Boycott the Elections! Our Power Does Not Come From Ballots!


We urge our readers to also look at Red Guards Austin’s Intersectional Imperialism statement on the election boycotts as well. The demand of the legal “Socialists” to meet the specific tactical needs of the Democratic establishment and liberal left forces us to organize and carry forward a struggle to advance the campaign to boycott this upcoming deceptive election show. There are many arguments the legal left is using to demand that we do vote, arguments we want to touch on. We call on all other Red Guard collectives and those we consider our friends to join in on taking what is already a passive boycott (meaning most already justifiably do not participate) and turn it into an active boycott, to carry out a defiant program of organizing to eventually smash the enemy, rather than to integrate into the enemy’s camp. We must organize — militarize —  win! 

On the Midterm Elections

This year more than the many before it we’ve come to see elections in the midst of one the most profound crises U.S. imperialism has ever seen. President Donald Trump, with his dark promises to restore national competitiveness, to maintain national identity, and to strengthen the empire and its enforcers’ international standing through mass deportations, mass incarceration, and more adventurist posturing towards an emergent BRICs imperialism, has been massively delegitimized. The Democratic Party has talked about a “blue wave,” promising small peanuts as reforms, hoping that the disenchantment people have always had with the system in general will translate into seats and influence for them. Underneath them, however, shows a growing U.S. fascism that is not defeated by ballots for Democrats, which from the ranks of the white petty bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy, under the leadership of the most reactionary sections of monopoly capital, wishes to restore “America” through reactionary street violence and repression.

Armed to the teeth, often composed of ex military and police officers, fascists are confident in their martial abilities in the street. The fascists can successfully organize because they see a white working class which has started to boycott official politics, not voting in record numbers never before seen, reeling under the system’s corruption, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and hunger. Infiltrating white immigrant ethnic festivals and gun shows, and even providing exclusionary service programs to the poorest section of white people, they grow and grow. The postmodern NGO left, interested in Pyrrhic emotional victories like banning yoga classes or getting people in oppressive institutions to take diversity trainings in the absence of a mass revolutionary movement, becomes fixated on correcting language and cultural affirmation within this system’s institutions (as that is where they see power coming from), being asleep at the wheel and not seeing the people they are leaving behind. This movement of reaction grows and recruits — yet the booms and busts of outrage cycles and electioneering from the “left” fails to do the same.

The Democratic Party has always used this semi-permanent growling right-wing chorus, which wanders in and out of influence but is always directly contending for overall power, to make a semi-permanent argument for the cooptation of popular democratic energies. All electioneers are the same, and provide an argument for contractual servitude which are to be regularly renewed every few years. Predictably, these “realistic” policy-wonks that come in a more powdered and sugary form from the left-wing of this imperialist party, known as the Democratic Socialists of America, peddle in demands for similar announcement of urgent-urgent-urgent short term legislation, disappear liberal crimes, encourage illusions of change coming from left pressure on the system, and underestimate how much their strategy actually serves to weaken the revolutionary movement. This has been particularly poignant with the talk around nomination of John Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a rapist who the Democratic Party pledge to block if they are able to secure new seats come November.

We are found in a situation where the Social Democrats demand all people spend their time training anyone they meet, influence, or lead to march into U.S. bourgeois politics (with its fragmentation of popular power through “checks and balances,” with its unelected Supreme Court, through its focus on cut of the pie, budgetary approaches around “policy” and never on power, with its inner-imperialist compromise, with its imperialist foreign policy, with its false reform at the margins) because we will all surely fall into an abyss if we don’t.

We know this is trickery from the social-fascists. They want us to legitimize the system in order to “stop” a rapist from reaching the Supreme Court. But rapists must be met with revolutionary violence; the Democratic Party will never act in the interests of the proletariat and the broad masses.

The Supreme Court has always — from upholding the property rights of slaveowners, to defining segregation, to making several pro-capitalist decisions such as the recent Janus ruling  — existed as an undemocratic judiciary of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. In Bush v. Gore they even had the right to decide that those people who did vote didn’t deserve to have their ballots recounted! Who’s to say, then, that every vote counts? Even liberal justices such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg have called those protesting national oppression and state violence “stupid,” have said that they would support Congress making an anti-BDS law that limits anti-imperialist free speech for the Palestinian people and have already refused to take a case which demands Congress reinstates funding for the Taylor Force Act, which gives selected Palestinian widows “survivor benefits.” As we are incessantly told by clipboard-carrying liberals demanding that we register to vote though, this is the one election that will determine if the right to abortion is preserved in its minimal form or revoked. It is manipulatively held up by them for ransom.

