People want an anti-capitalist party, an anti-war party, a party for the environment and humankind. Socialists must start now to build a party that will speak for the workers. We cannot wait for ‘ideal’ conditions which never come.
There is a recognisable political cycle. We have been through it before, over and over again. It is the cycle of lesser evil. Politicians knowingly market themselves to lesser evil voters by constructing phony sales pitches, making themselves look more progressive than they really are. For instance, for the sake of argument, there is a campaign to get Joe Biden into office so to ward off a greater evil of Trump. But once in office, Biden comes under irresistible pressure from his capitalist masters to break his “populist” promises, to disappoint, disillusion and betray the working people who placed their trust and hope in him. Some supporters sink back into apathy and despair, while others fall prey to the populist-type backlash. These reactions give the Republicans their chance to return to political power. Those who support the lesser evil play an essential role in constantly reproducing the cycle. They share the responsibility for its persistence. Support for the lesser evil also entails support – indirect and delayed, but support nonetheless – for the greater evil. Whichever party assumes office, it has but one remit once in office – to further the interests of the corporate elite. It’s just not a feasible option for any newly elected president to entertain any idea other than guaranteeing a safe playing field for the domestic profit-machine. The lesser evil invariably paves the way and makes inevitable the greater evil because people cease to vote when they have been betrayed by the lesser evil. What lesser evilism is about is supping with the devil, but with a longer spoon. No matter what the outcome of the 2020 election, no matter who wins, the continued existence of capitalism is guaranteed. The problems of capitalist society have been described by journalists, novelists, historians, economists, sociologists, and even many politicians. But only socialists recognise that these problems cannot be solved until capitalism is replaced by a social system in which people throughout the world will work harmoniously together to produce and distribute wealth to satisfy society’s needs.
Workers' cannot be defended by an adoption of the 'lesser evil', that is, a policy of concessions to and compromise with elements of capitalism. We do not unite with non-socialist organisations which claim to be defending our fellow-workers. A worker that has been robbed is like a cow that has been milked. The poor dumb animal is incapable of worrying about what becomes of the milk, but the so-called “intelligent” worker takes sides, as they often do, with one gang of robbers that has plundered him as against the bunch of thieves. We should realise that voting for one crooked politician to stop another, backfires on the working class. Your vote does count in elections. It counts for capitalism. It becomes the mandate for all the actions of government over the next four years. sides in the quarrel which goes on over that which has been taken from him. When sections of the capitalists, who exploit the working-class milch-cow squabble over their share of the surplus value, workers who line up and take sides in this quarrel are in the same position as the worker who has been robbed by thieves who then later fight over the division of the booty. It would be funny if it were not so sad and tragic to see the workers t
Of two evils, choose neither. Abstention from voting, but more importantly spoiling your ballot, is a valid legitimate expression of a person’s political position. Voting is presented as a sacred cow. Popular slogans such as “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain”, or “it is your duty to vote” are repeated ad nauseum. It is almost impossible to watch the news without the classic platitude from celebrities to public intellectuals: “Whatever you do, just make sure you get out there and vote”. They ask “How do we bring the non-voters into our political process?” or “How can we engage voters?” but rarely do they question “Why are these voters not engaged” and never “Is their disengagement correct?” and “Should we join them in solidarity?”
In the conflict between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, the advice is to spoil the ballot paper and abstain from voting for either evil. The only way we can prevail is by offering an alternative – don’t play the game, don’t be forced into a false and hypocritical “choice”. The only way to save democracy is to expose the falsity of the choice at hand. Reformists are Judas goats, helping to lead the working class into the slaughterhouse. Well-meaning, good-intentioned reformers have nearly obliterated one of the fundamental principles of socialism, that the independent working class must create its own revolutionary party and put an end to class collaboration. A genuine working-class party would tell the truth about the system. By not voting working people will register their rejection of pro-capitalist candidates. The enormous success of the lesser-evil political system is in getting about half the people simply not to vote and forcing those who do to vote, in favour of what they oppose. The solution to the lesser evil/greater evil is to build the independent activity and consciousness of the working class. The working class must make use of democratic rights under capitalism to build their own organisations of struggle and in doing so we shall acquire the ability to bring down this wretched system of exploitation, oppression, and sham democracy. The working class needs a political alternative.