Saturday, October 18, 2008


Thomas Riggins

Progressives and even moderates are aware of, if not shocked by, the amount of racism being stirred up by the Republicans in their, hopefully, vain attempt to put McCain in the White House.

At a time when the defeat of the Republicans and other ultra-right forces is absolutely necessary to halt the decline of the U.S. onto an outright fascist road some elements on the left are promoting an ultraleft thesis that would actually help the McCain forces if it were acted upon.

Here is a quote which ably states this thesis: "Capitalist electoral politics are a totally ineffective framework within which to fight the ultraright and fascist elements. On the the contrary , the ultraright is now using that arena to galvanize its own movement."

So the progressive movement should abandon the electoral arena and allow the fascist elements free reign. That seems to be the logical conclusion, for why should the progressive movement engage in ineffective activity?

To put forth such a thesis, which, if acted upon, is tantamount to surrendering the state to the ultraright forces, is reckless and, as Lenin pointed out long ago, "infantile." This damages the progressive movement by misleading many youth, who are being mobilized to progressive movements for the first time and have no long term experience with electoral politics, into thinking that electoral politics is only useful to the bourgeoisie.

The fact is that "capitalist electoral politics" is one of the areas in which the working class can struggle to further its class interests. It is not the ONLY area in which to struggle but it is certainly NOT a "totally ineffective" area in which to struggle. The fact that the ultaright is "galvanizing" in this arena is even more reason for the left to enter the fray to expose and defeat the class enemy.