Voting Plus

Date: 12 June 2022

Author: Dawgalova

Tags: N. America, Philosophy

If you go outside right now and talk to your neighbors, people on the street, or almost anywhere nearby, and ask them how they feel about the current political landscape of America, the response will be that the progressive outlook seems bleak. Indifference to the political process of the United States is endemic among the people, but this is by no means an accident. It is not some “secret cabal” or “deep state” looking to reduce participation, but rather bourgeois democracy, in which bodies of varying classes (particularly the billionaires of the world) utilize the state apparatus to address economic, and therefore political, change. However, what bourgeois democracy does not address is its own inefficiencies, as it is reliant on maintaining these inefficiencies in order to keep the working class in a position where their labor is much easier to exploit. Candidates express their “solidarity and drive” for the working class of America, and give out (often baseless) solutions that will eventually hit the wall due to some flaw or slow-down within the state apparatus, be it tedious bureaucracy or a rotating villain in Congress. Particularly this often takes place in the Senate, the intrinsically bourgeois-structured chamber of Congress. At the moment, this appears to be Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema due to the Democratic majority, since they are both upholding the Senate filibuster as a “protection of democracy”, but Republicans just as easily fill the role when they themselves dominate Congress in the subsequent electoral seasons. With someone to point the blame at, legislators at the higher levels of government act as if no solution to these problems exists, and that any hope of fixing it is lost. All of this headbanging against the wall is purely performative and theatrical, lacking in any real-world material viability. However, without education in class analysis to realize this, and to take up ideological arms against the bourgeois institutions, the masses are left feeling confused and hopeless, favoring abandoning the process altogether as it simply does not represent them nor their interests, and when they do, more often than not, it is too late. The widespread apathy has left a sweeping sense of despair across the progressive alignment of the United States. But this despair is unfounded due to a massive lack of education in political economy; a mass approach based on the scientific method, one founded in dialectics of private property, class, and the state, is the antithesis to this despair.

“Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle. The modern industrial proletariat does not belong to the category of such classes.” 

- V.I. Lenin, “Left-wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder

The Problem with Political Participation in America

Political participation in the United States has been reduced to the public as such: Every 2 to 4 years, the proletariat begins to see banners and billboards and television commercials for milquetoast politicians running for the Presidency, or a Congressional district, or that Utility Commission, a judicial seat, etc. In hopes of perhaps improving their own material conditions, the proletariat votes for the readily available (where such readiness is often precipitated by copious corporate donations!) candidate they believe will best represent their interests. This basic exchange of support is of the supposed “most democratic society”. Whichever candidate wins the vote, more often than not, their efforts at reform are either lacking in substance and bite, or they simply turn one-hundred and eighty degrees on the position; such as Obama saying that signing the Freedom of Choice Act was the first thing he would do once he was in office when giving a speech at a Planned Parenthood event, then subsequently stating that the Freedom of Choice Act was “not my highest legislative priority” approximately 6 months after he was inaugurated. Alternatively, one can look at Trump vowing with empty promises to “bring the coal jobs back” to America (How did that turn out? How did the “wall”, which he was so adamant about implementing, something so arbitrary, basic, and feasible for even societies such as Ancient China, fail?). Historically, these repeated failures led up to the 2nd Reconstruction, in which the masses were more united, organized, and trained than they had ever been in the country’s history. In the effort of the Southern Strategy to divide a united proletarian voting bloc, Republicans have shifted their strategy towards pandering to a (unfortunately inherent potential for) fascistic sense of moral/religious nationalism and bigotry toward oppressed peoples within the United States. The majority of the proletariat does not hold these same reactionary views, and statistically speaking almost universally hold the same positions on class and economics as the progressive wing of the proletariat does when you remove buzzwords such as “socialized” and “free of cost” in their descriptions, favoring a detailing of their essence and function. Today, the aggressiveness of the right-wing and the GOP in America has caused the progressive element to align behind the Democratic Party as the best chance of staving off the fascistic element which seeks to overturn or otherwise undermine bourgeois “democracy”, due to a lack of education in class struggle and organizational training.