The struggle for defending and expanding reproductive rights is a class struggle and, when led by the bourgeoisie, it is one that will be limited and will meet only their needs. Capitalism will not and will never concern itself with the well-being and stable development of children born in working class households. Using the reactionary rhetoric around “life” and inventing such things as “partial birth abortions” those demanding that proletarian women’s bodies be the property of the state upon becoming pregnant have been aided and abetted by the intersectional left. These activists, in light of the Supreme Court declaring that reactionary state governments can regulate women’s bodies as long as no “undue burden” (a flexible and tenuous definition) is placed on working class women, have only met such unprecedented attacks with electoralist ruses and respectability — which supposedly keep oppressed people “safe” via tactics that are non-problematic. Voting for imperialist officials as a response to this hyper-patriarchal reaction, repression, and harassment has not and will not stop them. The successful declaration of John Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice will not be stopped through the palace politics of hoping the right Democrats win certain seats.

The “Democratic Socialists” And Elections

Running here in Pennsylvania is pro-life, pro-imperialist Bob Casey, a Democrat, for the U.S. Senate, along with industrialist Tom Wolf for Governor, and more locally Lindsey Williams for State Senate, all who are proposing the same agenda items we see every year for “affordable health care” or “higher wages,” all which seem to never come. Every conman does this, telling us to “forget my arguments from yesterday, here are my arguments for today.” The Pittsburgh DSA, now a Political Action Committee, courted to several of these potential Democratic frontrunners a few months ago, willing to pimp themselves out as long as some vague so-called “socialist” program (an amalgamation of public services, support for cooperatives) can be admitted to and minimally articulated by candidates. None of these Democratic candidates received their nomination. But it is very worth commenting on their recent “successes” — and we should, of course, wonder who these successes are for.

DSA-endorsed candidates can not be “disciplined” when they enter administration of the bourgeois state. As Serve the People – Communist League of Norway notes in “Cadre Party Or Mass Party? the Democratic Socialists of America, as a mass party, is an organization with informal membership that endorses candidates. Given that limited nature, its members cannot claim they’ve done much of anything but help push down the boot that holds its legs on our throats. They endorse candidates that are running under the Democratic Party’s banner and then, when criticized for it, employ defamation and belittling; this is a tool of parliamentarism against MLM, the real Marxism that has a determined distance from collaborating with the state. The embarrassing splits and fragmentations that are occurring in the local chapter today–as a mixture of workerist social democracy-of-the-old-type, and identity politics and postmodernism, both complimenting and coming into contradiction with each other over the procedure that determines what kind of diverse and intersectional Attorney General will incarcerate the working class–is seen not just locally but nationally. As dialectical materialists, we see this as confirmation of DSA solidifying into the left wing of imperialism, especially as Ocasio Cortez endorsed incumbent New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign over DSA backed Cynthia Nixons’ and pledges to back the aerial and on-the-ground murder of Palestinians to win the sympathy of the imperialist establishment.

As we know, social fascism  acts only as the doorman to fascism proper. Their demands for social pacifism among the people (as noted by their demands for self-policing and respectability at the Google march as well as from a reportback by anarchists at a “Trumpcare die-in”), for class collaboration with yellow unions and NGOs who oppose Communism, cop collaboration at May Day 2017, and their push for a combination of “socialism and communism” are what makes up its whole. While there is a “left” in teh DSA composed of some good people involved in a bad political project, its most organized elements within the DSA very much works to flush people down the toilet hole of electoralism.

Boycott the Elections and Uphold Revolution!

MLM is part of an evolution of Marxism that started with scientific socialism separating itself from a non-political utopianism and from a naively anti-statist conspiratorial form of anarchism, that in a later generation broke from social democratic orthodoxy and parliamentarism by seizing power on an extremely radical basis (by creating a disciplined and even militarized New State within a new kind of cadre party), and that even later affirmed the continuous nature of revolution and the need to militarize the political-military organizations of the proletariat and the people through protracted sequences of struggle that last until Communism. To be revolutionary is to uphold the need for proletarian socialist revolution. Part of this struggle means taking what is already a passive boycott  carried out by the majority of the masses and making it an active, politicized boycott that promotes Protracted People’s War as the only meaningful path to conquering power in this country.

This amounts to a protracted period of underground, legal, and semi-legal struggle in which the masses are recruited and armed for combat for state power. This will, with time, take the form of urban guerrilla warfare both inside and on the exurb peripheries of the cities. Because of the anarchic development of the housing market which some have called gentrification, the masses have increasingly been pushed to places on the outside of town. As our organizing in these exurbs have shown, these neighborhoods and towns come to represent a steel ring around the center city that are a sea of the masses that Communists can swim through in fighting the enemy.

With one opportunist side saying only when the aggregated self-interests of otherwise disparate identity groups align — when the ideas, politics, and minute-by-minute actions of whole strata and nationalities pettiest amounts of privilege and short term interest suddenly (at some undesignated time) are vanquished, can revolutionary violence happen, we know it is time to create a new alignment of power. Identity politics and social democracy are broke. Equality and the democracy of the people is only guaranteed against social fascism and fascism through struggle.

Our Power Does Not Come From Ballots — Protracted People’s War is the only strategy for conquering power for the proletariat!

What do we have? Nothing!
What do we want? Everything!
Power is the central question of our ideology!
Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism!

—Red Guards Pittsburgh, 2018