Friday, December 19, 2003

An interesting take on politics and the current election for President for those who think voting is a waste of time:

How an anarchist came to run the Kucinich campaign in Rhode Island. Part 1. (excerpted from article)

Since we’re nowhere near revolution right now, someone is going to be President. To pretend that not voting or not being involved in the political process will make the Presidency disappear is to be more foolish than the libertarians who pretend that by working to make someone else richer your freedom, individuality, dignity, and basic rights should disappear.

So as a pragmatic anarchist, I think that we should be working towards a free society, but we also need to deal with the political realities of today. The reality is that we will have a President, and the reality is that who that President is matters.

...the simple truth is that the progress of the Movement is affected by who is in power. Anarchism, radicalism, progressivism, and the labor movement made no great gains under Reagan. Nor did they under Bush. They moved forward somewhat under Clinton, not because he helped us along, but because we were able to move forward. Then Bush II got in office and instead of fighting to move forward, we were fighting to only lose half of our past gains instead of all of them. Reactionary rulers force us to fight defensive battles, while reformist rulers allow us to fight offensive battles. It’s that simple. And though some might believe that it is better for the Movement to have Bush in office because it will radicalize “the masses”, I think that it is disgustingly immoral to hope that others will be miserable so that you may profit. Furthermore, I think such ‘logic’ is easily disproved by looking at the German Communist Party’s early 1930’s slogan: “First Hitler, then us.”

So that’s why as an anarchist I think it is still important to recognize the realities of electoral politics and have neither illusions about a savior from above nor delusions about revolution by dropping out. In the next part I’ll talk about how I specifically got involved with the Kucinich campaign.
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