There is a major contradiction within this alignment, however. It is well known that the Democratic Party, although slightly more progressive, is still a party of the bourgeoisie. As such, the American proletariat is stuck between a seemingly unstoppable force, the fascist element under the GOP, and an apparently immovable object, bourgeois Democrats. When voting alone does not always produce the necessary improvements for the conditions of the proletariat, it is no wonder that voter apathy is widespread and turnout is low. There are only so many times one can bash their head against a brick wall before they realize that it cannot be broken with their skull. As such, the primary issues facing the proletariat, stopping the class from political participation, are as follows:

It is extremely pertinent to recognize these flaws within the dynamics of the United States. For the first issue, several factors give way to the perceived uselessness of voting. When approaching voting from a perspective that is uneducated in the historical and dialectical process of political change, the exchange is seen as such: One votes for a candidate who promises to improve their material conditions and quality-of-life along with their residencies, and in return during their incumbency, they provide the promised material change to their constituents. If the individual candidate fails or under-delivers on promises to the voters, they were a bad candidate, and all failures are due to them, and/or the party they associated with or ran against. Pointed fingers, half-written policies, and bills dead in committee are the end result. Additionally, some “progressives” are progressives in words, but reactionaries in deeds (once again Manchin and Sinema come to mind), or are complicitly enabling fascistic tendencies in Congress (blocking the dissolution of the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade is a prime example [1]). Due to a lack of education in political economy, particularly in the Marxist theories of class struggle and a falling rate of profit, the inevitability of continued degradation of material conditions [2] causes the proletariat to mistakenly believe that the failures of the candidate rest entirely on their shoulders. They consider the individual as separate from the institution and economic system they exist within, instead of a part of a larger process of change and subsequent reflection of itself expressed through the body of the institution and the following events, and that these failures can be rectified simply by voting for a better candidate next election season; for the belief is that “we Americans ostensibly possess the greatest and least flawed democracy in the world, especially compared to the dictatorships of countries such as Cuba, China, and North Korea – our issue is merely our necessity to get the right person into office!”

The second issue facing the proletariat is an intentional insufficiency of the masses. At the inception of the United States and sometime thereafter, public education did not exist. It was, once again, a product of the Reconstruction era. Bourgeois democracy, in all of its hubris, thought their class to be of an “enlightened” strata, due to the supposed divinity of their class and European race, and in contrast that the masses should not have any say as an electorate due to their lack of education and/or divinity (read: wealth), which in truth meant that they could not afford an education. The masses “lacked” educational potential as much as the ruthlessly kidnapped Africans who were sold into slavery “lacked” humanity in the eyes of the bourgeoisie – when one doesn’t have a material chance to express one’s humanity, be it freedom of education or freedom from bondage, how can an oppressor class say what one is or is not? Both of these reasons the bourgeois gave were depraved rationalizations of oppression used to justify their lifestyles, position in society, and wealth. The bourgeoisie’s condescending smugness seeped its way into the structuring of the government during the Constitutional Convention, and as such, education was unavailable to the masses of people (so much for the “general welfare” and “blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity”!). Today, in trying to be educated under bourgeois democracy, the proletariat entrusts the research and science of the political process to be truthfully reported in good faith by the major media outlets which are the private properties of the very class who deprived them of their right to education in the first place. The consequences of this have been devastating for the American working class. At this time, although public schools are now widely available, they are purposely underfunded and based upon an inefficient knowledge-bank exchange methodology of education from our various disorganized and decentralized federal and state directives of curriculum. Approximately 54% of U.S. adults read below a sixth-grade level [3]. Neglection of literacy in the United States has such a long history that it might as well be considered a tradition of our culture. A lack of politically educated and well-read proletarians, all denied due to the original structuring of the country and the consequences that followed, are perfect candidates for the pitfalls, misrepresentations, and lies of reactionary media. Indeed, the desire for confirmation of a malformed political bias in the United States leads many (particularly young, white, cis heterosexual men) workers into a fascist culture that is homing in on banning books in schools that have even the slightest progressive overtones or are entirely fictional. “Critical-race theory” and “The LGBT Agenda” act as boogeymen to reactionary workers, that the “liberals” want to “brainwash” their children into being gay or transgender, or, heaven forbid, enlighten them to the injustices of systemic racism. This is perfect for the GOP. After all, why worry about getting rid of “inconvenient” books when they will burn the writings themselves? The ultra-right in the United States is quickly taking over local school boards [4] to push these agendas in the name of saving the children, for fear based upon ignorance is a much more primally driving call to action than education falling upon deaf ears.

