INSEPARABLE FROM THE FIGHT FOR SOCIALISM
We don’t only need democracy in our government, we need democracy in our workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods. We need democracy by and for the working class, nothing less. Since it forms the vast majority of the population, only the working class is capable of bringing about such a complete democratization of society.
If you’re interested in the genuine democracy that only socialism can provide, join us to learn, organize and fight for it together. See: http://www.revolutionarysocialist.org.