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30 October 2020

No Vote for the Capitalist Democratic Party!

For a Workers Party that Fights for Workers Rule!

The Democrats’ anti-­Trump “resistance” has been working overtime for four years to win back U.S. imperialism’s chief executive office. The Democrats paint this election as a “historic turning point.” In reality, it is a repeat of the seemingly endless cycle in American politics, switching from one capitalist administration to another and back again while the exploitation and oppression of the working masses stand unchallenged and unchanged. The Marxist Spartacist League/U.S. opposes on principle any support to or vote for any bourgeois party: Democrat, Republican or Green. What is necessary is to build a multiracial revolutionary workers party, independent of and opposed to the capitalist parties, to lead the exploited and oppressed in the struggle for a workers government.

Many workers and youth have little enthusiasm for Biden but are being roped into supporting the Democrats with the line that you have to hold your nose and vote them in to stop Trump. It’s a lie that putting a Democrat in office will improve the conditions of workers, minorities and women. Spreading lesser-­evil illusions in the Democrats, the pro-­capitalist labor bureaucracy and fake socialists chain the workers to their class enemy. Like the Republicans, the Democratic Party represents the interests of the American capitalist ruling class, i.e., the owners of the means of production and the banks. Bolshevik leader V.I. Lenin succinctly described bourgeois elections as a chance for voters to “decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people.” The working class has no interest in which representative of the capitalist class is president.

The main mechanism by which the American bourgeoisie politically subordinates workers and the oppressed is the capitalist two-­party system. This depends in large measure on the big lie that there are major and decisive differences between the Democrats and Republicans. It is an illusion entertained by many workers and fostered by the reformists that the Republicans are more “reactionary” and the Democrats are more “progressive.” Both parties are equally reactionary in their fundamental positions and policies, which are determined by the needs of U.S. imperialism and its program of world domination. This is the ironclad framework within which both parties must move and maneuver.

The differences that exist between the Democrats and Republicans are secondary and reflect tactical differences and conflicting interests among different sections of the ruling class. Each party has political machines to promote its own special interests and use different techniques and methods of demagogy to hold various layers of the population under their control. As American Trotskyist leader James P. Cannon remarked in 1944 about the U.S. capitalists: “What is their fundamental method? It is the two-­party system. Which party do they support? They support both. And what is even more important, both parties support them in all fundamental questions.”

The liberals and reformists want you to forget what happened the last time the Democrats had the White House. The Obama/Biden administration, like every other White House administration before them, waged war on workers, blacks and immigrants. They butchered thousands and plundered the oppressed masses of the world, including through trade pacts like NAFTA (today USMCA), which bleeds the Mexican people.

Democrats are telling black people that Trump is the worst racist and to vote for them in order to “get the white-­supremacist out” of office. It is a swindle that the Democrats are any less a party of racial oppression than Trump and the Republicans. The difference between the two parties is that while Republicans openly state that they will attack the unions, black people, women’s rights and immigrants, Democrats lie about it and do the same thing. As ­Malcolm X once wrote: “‘Conservatism’ in America’s politics means ‘Let’s keep the n---ers in their place.’ And ‘liberalism’ means ‘Let’s keep the knee-­grows in their place—but tell them we’ll treat them a little better; let’s fool them more, with more promises’.”

The Democrats are a savage, racist party of imperialism that is even more useful to the capitalists, particularly in times of crisis, because workers and the oppressed have more illusions in them. If anyone thinks putting Democrats in the White House will change a damn thing for black people, just look at all the Democratic Party-­run major cities. Life is hell for black people from NYC to Chicago to Los Angeles, with segregated schools, housing and health care and rampant racist cop terror.

The working class needs to be organized into its own party to fight for its class interests. The way forward is not through support to “lesser evilism” but through fighting now to build a nucleus of a combat workers party that fights for workers rule. To reach this goal, Leon Trotsky stated in the 1938 Transitional Program of the Fourth International, “it is necessary to help the masses in the process of the daily struggle to find the bridge between present demands and the socialist program of the revolution.”

As Marxists, we seek to win over the most advanced workers, youth and oppressed to this class-­struggle perspective. Against mass unemployment, we seek to unite workers and the unemployed in a struggle for a shorter workweek to spread the available work among all with no loss in pay. We call for free, quality 24-­hour childcare, family leave at full pay and free abortion on demand as part of quality health care for all. We fight for full citizenship rights for all immigrants. Against racial segregation we demand quality, integrated housing and schools. It is in the direct interests of the multiracial working class to champion the fight for black freedom in order to emancipate the whole class.

The Spartacist League, U.S. section of the International Communist League, seeks to build a party modeled after the Bolshevik Party that led the workers of Russia to power in the 1917 October Revolution. Under Lenin and Trotsky, the Bolsheviks saw the Revolution as the opening shot in a global fight for socialist revolution. They won workers to their banner through uncompromising political battle against the Mensheviks—­the fake socialists of their day—­who supported the liberal bourgeoisie. The ICL is committed to forging Bolshevik parties around the world, sections of a reforged Fourth International, to lead new October Revolutions that will lay the basis for a world planned, socialized economy.

We don’t need a new capitalist master in the White House, we need a new ruling class: the workers!

— 30 October 2020