The third issue facing the proletariat is, once again due to its lengthy history, also part and parcel of American bourgeois democracy – voter suppression. As was previously mentioned, rights under American bourgeois democracy during its inception were rather sparsely (if at all) given to those who were not white, male, and did not own capital. Of course, these rights included suffrage. From the moment of inception of the ratified U.S. Constitution of 1788, voting rights were restricted to the patriarchal, Anglo-Saxon/Germanic, property owning bourgeoisie [5]. As a doubling down of this process to suppress the masses of the working class from democratically expressing their interests, the Electoral College was created as a final means of declaration for the decision of choosing the President, keeping it exclusive to the upper strata of society. As historical materialists, then, it is only necessary that we investigate how the differing sections of the proletariat in the United States won their respective rights to vote. Each came out of their own periods of struggle, and each time there is a consistent pattern of action: the Constitutional amendments adding these new demographics as an allowed electorate were born and won out of struggle and conflict with the ruling classes, which arose from the dissatisfaction, alienation, and agitation of the varying masses. The right for people without private property to vote, the right for people of color to vote, the right for women to vote, and the right of people 18 and over to vote, all came from different stretches of time and sequences of dialectical contradiction and resolution between the opposing qualities and interests of the oppressors and the oppressed. As those “unenlightened” due to a lack of private property could not vote, people of color could not vote due to their “lesser nature”, and women could not vote due to their “hysterics”, assigned gender role, and division of labor. Naturally, at each point in time for these amendments, the respective demographics began to become fed up, and in the course of this country’s history, it took the entire events of a Civil War and two reconstructions to finally have suffrage for all citizens (and yet this does still not count the suppressed vote of undocumented immigrants, who live on the same soil, breathe the same air, and pay the same taxes that citizens do, all at the cause of an inefficient program for a path to citizenship). As follows, when these groups began to fight back, as the dialectical process took place, the bourgeois swung back hard every time. For example, even when people of color and previous slaves gained the constitutional right to vote, they were still met with a myriad of voter suppression methods. Poll taxes, literacy “tests” [6], minimal voting centers near communities of color, and various forms of intimidation were extremely common. However, as only so many quantitative changes can take place before a qualitative change does, over the course of U.S. history, the responses from the bourgeoisie have become more desperate and less socially acceptable. It is no longer legal to have poll taxes, intimidate voters at the polls, or use literacy tests as a condition of voting in nearly all places in the United States. It is no longer illegal for historically enslaved people to vote. As a result, to maintain bourgeois supremacy in the United States and to prevent the oppressed working masses from voting in their own interests (read: to be less exploitable for surplus value by the bourgeoisie), they have had to resort to methods of deception, espionage, and secrecy. Voter registration purges in the hundreds of thousands [7] [8], donating to candidates who pass legislation making it harder to vote one way or another (such as by suddenly closing hundreds of polling locations as we saw in the 2020 General Election in Texas [9], or by campaigning against mail-in ballots [10]), and gerrymandering are some of the chosen hardline methods of voter suppression still used today. However, since the proletariat as a class has developed new qualities and political powers, this means some limited, although fundamental change can be made, and the overall course of U.S. historical class struggle has proven this. This development of true political independence is unacceptable in every sense to the U.S. ruling class. But there is another contradiction – being against the general progressive wave of history in the United States as a corporation is now horrible PR, and this has serious effects of volatility on stock prices. We can easily see how much these corporations suddenly now “care” for the oppressed peoples of the African-American communities, the Hispanic communities, the Asian communities, the Indigenous communities, and the LGBTQ+ community, whenever they bravely change their social media profile pictures to Pride or BIPOC Recognition themes in spite of the fact that they were never there in the struggle before the social changes took place. Historically, corporations have always publicly aligned against these communities. In essence, they still do. But they are now terrified, hoping that they can continue to suppress votes and prevent the proletariat from becoming educated, organized, and driven enough to wrest away political supremacy from the bourgeoisie. Which leads us to…

