Sunday, 18 April 2010

For visible and vocal abstension, not apathy

Class War - Barnsdale Brigade has some wise words to offer on General Election strategy;
I think not turning up at the polling station to get your ballot paper is a bad move, particularly if you are endeavouring to make some form of protest or point. Get your paper! Cast your vote if there is a suitable candidate to represent you (rare as hen’s teeth), alternatively spoil it with NOTA (none of the above) scrawled on it, or take it away with you to one of the ritual ballot paper bonfires – but don’t lay in bed in pathetic futility. Protest or make that point in a way that will be noticed!
Though I might disagree with the idea that there is such a thing as a suitable candidate, I heartily endorse what BB is saying. he anarchist position on voting is mistaken for apathy too often, by the government and the reformist left alike. We need to make a point that we are not simply refusing to care who governs us, but that we are deliberately opting out of the election campaign because we wish to build up alternatives to government.

At some point before the 6th May, perhaps May Day, I will be offering an in-depth critique of all of the significant parties (left and right) standing in the election. The point of this will be to emphasise the limits of change within hierarchical power structures and to offer a perspective on the matter that goes beyond "The Big Three" to point out the folly of political parties, full stop.

In the meantime, I would urge readers and comrades to check out Ian Bone's broad principles for the formation of any new Radical Organisation, and the more in-depth discussion of point one and point two. Even if you do not agree with everything he says, they offer a way in to a discussion that anarchists and revolutionaries must have.

The struggle goes far beyond the General Election, and we need more than slogans.