Communist Party USA National Secretary and Obama “friend” Sam Webb, writing in the Peoples World on working with the Democratic Party. The communists are blatantly working with and through the Democrats, to further their own agenda and Sam Webb is not shy about about admitting it.
No decisive and enduring shift in class relations in our country is possible without a decisive shift of power in the state sphere. Other things are necessary – mass sentiment, grassroots organization, popular insurgency, broad alliances, division in your adversary’s camp, etc. – but by themselves these are not sufficient to fundamentally change the trajectory of the class struggle.
Only when combined with control over some, if not all, of the levers of state power (presidency, Congress, governmental agencies, courts, military, and more) does the wish for fundamental change turn into a real possibility.
The notion that electoral politics has little progressive potential, that it is “politics lite,” that it pales in the face of direct action (an unnecessary juxtaposition) is mistaken and harmful.
Furthermore, a relationship with the Democratic Party isn’t heresy or something to profusely apologize for.
Now, it’s true that there is always a danger of losing one’s political identity and independence in the mainstream of politics (which is where the left should be), but to turn it into a reason to boycott (or participate only half-heartedly in) the electoral arena is a recipe for marginalization. In fact, I would argue that for the left, a relationship to the Democratic Party at this stage of struggle is a strategic necessity and later on probably a tactical requirement.
In 2008, there was no way to defeat the right without such a relationship. The same can be said about this fall’s elections.
The Democrats will be exploited, until the communists feel the until the time is right to build their own massed based political party to seize state power. New York’s communist and socialist led Working Families Party, could provide a model and framework for such a future organization.
What is more, there is no evidence that it backburners the struggle for political independence. In fact, new forms of political independence have developed in recent years in important ways, but differently than most of us on the left imagined. To our surprise, they took shape within the framework of the two-party system, not outside of it, and within labor and other major social organizations, operating under the broad canopy of the Democratic Party.
If an alternative people’s party is going to emerge (and we should persuasively make the case for one as we participate in existing struggles), these new independent expressions will be its basis and combine with forms operating outside the two party system, such as the Working Families Party, the Progressive Party, and others.
Finally, the state in our society is a historical product and is structured to produce and then reproduce on an extended scale the profits and power of the transnational corporations and banks. Obviously this is an enormous advantage to the right since it favors capitalism in the raw. But still it doesn’t follow that the left should avoid the state like the plague.
Properly organized and united, the working class and people’s movement can win positions in government and harness them to shift public policy, institutions and agencies to the advantage of working people and their allies. And in so doing, they will create the practical and ideological conditions for more radical changes.
With the elections a few months away, we should quickly digest the lesson.
The pro Cuban/pro China Communist Party USA is openly admitting to working with the Democratic Party to advance its marxist-leninist agenda. Surely the brave and vigilant MainStreamMedia will be all over this story?