The Big Bluff 

Looking back at what led to the struggles and formations of change in the past and comparing them to this point in the struggle, we see that the various nations, communities, and the overall working class have developed a slightly stronger sense of political power. Since directly wrestling away this newly won power gives up the illusion of a voluntary capitalist system of bourgeois democracy, and betrays the social contract of the citizens in relation to the state, suffrage in bourgeois democracy has now become a contingent for its continued existence. To digress, one of the biggest battle scars the U.S. ruling class still bears is suffrage for all citizens. In theory, the way that the United States purports itself to function implies that the end result is the most democratic rule of the people. Of course, it does not work this way, and quite frankly never has. This is due to the fact that the original drafters of the Constitution designed the system to work almost exclusively in favor of the rich. As mentioned, the U.S. Senate, along with the Supreme Court judicial system, ultimately were designed to operate in a way that represents the interests of the “minority”, the one minority that America said would be free from tyranny at its inception: rich, white, private property-owning men. To this day, is that not how the system still functions overall? Certainly, it is. Both Democrats and Republicans blame each other or some political inefficiency, but almost never at the expense of the billionaires. Their utmost care and concern for the sanctity and untouched nature of the bourgeoisie’s wealth is so palpable, one would think they have pictures of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates hanging in their houses. So, what then, should we do about developing more proletarian political supremacy in relation to the specific conditions of the United States? If we look at our successful historical examples of change, voting and involvement in the legislative process is a major, but by no means whatsoever the sole nor primary nor to-be-relied-upon method, medium of change, and for the overwhelming majority of the masses, their first foray into political participation, and another step towards developing proletarian political supremacy in the state apparatus. Some will read this and roll their eyes. “Voting is useless!” they may think, “This sounds like Democrat tailism!”. In some senses, yes, voting is useless. Voting will not win the revolution. Voting will not defeat fascism. Voting will not unionize us. There is only one action that can wrest political supremacy away from the bourgeoisie in this country, and that is mass participation simultaneously in both the bourgeois state apparatus and the building of dual power outside of it; the building of proletarian political supremacy, and the optimization of the bourgeois state toward working-class democratic rule instead of bourgeois democratic rule. Proletarian political supremacy expresses itself through massive strikes and unionization efforts, which not terribly long ago involved risking their very lives, or sadly sometimes took them by murder, social or directly. These collective actions are why the Republicans and some Democrats spend such a massive amount on voter suppression [11], and why unions today have been shouting from the mountaintops that we must secure voting rights for the general population [12]; because unions, much like the bourgeoisie, are a form of class that has the capability to act in its own self-interest under a bourgeois democratic state apparatus. Securing voting rights to dictate a political landscape where unionizing is feasible and protected is an absolute must if we are to develop political supremacy against a fascist menace sponsored by the bourgeoisie. Justine Medina, a CPUSA member and YCL Chair, who has long helped in the unionization effort of the Amazon Labor Union, reports that the National Labor Relations Board, thanks in part due to a Biden presidency, has “been the most cooperative it has ever been in 40, maybe 80 years”. This is concrete evidence that a vote for a candidate who will make the political landscape friendly to unions is purely a strategic one, and not Democrat tailism. But it is only until the conditions are met for the general population, the masses, in which they are trained in various strikes, unions, boycotts, nonviolent protests and civil disobedience, coordinated and working together for the biggest effect of material change, will we be able to defeat the GOP and the Democratic Party, favoring instead a party formed organically by and for the working class, finally wresting away political supremacy from the bourgeoisie. This, however, is not possible without a struggle to secure the preservation of union rights, and therefore voting rights. Would anyone be surprised if the ruling class tried to make right-to-work a constitutional amendment? It is difficult to put it past them.

As one may infer, the thought of the proletariat gaining more and more political power is absolutely terrifying to the ruling class. It damn well should be! The people are powerful, but from birth we have been disconnected from each other, atomized and segregated by capital in a myriad of ways, instead of realizing our collective power that nothing can stand in the way of. To better understand the situation, we must strategically analyze the situation from the position of the bourgeoisie. It begs the question: if voting is useless, why do the bourgeoisie, the greediest individuals of humanity, spend such a large amount on suppression? Two examples from the great commentary of dialectical warfare from Sun Tzu come to mind.

“To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.”

