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Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

"@" I don't support any of the candidates you've mentioned either, but I still voted.

One of the fundamental problems of political anarchism is that, in general, it does not seek to build a political alternative to the government in power, but instead seeks to influence that government by scaring it to the left through street actions. This produces a political vacuum when faced with any real struggle, a vacuum that ends up putting many anarchists in one of the camps of the oppressors rather than building a political alternative. This could be seen in this last election with the large number of anarchists that supported Kerry. It is also a trend that can be seen going back to the beginnings of the anarchist movement.

In 1873 Friedrich Engels polemicizing against the Spanish anarchists said:

“As soon as they were faced with a serious revolutionary situation, the Bakuninists had to throw the whole of their old program overboard. First they sacrificed their doctrine of absolute abstention from political, and especially electoral, activities. Then anarchy, the abolition of the State, shared the same fate.... They then dropped the principle that the workers must not take part in any revolution that did not have as its aim the immediate and complete emancipation of the proletariat, and they themselves took part in a movement that was notoriously bourgeois. Finally they...sat quite comfortably in the juntas of the various towns, and moreover almost everywhere as an impotent minority outvoted and politically exploited by the bourgeoisie.?

The goal, in my opinion, must be to build a political alternative to both the Democrats and Republicans that is capable of transforming our entire society. Of course that is much harder work than declaring our independence, not voting, and letting those in power keep their power.

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