Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vote for the Real Thing

Does your vote matter? Not in the slightest if you don’t use it to challenge capitalism. Why do the poor vote and act against their own economic and political interests? Instead of just voting for a lesser evil, many people in this coming election in May will have the prospect of voting for someone who is contesting the constituency as a socialist. These are:-
Bill Martin - Islington North; Danny Lambert - Vauxhall (London); Brian Johnson - Swansea West (Wales); Steve Colborn - Easington (North East England); Kevin Parkin - Oxford East; Mike Foster - Oxford West and Abingdon; Robert Cox – Canterbury; Andy Thomas - Folkestone and Hythe (Kent); Howard Pilott - Brighton Pavilion; Jacqueline Shodeke - Brighton Kemptown.

We have never had a genuine electoral socialist movement which came anywhere near the reins of the state, and in which the rules of electioneering have been set by two major capitalist parties for its entire existence, the “threat” that electoralism poses is a false one. There’s simply no way, under the current system for socialists to constitute a serious threat to the capitalist political parties on a wide scale. Unlike some on the left and the anarchists, the Socialist Party does not accept that participating in elections is wrong. We do not divorce electoral politics from other strategies for basic change. There’s no contradiction at all between voting and civil protest, they are both democratic. It would be a mistake to assume that they are substitutes for one another. People want a voice in all the areas that affect their lives.

Reformism is the idea that the system can be successfully modified and improved through legal means and especially through participation in its official channels like lobbying and elections. Reformists argue that this is the realistic and peaceful approach to change. Yet the most effective reforms under capitalism have actually been the product of struggle from outside the system, not from the initiatives of friendly politicians within parliament. Any third party that doesn’t make clear that the interests of workers are diametrically opposed to the capitalist system, is simply part of the problem. The Green Party is reformist. It preaches the gospel that capitalism can be reformed — against consistent evidence to the contrary. Despite their many anti-corporate speeches their policy positions stance pits it against effectively promoting systemic change.

A better and peaceful world is possible — a world where it is about people and nature and not profits. That’s socialism. That’s our vision. We advocate socialism, the common ownership and democratic control of the economy by working people. If we join together to take back our industries and natural resources, we can work together for the common good, rather than being slaves to the rich and their capitalist corporations.

The idea of working people taking democratic control of all aspects affecting their lives is new to many but it lies at the very heart of socialist thought and practice. The world socialist movement is planting the seed in people’s minds. We hold a vision of a stateless, classless, communal future, but it is important to understand how this can be achieved. Only through socialism can we transform exploitative and divisive capitalist production and the society it produces into a harmonious, peaceful, collective society where everyone produces according to their ability and everyone receives what they need.

The way to build support for socialism at the polls is to present clear principled, anti-capitalist positions. Socialism is the only way to deliver shared abundance and solve the social problems that the rich ignore. The creation of a powerful socialist movement is the first step to creating a real party of the 99 percent that not only criticises capitalism, but contends to replace it. We need a movement explaining and de-stigmatising socialism. Your support for socialist candidates sends a positive message of solidarity that you reject the charade of capitalism. This year you can make your ballot count.

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