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

In the earlier mentioned acts of desperate voter suppression, the bourgeoisie have shown us this: voting can and does produce political power, and they, the parasites we call billionaires, are willing to spend copious amounts of money to stop the overwhelming masses from participating in the political process, because they never intended for us to do so in the first place. This is the strategic weakness of the U.S. ruling class. Again, it must be stressed with absolute pertinence that voting is not the end of the political process of participation. It is the beginning. Mass unionization and supremely coordinated, precise strikes are the next steps in the struggle. Hence, does it not seem like an optimal strategy from the position of the bourgeois to trick citizens into thinking that voting in an election every 2 years is the absolute most one can do as a working-class person to bring about political change? That the only two parties that are allowed to represent them are fascists or fascist enablers [13], and the best economic system we can get is this failure of an experiment we call American capitalism? Absolutely! Combined with a lack of education in class struggle, the situation seems absolutely hopeless! Who could fight such a struggle? But as Lenin pointed out, the proletariat does not belong to this despair, because they will be trained in iron discipline to fight back against the bourgeois in banded struggle. 

Today, in addition to concrete but otherwise hidden means of voter suppression, the bourgeois rely upon our inefficient “democracy” as a form of soft voter suppression. An inefficient government that presents itself as nigh immutable induces apathy, especially in the face of the all too tired truism of “just vote!”. Combined with a lack of revolutionary theory and a historical low of union membership [14], it is no wonder why turnout in the General Election has never broken much above 65%. Whereas in countries where there is a workers’ state, turnout and political participation is significantly higher and more consistent, such as the People’s Republic of China, where voter turnout usually hovers around >90%. Even in European social democratic countries, where the expropriation of the bourgeoisie has not yet taken place, turnout in the last German federal election of 2021 reached 76.6%. This is due to the fact that the proletariat has more developed rights and an easier time voting in the political process of participation within these countries. If a democracy is defined as a rule of the people, why then, do we call ourselves a democracy? Only a little over half of our country participates in the big election, even with a fascist threat such as Trump looming. Billionaires run the government inside and out. It is not until we develop the political supremacy of the proletariat will we be able to call ourselves a true “democracy”. This developmental task of training, cultivating, and uniting the strength of the working class is the role of the revolutionary vanguard party. But due to the Red Scare and the subsequential union suppression that followed, the progress made in this regard has taken 2 steps forward, but 3 steps back. As the saying goes, class struggle is like tug-o-war. It will not be a linear progression towards revolution. Because of the backwards regression of labor in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century, soft voter suppression arose as an additional byproduct of an untrained American proletariat. In essence, apathy is in and of itself voter suppression. However, in recent years voter registration and turnout has been steadily increasing. This is a sign that progressive forces are starting to fight back and win against voter suppression [15] [16]. Currently the ruling class is still depending on both “soft” and “hard” voter suppression. It is their last vestige before the sleeping giant of the American proletariat awakens, and they are absolutely shaking in their boots. They have hedged their bets on your inactivity in the political process of participation, and they have added efforts for resistance when the proletariat inevitably counterattacks. It is The Big Bluff.

How The Masses Move History

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

How often this basic fundamental principle of Marxism is overlooked! History is perceived, carried out, recorded, and internalized by the masses in struggle against the oppressor class. Historical development did not suddenly say “I am going to produce a revolutionary vanguard party that will lead the way out of this era of class oppression”. It was only by the dialectical process of contradictions between the masses and the ruling classes and the following agitation within political and economic systems of the respective times did history develop. At times different revolutions were led by different classes and strata of people. This by no means removes the agency of the people – these leaders did not do all the work themselves. They are not the masses. The masses, the overwhelming masses, are the masses. That is to say, the masses constitute a body greater than the sum of its parts. To ignore this is to once again ignore a basic, fundamental principle of Marxism. 

“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible….These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.”

“Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another.

- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Marx makes it more than clear that the political supremacy of the proletariat is what is necessary to overcome the bourgeoisie. It is also clear that, whatever political supremacy truly is, it will manifest into a form that is based upon the conditions of that country, and as such each methodology will be different in different countries. In pre-revolutionary China, this struggle for political supremacy took place in violent struggle due to the backwards economy, weak military, and almost complete lack of developed forces of political independence that Mao Tse-tsung and the Red Army were up against.

“Although the subjective forces of the revolution in China are now weak, so also are all organizations (organs of political power, armed forces, political parties, etc.) of the reactionary ruling classes, resting as they do on the backward and fragile social and economic structure of China. This helps to explain why revolution cannot break out at once in the countries of Western Europe where, although the subjective forces of revolution are now perhaps somewhat stronger than in China, the forces of the reactionary ruling classes are many times stronger. In China the revolution will undoubtedly move towards a high tide more rapidly, for although the subjective forces of the revolution at present are weak, the forces of the counter-revolution are relatively weak too.”

