Workers and oppressed need to organize and to fight independently!
Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 15 October 2020, www.thecommunists.net
1. The upcoming U.S. election is different from those of the past. It is not different because of the two senile presidential candidates. It is different because of the circumstances in which it takes place. The U.S. experiences simultaneously a dramatically accelerating decay as a global hegemonic power as well as its worst domestic crisis since the civil war in 1861-65. To put it briefly, the main features of this crisis are:
a) The U.S. is in the midst of an economic depression not seen since 1929-33 with millions of people looking for a job in vain;
b) Its ruling class is deeply divided resulting in a vicious faction struggle, paralysis and threats of a de facto coup d'etat;
c) Washington suffered a series of setbacks and defeats in foreign policy resulting, among others, in a humiliating process of military retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan;
d) The country has experienced a popular uprising when the sadistic murder of George Floyd by the police in late May provoked a wave of mass demonstrations, more than 750 strikes and street battles in numerous cities.
2. Facing an unprecedented decline of capitalism, the ruling class in the U.S. is deeply divided how best to save their neck at the expense of the workers and oppressed. Trump and Biden, the Republicans and the Democrats offer different faces and different words, but they share the determination to attack the social and democratic rights of the popular masses. Both are enemies of the working class, Biden no less than Trump. In such a situation, it is more urgent than ever that the workers and oppressed take the road of independent struggle and independent organizing. Such independence necessitates refusing support for any candidate and any party of the ruling capitalist class. Hence, the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) calls to vote neither for Trump nor for Biden, neither for the Republicans nor for the Democrats, at the upcoming election.
3. The leaderships of the AFL-CIO, of mass organizations of people of color as well as various left-wing groups support Biden and the Democrats. Some do it uncritically; others combine it with political criticism. We are aware that given the ultra-reactionary, provocative and utterly dumb character of the orange man, many workers and oppressed will vote for Biden – not so much out of support for the later but rather as a tactic to kick out Trump. While we fully share their hatred for the racist instigator, we think that voting for Biden and the Democrats is a wrong tactic. It is rather a dangerous cul-de-sac which obstructs the creation of an independent road of struggle for the workers and oppress. However, it is also noteworthy and encouraging that significant sectors of the vanguard seem to reject such electoralist logic.
4. The RCIT also rejects voting for candidates of the Green Party as it has been advocated in the past by various centrist forces like the now-dissolved Cliffite ISO or Socialist Alternative (CWI/ISA). The Greens are a petty-bourgeois force with no roots among the working class and no record of playing any serious role in mass struggles like the current Black Live Matters uprising.
5. It is a well-known argument of various Sanderistas, the ex-Stalinist CPUSA and some so-called “Marxists” to claim that Biden and the Democrats represent the “lesser evil”. This is simply not true. Social inequality dramatically increased in the past decades – no less during the Clinton and Obama period than during the Bush and Trump presidency. In Obama's first three years in office, around 1.18 million immigrants were deported, while around 800,000 deportations have taken place under Trump in his three years of presidency. Brutal killings of black people by the police take place in “blue” states in no less numbers than in “red” states. It is certainly true that Trump is an extraordinary provocative and inane reactionary. In fact, he is a kind of dysfunctional leader of U.S. capitalism. No wonder that more billionaires make donations for Biden’s campaign than for Trump’s or – to quote the business magazine Forbes – “the billionaires seem to love Joe Biden”. A Biden presidency might be more integrative, less provocative than the current clown. But socialists have no reason to favor a more functional leadership of U.S. capitalism! They rather need to advocate a more functional program of struggle against all capitalist rulers!
6. In case Trump wins the election by massive fraud and intimidation of electors, Biden will not advocate a mass struggle to drive the lunatic out of the White House. He will do everything to avoid such a storm of the Bastille but will rather limit himself to appeal to (and wait for) the courts. In case Biden wins the election, he will work hard to pacify and end the popular uprising so that the ruling class can continue offloading the costs of capitalism’s worst crisis on the back of the workers and poor. In any case, Biden is man of the billionaires and an obstacle for the struggle of the popular masses. If socialists would vote for Biden they would encourage political trust in this enemy of the people and make it more difficult to continue and deepen the struggle after the election.
7. Hence, the task of revolutionary forces is to explain pedagogically that the struggle in defense of our social and democratic rights must be conducted independently of any faction of the bourgeoisie. Such a struggle must take place, first and foremost, on the streets, at the workplaces and in the neighborhoods. For this it is urgent to build popular assemblies and committees of action in workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and universities. Such committees should decide about the demands and the course of action. They should also elect delegates so that there can be a regional and national coordination. Likewise, it is necessary to build armed self-defense committees in order to defend the workers and oppressed against the enemy in blue and to drive the police and right-wing agitators as much as possible out of the neighborhoods.
8. Most importantly, revolutionaries should advocate the creation of an independent workers party based on mass organizations of the working class and the oppressed. Such a party would remain completely independent from both parties of the capitalist establishment – the Republicans as well as the Democrats. We call unionists, supporters of Sanders and the DSA to break with the Democratic Party and to join forces in building such a new Labor Party. Revolutionaries advocate a program of struggle for such a party, aiming towards the creation of a workers government which expropriates the super-rich and nationalizes the core sectors of the economy under workers control. The RCIT wants to unite revolutionary activists on the basis of such a program! Join us!
International Bureau of the RCIT
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The RCIT has published a number of documents on the popular uprising in the U.S. which are compiled on a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/articles-on-uprising-after-murder-of-george-floyd/.