Monday, October 24, 2011

Electoral Politics and The Class Struggle

By Nnamdi Lumumba, UPP State Organizer
African people worldwide exist during a time of great crisis both internally to our own communities and externally under international capitalism. Parasitic capitalism under the control of the international white ruling class and in alliance with neocolonialist ruling class elements in oppressed nations are fighting a desperate struggle to maintain the system of imperialism. In oppressed nations, neocolonialism stands as the last line of defense keeping the masses from attacking imperialism directly to liberate themselves from the parasitic relationships set upon us that rob us of the ability to live as full human beings.

The struggle of African workers and poor people to overthrow neocolonialism is a fundamental task in our liberation. In many places, it is not White people that commit crimes against the people but African petty bourgeoisie elements which keep the people in poverty and desperation. The class conscious sector of the African working class most strive fully and completely to unseat neo-colonialism and to raise the political consciousness of the masses to their full stature as makers of history.

One such area that most be contested is the electoral arena. Electoral politics in Africa and the Americas have been traditionally dominated by elements of the African petty bourgeoisie. The African petty bourgeoisie participates in electoral politics not to advance the interests of African people and the African community but to fill their own pockets and those of their class.

There should be no safe place for the African petty bourgeoisie to attack the people, we most elevate the consciousness of the masses of African people to understand that the election process is not about democracy but instead a struggle for power by the ruling class, that currently international capitalism is in crisis and that the capitalist parties are  working to maintain the wealth of the ruling class at the expense of all workers and poor people and finally that the African working class must rise to assume leadership of the African community's struggle for liberation. The electoral process is a form of political struggle that offers the vanguard of the African working class space to wage open class struggle with the African petty bourgeoisie and white ruling class for influence and power over the African community.

The first myth spread by the white ruling class is that the voting is equivalent to freedom and that change can be made at the ballot box. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Based on a concrete analysis of the real world, we assert that the election process is not about democracy but instead a nonviolent struggle for power by the ruling class. The so-called “two-party system” of the U.S. is in fact a two-headed single party system dominated by capitalist/imperialist parties. In practice it is like being given the choice of one slave master or another, no matter who is chosen, the slave can never vote to have freedom!

To be more specific, elections are used as a means for different sectors of the ruling class to struggle non-violently for control of the state apparatus. The state apparatus are the courts, legislature, police, schools and other government institutions that enforce the laws of the ruling class. Candidates are tied to various local, regional and national interests that fund and support candidates to forward their agenda. The participation of independent or populist candidates is minimal and limited as the two ruling class parties make it difficult for non-mainstream candidates and parties to participate and win elections.

In places around the world where the state apparatus is weak, political killings, coup d'etats and civil wars are carried out by contending sectors of the ruling class to gain power. Elections rarely take place and if they do, they are shame elections. The instability created by these contests are not good for overall economic growth and profit, so the capitalist forces in the West do all they can to regularly hold elections and to win working class participation in the elections.

We most also be clear that elections are used by the ruling class to legitimize the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The political parties that compete against each other represent the same social class. They represent the interests of the capitalist class. The issues and solutions that African working class and other working and poor people need are never put forward.

International capitalism is in crisis and the capitalist parties will look to maintain themselves at the expense of the workers and poor people.

Both major parties are legalizing the assault on African people, workers and poor people via the political process. Attacks on welfare, social security, Medicare are becoming popular targets by politicians to take away from the masses in an effort to preserve the interests of the ruling class. Funding for education, recreation and other services are being cut while increases in police and prisons are being passed in preparation of locking down more African and other oppressed peoples.

Candidates from both major parties are apologists for the increasingly repressive policies being implemented to protect the ruling class. Black democrats have openly abandoned the African community, only looking out for their middle class friends and supporters. Liberal candidates have been driven towards the political right in support of wars, spending cuts and other policies which attack colonized, oppressed and exploited people.

The African working class most rise to assume leadership of the African community's struggle for liberation and economic and social justice.

The mis-leadership of the African middle class has helped facilitate the escalation of the theft of the human and material resources of the African community. African politicians at the federal, state and local levels now lead the charge in creating and implementing policy that serves the interests of the capitalist class at the direct expense of the African community. The economic crisis for imperialism has been held at bay by draconian policies which have cause depression era unemployment, unprecedented lost of homes for African families and the widening of the wealth gap between African and White families.

The African working class most seizes all the democratic space possible to put forward its solutions to the crisis in the African community and to organize the community to defend itself. Electoral politics is not the only legitimate form of political struggle. The African working class most learn to strategically use all methods of political struggle to advance its agenda. The major of African people have been effectively demobilized and de-politized by the mis-leadership of the African middle class, they most have the opportunity to hear and participate in new ideas and politics if they are to be organized in their own interests.

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