- Mao Tse-tung, A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire

It is crucial to note that Mao explains the difference in revolutionary tactics and reactions in China versus Europe, in the precise manner related to the wresting of proletarian political supremacy as Marx described in The Communist Manifesto. This is why primarily nonviolent struggle has been the most successful in recent U.S. history – because the ruling class has flooded a truly mindboggling amount of money into tools of murder, suppression, and surveillance of the working class, and will resort to the inanest of reasons at the drop of a hat to enact state violence upon them.

It cannot be stressed enough, then, that a Communist Party can, should, and must train the proletariat with iron discipline, making any sacrifice or compromise possible to advance proletarian political supremacy. A scientific approach, meaning that the method or the medium is not as relevant as whether or not it truly advances the proletariat in the course of class struggle, because “these measures will be different in different countries”. A scientific approach, meaning training the American proletariat to first vote, then to unionize, then to strike, to protest, and to do whatever is necessary to get the overwhelming masses involved in the political process. A shining example is The Communist Party of India (Marxist), who have been training the workers of India in a myriad of ideological arms in class struggle. Their success in training the working class, particularly in several general strikes consisting of tens of millions of people [17] spanning across over one year, and subsequent winning of elections within the Indian states [18], is proof that political supremacy grows from the masses and is cultivated by the vanguard, regardless of method. These conclusions are reached by following the path of dialectical materialism set out by Marx and Engels.

Where most start as nonviolent, some revolutions end in bloodshed and armed conflict. Many “leftists” see violence as the only option of revolution in the United States. Absolute hogwash! This kind of thinking is beyond infantile. Resorting to adventurism and violence is simply not a feasible strategy in countries where the reactionary forces of the ruling class are superbly developed (for God’s sake, they give the police so much money they are buying $50,000 Boston Dynamics robot dogs just to spy on people in public!) and Mao said this himself. Calls for violence at this point in U.S. class struggle reek of “left-wing” communism and quite frankly serve only federal agents to give them something spicy to report to their captains. Not only this, but it is laden with historical nihilism – that somehow the masses of the United States are inferior to the proletariat of the Global South, when they are exposed to the same contradictions of capitalism just as anyone else is (albeit at a higher standard of living due to imperialist plundering). This line of thinking abandons Marxism and the inevitability of the proletariat to rise up against their oppressor class.

“The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system; this is an objective law independent of man's will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, eventually revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph."

- Mao Tse-tung, Speech at the Meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution

Does this excerpt of wisdom by Mao not apply to the United States? Is the United States and its proletarian class immutable to the dialectical reactions and processes of the people? What makes these humans different? “Brainwashing”, one may say. Ha! American exceptionalism may lead to ignorance, but it certainly does not make them immune from the principles of material reality. We can clearly see, following these principles of dialectical materialism, where the United States is headed at this point in struggle. This American exceptionalism will not last for long without immense bribery of material conditions to justify our egocentrism. A decaying empire can only decay so long before the illusion of supremacy disappears entirely, and the contradiction between Americans and the rest of the world is no longer “We’re American, and that means we’re better than everyone else because we’re richer!”, but “Everyone here is poor, but we’re American. How can this be?”. It does not and will not take long for the masses to see through this glaringly obvious juxtaposition. 

To reiterate, in the overall history of the United States, major change has only ever come from mass participation in struggle. The Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction Era were battles long fought by the then progressive forces of America in overwhelming numbers. The Great Depression caused the working class to rise up and unionize, demanding social security, a more agreeable state labor relations board, unemployment payments, the New Deal, and more (of which we have to thank the proletariat of yesterday for!). The 2nd Reconstruction led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with mass participation, such as the March on Washington (with a 3rd Reconstruction being called for at the Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington on June 18th, 2022!) and various other mass marches and acts of civil disobedience. Those who do not realize the necessity of the participation of the masses in the political process have yet to sufficiently interact with and learn about the class character and dynamics of the American proletariat at this moment in struggle.

