The Greater Evil of Voting for the Lesser Evil Under Imperialism: A Response to Victor Wallis (October 2020)

rashid-2013-self-portrait1A ‘Marxist’ Line On Voting Today?

In response to my “Lesser Evil” article, Victor Wallis explains that his endorsing votes for “Jim Crow Joe” Biden is calculated to prevent a Trump coup, which he characterizes as a different sort of “regime.”

He went on to use Karl Marx’s position of endorsing voting during the 1849 election to the Prussian Constitutional Assembly against the Prussian monarchy, as support for his position.

Victor claims that the Prussian monarchy “corresponds to the prospective regime” of a reelected Donald Trump. This argument is specious at best.

There is NO correlation between the 1849 Prussian monarchy and a bourgeois regime in late stage imperialism almost two centuries later, nor do the tactics that Marx proposed then apply today. These were qualitatively different eras calling for qualitatively different methods of struggle.


Lenin Refuted This Social Chauvinist Position

The social-chauvinists of V.I. Lenin’s day tried to advance the same position, misapplying Marx and Engels when they upheld the bourgeoisie and its struggles against feudal absolutism and the reactionary states that were holding back the development of capitalism, which was the order of the day during the mid-to-late 1800s in W. Europe.

In “Under a False Flag,” Lenin explained that during that period capitalism and the bourgeoisie were progressive forces in fighting bourgeois-democratic revolutions against decadent feudalism, but after the consolidation of capitalism and its development into imperialism, the bourgeois ceased to be progressive.

He also exposed a trend, then developing in his day, which has since become consolidated in bourgeois politics, of the ruling class stabilizing its rule and countering and dividing the people’s resistance by playing the masses between conservative and liberal methods of rule.

Where on the one hand the rulers will rule by force, placing profits above all else, and refusing concessions to the people, and when this provokes mass resistance they will grant a few token concessions and privileges. Essentially using the carrot and the stick. See, Lenin, “Differences in the European Labour Movement.”

This game has been refined and consolidated in the U.S. dual party (liberal versus conservative) system and embodied in the Democrat (liberal) and Republican (conservative) parties. So the entire notion of being pulled into the game of endorsing one party or the other plays into the entire control system of the bourgeoisie.

Popular Votes Don’t Decide Anyway

Victor goes on to contradict and invalidate the entire logic of voting at all by pointing out that Trump has been moving to undermine any unfavorable popular vote, and should he lose, has indicated he will disregard the outcome altogether.

Add to this the fact that the popular vote doesn’t matter under the existing system anyway, thanks to the Electoral College system which put the last several Republican presidents in office after they LOST the popular votes.

Yet these ‘Leftists’ are rallying people to lend their time, energy, and confidence to voting for Biden, instead of organizing them to build dual power at the mass level as AGAINST the bourgeois establishment.

The Left refuses to do any real work AMONG the masses to organize and empower them, and develop a genuine revolutionary party to lead them. Then they portray their line as justified in rallying the people to vote for a bourgeois party, for fear that Trump will empower and mobilize forces and repression that will adversely affect them; forces and repression which people of color and the poor have always suffered from.

Biden is no less reactionary than Trump, (except maybe for the petty-bourgeois Left). In fact, Biden’s fascist policies have caused untold suffering and social destruction for decades, especially for the very people of color the Left is trying to rally behind electing him.

Comrade George Jackson summed it up aptly:

“All political parties, as things stand, will support the power complex. Any individual elected will either be a supporter of the established politics–or an ‘individual.’ What would help us, in fact, is to allow as many right-wing elements as possible to assume ‘political’ power…The fascists already have power. The point is that some way must be found to expose them and combat them. An electoral choice of ten different fascists is like choosing which way one wishes to die. The holder of so-called high public office is always merely an extension of the hated ruling corporate class. It is to our benefit that this person be openly hostile, despotic, unreasoning. We are not living in a nation where left-wing parties hold eighty out of two hundred seats in a congressional body…This is a huge nation dominated by the most reactionary and violent ruling class in the history of the world, where the majority of the people just simply cannot understand that they are existing on the misery and discomfort of the world.”

The problem is, those who want us to vote for the “lesser evil” are those who DO know that they enjoy great privileges at our (the world’s poor and people of color) expense. THEY ONLY FEAR LOSING THOSE PRIVILEGES, that’s why for them Donald Trump is the “greater evil.”

Boycott the Election!
Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!


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