This is a response to some debates that I have had recently with people from some other parties.
The true path to sustained socialism in this country is through participation in the democratic process. Voting, community organizing, union work, and other such efforts are essential in working towards a fair and democratic America. I have had the opportunity to discuss the merits of such things with some people recently, who feel that these efforts are pointless and that they are only done in the service of capitalist masters. What is worse is that some even say that such things are blocking the material conditions for revolution.
I would like offer a quote that applies to this situation, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” Now, I now that Spock said this in Star Trek, but translate it into Labor Talk and it applies. Say this instead, “How does what you are doing right now affect the cause of the working class?” Being that the working class is the majority of society, this quote applies to their issues.
Working class people are under assault every day. They are losing health benefits, they are getting paid less to do more work, education funding is being stripped and the list goes on. Participating in the democratic process and helping to get progressive politicians into office, fighting for fair pay at the working place, and lobbying for better education can help to begin the reversal of these trends.
Doing this does something else as well. It gives us the opportunity to educate people on the benefits of a socialist America. It gives us face to face opportunities to show people what a real worker’s movement can do when everyone gets involved, and we can develop relationships that will last for decades as the struggle continues. Participating in the democratic process gives people a sense of belonging and purpose in their community. It gives them a sense of worth and helps them to be more willing to stand up when they encounter injustice.
People that espouse the idea that this all useless and is only blocking the material conditions for a revolution are really only working against themselves and the cause of the working class and are, furthermore, showing their naivety. Do they not see that the revolution is already happening? For the reasons previously stated and more, working class people are facing a battle from all sides. Getting involved in the democratic process is their means by which to peacefully change their circumstances.
As regards the naivety of the people that espouse that the material conditions for a violent revolution are being blocked, are they really that naïve? The working class people of this country have lost enough loved ones already. They do not want to lose more, and to assume that worsening their conditions will make them desperate enough to commit to violence is just ignorance.
Most people are peaceful and just want to live a comfortable life, in which they can be happy and support their family. Supporting the idea that violent revolution is the only answer is counterproductive. It will push people away and make them less likely to get involved in peaceful methods, like voting and union organizing that will produce actual long lasting results.