Out of Touch

“Parliamentarianism is of course ‘politically obsolete’ to the Communists in Germany; but—and that is the whole point—we must not regard what is obsolete to us as something obsolete to a class, to the masses. Here again we find that the “Lefts” do not know how to reason, do not know how to act as the party of a class, as the party of the masses. You must not sink to the level of the masses, to the level of the backward strata of the class. That is incontestable. You must tell them the bitter truth. You are in duty bound to call their bourgeois-democratic and parliamentary prejudices what they are—prejudices. But at the same time you must soberly follow the actual state of the class-consciousness and preparedness of the entire class (not only of its communist vanguard), and of all the working people (not only of their advanced elements).”

- V.I. Lenin, “Left-wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder

There is a growing sentiment, particularly in the youth, that voting is obsolete, and temporarily working with Democrats to bring about material change is tantamount to betrayal of the revolution. This apathy is due to the previously mentioned soft voter suppression. Like any new generation, the young progressive element in America is powerful, but unlike previous generations, this one has access to nearly all the knowledge the world has to offer at our fingertips, and communication happens faster than the blink of an eye. The bourgeois have noticed this, as we can clearly see with their attempts at controlling the digital space during the Arab Spring, and the controlling of the “facts” about the war in Ukraine recently on social media websites. Russian and Chinese news outlets, regardless of affiliation, are now all labeled “state-affiliated media” (it makes one wonder why the British Broadcasting Corporation, a national broadcaster, does not have said label of state-affiliation, nor do many other state-owned broadcasting and media outlets in the West). All that which alerts the proletariat to the truth of imperialist activities abroad is censored, given flak, or outright ignored, and the results are shockingly consistent when investigating this. Even simply linking a fake Chinese news website like “” on Twitter invokes a warning that this “website” leads to spooky Chinese state-affiliated media!

It is beyond crucial to recognize the necessity of staying in touch with the working class through social media. Our Comrades in the Communist Party of China have only proven this, and have only made the case for it stronger by using their state-operated social media websites as means of live reaction to new legislation, and by adjusting course according to how citizens react. But in the West, the internet is filled with poisonous misinformation at every corner. Facebook is to this day complicit in allowing a concerning amount of fascist organizing to exist on their website. Many fascist reactions were organized on Facebook, including the January 6th Insurrection. The usage of Facebook as a platform for organizing such right-wing terrorist activity, and the corporation's refusal to submit to stricter public oversight, is precisely the reason why it was banned in China following the Ürümqi Riots of 2009. Twitter is now the source of many trending topics that reach people’s minds in minutes. Because of the nature of the capitalist internet, there is a growing force of young ultra-leftists and reactionary “socialists” who are hellbent on political adventurism, opportunism, and displays of power, rather than true proletarian political supremacy. Given the automated nature of the internet, organizing between these youths is happening at an unprecedented scale, and although they lack revolutionary theory, that doesn’t mean they are incapable of accomplishing anything at all; even a broken clock is right twice a day. But it does mean that the combination of the tenacious, nearly carnal desire for immediate political upheaval along with an atmosphere of despair in digital spaces is producing this ultra-left tendency which ultimately serves the bourgeois, due to the fact that these groups are not engaging as a party of the masses with the masses in training for something even as simple as voting. These groups do not understand that the vanguard does not move history alone, and neither does the proletariat. 

In addition to this ultra-left tendency, historical nihilism is beginning to grasp the youth. Though the youth is politically active, they are in the same country as every other American. They are not sufficiently educated nor ideologically armed in dialectical and historical materialism. Instead, they favor tweeting all day about their despair and hopelessness, and how “revolution will never come to the United States”. We must never forget that our revolutionary optimism must always be founded in concrete material analysis. Using these guiding principles is the key to avoiding this historical nihilism and pessimism. In our efforts to unite the left and center to defeat the ultra-right, this type of analysis is the only type that has and will lead us to the development of proletarian political supremacy. Even today, Comrade Xi Jinping has made it abundantly clear to the world that the youth of today must at all costs avoid historical nihilism, and remember the founding principles of development expounded by Marx, Engels, and Lenin while working in a sea of masses.

"The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you. The world belongs to you.”

- Mao Tse-tung, Talk at a meeting with Chinese students and trainees in Moscow (November 17, 1957)

A Way Out

While the theory has been made clear, the practice must continuously be done in conjunction for any revolutionary party. It begs the question: in the United States, what are we to do? The answer is as follows:

Of course, we can’t fight for a better life whilst only shoving our noses in books and papers. Let’s get to work comrades, we have a world to win.

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