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Commentary :: Government & Elections : Resistance & Tactics

This Time Round, Mind the Ballot. Too Many Lives Depend On It

Antiauthoritarians and other progressives should vote to ensure the defeat of the Bush regime
I argue briefly that given the critical situation and its political fall-out, at home and abroad, antiauthoritarians stateside should recognize three priorities for the immediate future, and move beyond electoral abstentionism on Nov. 2:
(1) Defeat the forces represented by the Bush regime, one of the most dangerous and destructive in U.S. history. In working to vote Bush out, the American left needs to cobble together what is commonly called a "popular front" at the level of the national electoral game. That includes antiauthoritarians.
(2) Grow the Greens at the local level wherever possible, seeing this as one avenue to advancing our own broader anti-capitalist struggle -- the Green movement, locally, nationally and internationally, is an expanding diverse structure in which to do mass political education and outreach. More anarchists need to be inside their movement, working side by side with Greens for change. Now’s the time to forge that connection. And to deepen it after November 2.
(3) Continue the work in building an antiauthoritarian, anti-capitalist movement for social, economic, racial and environmental justice that shows people direct democracy is a lot more than casting a vote every two or four years. Yet remember, as Chris Crass emphasizes, that anarchism and electoral work can go hand in hand, especially in grassroots local-level campaigns. He states: "I believe that our politics of non-engagement in so many crucial struggles involving the state, electoral politics among them, have in the end done more to de-legitimize anarchists than to de-legitimize the state. Furthermore, I have worked with community-based struggles that have both turned out the vote and attacked the legitimacy of the state."

Full article on George Salzman's website at

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