Let's Study Election Policies!
The Collective Study Group, fresh from success in our inquiry about cultural domination, decided to turn next to election policies.
No aspect of political struggle confuses so many, raises such high tempers, and divides activists as much as the argument over electoral policies. As this is written, a large part of the activist population of Egypt is celebrating the democracy in their ongoing elections, and another large part is calling for an electoral boycott and suffering at the hands and weapons of soldiers for saying so. The 2012 elections are upon us, and divisions are beginning to appear among the activists who support(ed) the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
Here are some questions we might try to answer:
- Why do people say that elections are so important?
- What did Karl Marx and other major historical thinkers think about electoral work?
- Should we never participate in elections on the argument that they are capitalist contrivances anyway?
- Should we only support "our own" revolutionary or independent candidates, since the Democrats and Republicans are capitalist parties?
- What is a political party anyway?
- How have elections, especially voting rights, changed since the American revolution?
- How are American voting rules and practices different from those in other countries?
- If we participate in elections, should we put all principles aside, since electoral politics is a dirty business anyway and the only winners are the most unscrupulous?
- What major principle(s), if any, should guide us in negotiating our way around these complicated electoral questions?
One of the mainstays of our Collective Study Group has already dug up some good resources:
Should only well-informed people vote? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvl0lqhCVio
Why are voters' rights currently being restricted? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNpGtrisCPY
How will the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision impact upcoming elections? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5kHACjrdEY
For a right-wing apology for the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUdFaIYzNwU
We might also review our earlier lessons on tactics and strategies and on class struggle to see if anything there applies to electoral problems.
Let me know if you're interested in digging up more resources, participating in discussions, and writing up our results!