Many liberals and other Democrats see Trump as the main problem facing the U.S. Therefore their focus is on defeating him in the next election (or impeachment). They focus on the electoral system and hope for salvation through government action. I disagree. Trump is a major problem, but he is the culmination of years of political and economic development, and is related to similar politics in other countries. The fight against Trumpism requires a non-electoral and militant program.
The Question of State Power and the Anarchists’ Answer
The question of state government elections and running a Workers or Socialist political party continues to be raised in the working class movement and the Left globally. As we may know, there was excitement about the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party in Britain, left political parties in certain parts of Europe and Latin America and, more recently, certain shifts to more centrist positions in the United States amongst a section of the Democratic Party calling themselves “Democratic Socialists”. In South Africa, many workers and some activists seem cautiously optimistic by NUMSA’s formation of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party that will seek to participate in the 2019 general elections.
With the looming federal election, the campaign circus ramps up again. ASF Geelong contributes this article in order to clarify its anti-electoral stance. This is made more important given the development of new electoral groupings in Victoria drawing substantial support from activists on the far left.
Clearly many people on the Left think the real goal is to achieve state power to realise the promises of the future. In reality this means building a political party and pouring a substantial amount of resources – human and financial – into its development. Many also believe that a Left party, however problematic, would be better than the existing parties, particularly those of the radical right and populists promoting race essentialism and xenophobia, who foment fear of and between different social groupings. History is not too kind, however, to the belief that political parties are vehicles of radical, progressive, socialist transformation.