[Throughout the history of settler colonialism and its offspring, capitalism-imperialism, the most effective tool for disorientating, fracturing, disarming, and destroying the popular opposition to the state-administered systems of class exploitation and white privilege has been the routine electoral baits and traps, every two years (local) and four years (national). Once again the stage is set for electoral “novocaine” (as Malcolm X called it) to help people suffer “peacefully.” Frontlines will stay on this issue as long as the suffering people are being asked to suffer “peacefully.” We reprint the following article from 2014, published by Black Agenda Report (www.blackagendareport.com/), which is a crucial ongoing voice of opposition to deceptive electoralism. — Frontlines ed.]
Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism’s Electoral Charade
Black Agenda Report, 06/17/2014
The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama’s two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”
by Danny Haiphong
“The two-party US political system more clearly than ever works exclusively in the interests of the imperialist ruling class.”
There are many dangerous trends emerging from progressive and revolutionary forces in the US. One of the most concerning is a growing focus on electoral campaigns as a tactic to achieve grassroots objectives. The electoral victories of Kshama Sawant, Chokwe Lumumba (Rest in Power), and Ras Baracka are a clear indication of popular discontent with austerity, gentrification, and privatization in US cities under capitalist siege. However, whatever encouragement these victories provide cannot resolve the contradictions of US capitalism. The primary purpose of US capitalism’s state machinery is to manage the affairs of the ruling class. This poses the important question of whether electing representatives into political office is a worthy tactic for the left or whether it should be abandoned all together. Continue reading →
[When people rise, and believe that the State offers no relief or solution, they turn away from elections, reject the credibility and false promises of the political system, and consider what it will take to take matters into their own hands. It happens all over the world. — Frontlines ed.]
The 2014 campaign to boycott the election in Brazil
Election materials are set ablaze in front of a polling booth after an attack by protesters in Bogra January 5, 2014. Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League was poised on Sunday to win a violence-plagued parliamentary election whose outcome was never in doubt after a boycott by the main opposition party. — Photo by Reuters
The Times of India: “Maoist fear keeps candidates indoors in Malkangiri” — February 2, 2012
KORAPUT: Electioneering is yet to pick up pace in Malkangiri district with Maoist fear preventing candidates from coming out of their houses in remote areas.
The fear is understandable as it comes in the backdrop of extremist posters and banners asking villagers to boycott the poll process in protest against the state government’s alleged apathy towards development of tribals. But the Red rebels have not issued any threats to candidates.
Sources said campaigning for the rural polls is yet to gain momentum in several Maoist-hit areas of Malkangiri, particularly Poplur, Kurmanur, Manyakonda, Pusuguda, Kalimela, Chitrakonda and Motu gram panchayats. The first phase polls are on February 11.
“Though we have filed nominations, we live under the constant fear of Maoists. We don’t want endanger our lives by campaigning in interior areas because the Red rebels have already given a poll boycott call. We are limiting our campaigning to safer areas of the district,” said a zilla parishad candidate. Continue reading →
Before the referendum; in 48 hours more than 121 persons arrested
The countdown goes; tomorrow there will be a referendum on changes on Turkey’s constitution. The discussion on the referendum to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ doesn’t mean that there can only be one side. There is always an alternative; in this case this alternative is ‘boycott’. The referendum will not bring the changes that those in favor of it promise, because there are not principal changes in favor of the people in Turkey. Those who are not in favor, meaning those who lead that section [of the ruling class] only want to protect their own power and dominance in the country.
The constitution of the Turkish Republic (TR) still maintains the constitution of the military coup d’etat from September 12th, 1980. Until today there might have been changes in the constitution and in the legislative branch but essentially there hasn’t been much change. The referendum is a game of the ruling classes in Turkey between the “liberal-Islam” section and the Kemalist bureaucrat clique. Now, in the last 48 hours there have been attacks and raids on progressive and revolutionary movements and individuals, mainly those that are boycotting the referendum elections.
In the last 48 hours about 121 persons were arrested in different cities and districts in the country. Alone in Istanbul 12 people were arrested and kept at the Anti-Terror headquarters in Istanbul. Members and supporters of the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy) a party of the Kurdish National Movement (KNM) were arrested during their activities like distributing flyers. ESP activists’ houses were raided and they were arrested yesterday in the early morning hours.