November 2014 will signal another round of capitalist elections. It's during this season that we are hammered with the same tired rhetoric that "your people died for the right to vote so by not voting, you are forsaking the legacy of your own people's sacrifices!" So many well meaning people are taken in with this propaganda every time the demopublican machine seeks to exploit our people for it's master's - the multi-national capitalist entities that dictate imperialism.
First, let's deconstruct this false propaganda about our people dying for the right to vote. This rhetoric talks about voting as if it's a principle, meaning it's a value that we can never compromise. We can never confuse principles with strategy and tactics. The vote, especially within a capitalist political apparatus that we don't control, can never be a principle. Instead, it is without question, a tactic. And, like Kwame Ture always said "tactics change based on their effectiveness. If they work, you use them. If they don't, you try something else!" He should know. He was only arrested and beaten 41 times struggling for the vote for Africans in Mississippi and Alabama in the 60s when he was known as Stokely Carmichael and a member (and eventually chairperson) for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Now, no one needs to take from the above that we are telling people that you shouldn't vote. If you know anything about our political line, it's always consistent - join some organization working for our people. Some organization working for justice. We don't even say you have to join a revolutionary organization and this is where we receive plenty of criticism from so-called revolutionaries. We say join any organization because we know that we can't talk to the people about revolutionary organization until they first understand organization, meaning they understand what it means to work with people, build with people, guide the direction of a program, and build capacity to fight. People who refuse to join the All African People's Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) can just as easily learn those things in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). So, despite the fact many people are dishonest and try to now pretend as if they were always revolutionary (in case you don't know, I'm talking to those of you who are so revolutionary today, but drank the "change" kool-aid of the obama democratic party rhetoric of 2008 and 2012), we all know we didn't start out with radical, revolutionary views. We know that someone had to work with us to bring our consciousness along. So, if people join organizations, any organizations, and learn to engage in organizational work, then that will make them much more open and available to learn and understand a revolutionary message somewhere down the road. So join some organization working for justice.
So, say that organization is one dedicated to working within the capitalist electoral process. You still have no issue from us. Our only directive is that your electoral work cannot be focused on individuals or issues. It must be focused on building a movement and the individuals must simply be cogs for that movement to push the system for reforms while the revolutionary forces continue to organize for permanent change. If there is no mass movement, then regardless of your intentions, you are being unwittingly pimped by the demopublican machine because your candidate has no power to hold the system accountable to anything without the push that comes only from the organized masses. So, electoral politics, even in a capitalist system, has value with a movement behind it. It's not the solution, but it provides the initial movement that creates space for the true revolutionary struggle to take hold. But, electoral work, with no movement behind it, is fantasy politics.
So when November comes and goes, remember - only the masses of people make history, not individuals. Remember that voting is simply a tactic, not a principle. Our principles are values centered around concepts that cannot be compromised e.g. free quality universal education and health care. Guaranteed employment and living space. Free child care. Racism, sexism, etc., being outlawed. These principles can only be actualized in a socialist system and that system will only happen with revolutionary change...Not electoral politics. No people can free themselves by negotiating, voting, and buying freedom from their masters. Freedom has to be taken and the only way we can ultimately do this is through organi