Socialism through elections

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Socialism through elections

Post by RedBrasil on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:44 am

Do you think it's possible to create a dictatorship throught elections? I mean, if a party gains 80% or more, in senate, presidentials,governors etc. we can start to create a non-official government in a form of dotp and declare state of emergency and close down the representative democracy.

I think it's kind of impossible, I'm still a revolutionary.
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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by RedBrasil on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:44 am

dictatorship of the proletariat*
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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by Paradosis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:59 am

No.

Because the state is not simply the parliament- its the senior civil service, the army, the police, etc.


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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by DSN on Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:03 am

Why would we need to declare a state of emergency? The vanguard's role should not be dictator of the proletariat.

Anyway, onto the question. No, I don't think it's possible.

Also, welcome to the forum!

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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:06 am

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat is not a dictatorship in the manner that you are thinking that it is. It is still a democratic institution but the bourgeoisie are the ones without power or vote. The proletariat are the ones that are in power in the DotP.

I'll rephrase: during the DotP cultural and political hegemony are held by the proletariat in a similar manner to how they are held by the bourgeoisie today. There will be no dictator.

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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by RedBrasil on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:55 am

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat is not a dictatorship in the manner that you are thinking that it is. It is still a democratic institution but the bourgeoisie are the ones without power or vote. The proletariat are the ones that are in power in the DotP.

I'll rephrase: during the DotP cultural and political hegemony are held by the proletariat in a similar manner to how they are held by the bourgeoisie today. There will be no dictator.

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Yes, I know it, but if we end private property, bourgeoisie will be proletariat too.

I don't believe this possibility, I was just wondering
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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by DSN on Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:46 am

It would be horribly counterproductive to accept the bourgeoisie as our own simply because their private property is confiscated. Then again, they are a minority and hence unlikely to have any significant effect on proletarian revolution through (proletarian) democracy. This is something interesting you might like to read from a Marxist-Leninist interpretation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the vanguard party:

Why do we need a revolutionary party? The basic reason is in two statements Marx made. He stated that "the emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class" and at the same time he said that "the prevailing ideas of every society are the ideas of the ruling class."

Tony Cliff: Marxism at the Millennium - Chapter 2: Why do we need a revolutionary party?

I'd suggest reading more of the article to get a better understanding of this concept. Bear in mind that this is simply a Marxist-Leninist take on the DotP, but it does address the suppression of the bourgeoisie which you show concern for.

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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by safeduck on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:43 pm

No. For these reasons:

* The elections could just be faked to keep the bourgeoisie protected. Obviously meaning you would never win power.
* The armed forces of a "democratic" nation, full of associates and apologists of the bourgeoisie in it's high ranks, would probably just coup you.
* Other bourgeois parties would still remain in power, meaning they could just try to get you kicked out in one way or another.
* The bourgeoisie could just use the courts to stop you from seizing any means of production.
* In a "democratic" country, you have to obey some form of rules, such as a constitution to stay in power. Socialism has many "unconstitutional" policies.

The bourgeoisie has constructed a system of parliamentary "democracy" to keep them and their wealth completely protected from any possibility in terms of elections. Therefore, it would be pretty much impossible to have any kind of socialist revolution with this method.

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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:11 pm

safeduck wrote:No. For these reasons:

* The elections could just be faked to keep the bourgeoisie protected. Obviously meaning you would never win power.

They aren't really faked in most western governments; though there are some exceptions like Karl Rove. The way that the bourgeoisie determines the outcomes of elections is through influencing voting zones and through marketing techniques.

* The armed forces of a "democratic" nation, full of associates and apologists of the bourgeoisie in it's high ranks, would probably just coup you.

I don't think that you would find that many enlisted men with 'associates' in the bourgeoisie, let alone the richest. If enough considered themselves to be socialists then why would they enact a coup against those that they agree with?

* Other bourgeois parties would still remain in power, meaning they could just try to get you kicked out in one way or another.

Sure.

* The bourgeoisie could just use the courts to stop you from seizing any means of production.

Without physical enforcement, police and military, they couldn't. Even if they did there would hopefully be enough of us to make that seem unwise.

* In a "democratic" country, you have to obey some form of rules, such as a constitution to stay in power. Socialism has many "unconstitutional" policies.

Again, that only works if there is an enforcement mechanism that uses violence that will comply.

The bourgeoisie has constructed a system of parliamentary "democracy" to keep them and their wealth completely protected from any possibility in terms of elections. Therefore, it would be pretty much impossible to have any kind of socialist revolution with this method.

That isn't explicitly true; they didn't do so on purpose exactly. It does turn out that way though.


All that said, I don't think that elections should be the goal.

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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by safeduck on Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:43 pm

They aren't really faked in most western governments; though there are some exceptions like Karl Rove. The way that the bourgeoisie determines the outcomes of elections is through influencing voting zones and through marketing techniques.

I think that would change if the bourgeoisie was under a real potential threat. They have no need to fake elections right now because there is no party posing a threat.

I don't think that you would find that many enlisted men with 'associates' in the bourgeoisie, let alone the richest. If enough considered themselves to be socialists then why would they enact a coup against those that they agree with?

Most high ranking officials of the armed forces are usually from rich, bourgeois families or align themselves with the bourgeoisie. Obviously I'm not implying your regular sergeant or private is bourgeois. If a socialist government was elected, that wouldn't instantaneously make the armed forces socialists would it? The same military commanders would be in charge still. At least for the first couple of months, which is plenty of time for them to kick off a coup.

Without physical enforcement, police and military, they couldn't. Even if they did there would hopefully be enough of us to make that seem unwise.

But you can't get rid of the police and military by being elected into a regular/traditional type government.


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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by RedBrasil on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:20 pm

Nice posts, but I have some points

Doesn't Venezuela proves that we can have a radical transformation both in economics and the way political system is made?

I don't agree 100% with Hugo Chávez, but I still can see a strong popular movement gaining supporters all over the country (Brazil), winning a big portion of parliament, and changing some points of constituion and allowing the implementation of full socialism, creating some popular assemblies to control the politicians, creating real punitive laws against corruption and aproving some laws by referendums. If a party can have this power, it can through slow transformations even changes the monetary system by a system of calculation in kind ( http://www.socialistphalanx.com/t1153-otto-neurath-and-calculation-in-kind ) .

I know it is kind of illusion wanting a democratic revolution right now, but why should we expect a victory in a violent revolution, with all the drones and robot-airplanes? I think everyday it becomes harder to make a revolution in terms of militarism.
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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by slavicsocialist on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:03 am


3) The flow and ebb of the movement, and tactics. Tactics are the determination of the line of conduct of the proletariat in the comparatively short period of the flow or ebb of the movement, of the rise or decline of the revolution, the fight to carry out this line by means of replacing old forms of struggle and organisation by new ones, old slogans by new ones, by combining these forms, etc. While the object of strategy is to win the war against tsarism, let us say, or against the bourgeoisie, to carry through the struggle against tsarism or against the bourgeoisie to its end, tactics pursue less important objects, for their aim is not the winning of the war as a whole, but the winning of some particular engagements or some particular battles, the carrying through successfully of some particular campaigns or actions corresponding to the concrete circumstances in the given period of rise or decline of the revolution. Tactics are a part of strategy, subordinate to it and serving it.

Tactics change according to flow and ebb. While the strategic plan remained unchanged during the first stage of the revolution (1903 to February 1917), tactics changed several times during that period. In the period from 1903 to 1905 the Party pursued offensive tactics, for the tide of the revolution was rising, the movement was on the upgrade, and tactics had to proceed from this fact. Accordingly, the forms of struggle were revolutionary, corresponding to the requirements of the rising tide of the revolution. Local political strikes, political demonstrations, the general political strike, boycott of the Duma, uprising, revolutionary fighting slogans-such were the successive forms of the struggle during that period. These changes in the forms of struggle were accomplished by corresponding changes in the forms of organisation. Factory committees, revolutionary peasant committees, strike committees, Soviets of workers' deputies, a workers, party operating more or less openly-such were the forms of organisation during that period.

In the period from 1907 to 1912 the Party was compelled to resort to tactics of retreat; for we then experienced a decline in the revolutionary movement, the ebb of the revolution, and tactics necessarily had to take this fact into consideration. The forms of struggle, as well as the forms of organisation, changed accordingly: instead of the boycott of the Duma-participation in the Duma; instead of open revolutionary actions outside the Duma-actions and work in the Duma; instead of general political strikes-partial economic strikes, or simply a lull in activities. Of course, the Party had to go underground that period, while the revolutionary mass organisations were replaced by cultural, educational, co-operative, insurance and other legal organisations.

The same must be said of the second and third stages of the revolution, during which tactics changed dozens of times, whereas the strategic plans remained unchanged.

Tactics deal with the forms of struggle and the forms of organisation of the proletariat, with their changes and combinations. During a given stage of the revolution tactics may change several times, depending on the flow or ebb, the rise or decline of the revolution.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1924/foundations-leninism/ch07.htm

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Re: Socialism through elections

Post by Rapaille on Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:59 am

Elections and the entire parliamentary system are a farce.

As socialists we must acknowledge that the ownership question is at the basis of revolutionary thought. This means that in the entire history of class societies the power was always firmly in the hands of those who own the means of production. This is no different in our current parliamentary democracy, which represents the struggle between different groups of capitalists at the expense of the oppressed masses. However, we must bear in mind that these political parties all have one common goal (including the social-democratic and pseudo-socialist reformists): keeping the majority of the people they oppress silent, passive and a-political, so that the exploitation can go through and the capitalists remain in power. That's exactly why all political parties defend the parliamentary system. Any period of relative quietness on the front of the class struggle is sold by the bourgeois-democracy to the oppressed masses as a guaranty for a so-called "liberty".  

The bourgeois democracy is the system which best serves the capitalist production-apparatus. In other words: Bourgeois democracy is by definition always a dictatorship!
(This in contradiction to the reformists who like to put "democracy" as opposite to "dictatorship", while in fact both are the same within capitalist society.)

Ofcourse socialists can try to use the parliamentary platform to agitate the masses into revolutionary action. Not to defend the parliamentary system, but in fact to debunk it.

However, the real struggle should all times be waged in the working spaces and the factories in order to succeed. Only the awareness of the masses and the overthrow of parliamentary democracy can create the dictatorship of the proletariat. In that sense direct action is the only way to overthrow the capitalist production-apparatus and to install a socialist council-democracy.

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