Friday, July 29, 2005

Revolutionaries and Elections

Should revolutionaries take part in the election?

I do not find any reason why a revolutionary should not take part in the elections. All measures should be fully utilised in making sure that the socialist messege reaches the masses and eventually lead to their awareness.

What are elections for a communist? In Lenin's terminology, they are a compromises.

A compromise is one of the most important political tool. The political struggle of the proletariat sometimes takes off with the help of compomises. An effective revolutionary compromise is the one which eventually helps the revolutionaries to actualize their final goal i-e a socialist revolution.

According to Shaheed Bhagat Sigh, "... compromise is an essential weapon which has to be wielded every now and then as the struggle develops. But the thing that we must keep always before us is the idea of the movement. We must always maintain a clear notion as to the aim for the achievement of which we are fighting. That helps us to verify the success and failures of our movements and we can easily formulate the future programme... You are fighting to get sixteen annas from your enemy, you get only one anna. Pocket it and fight for the rest... The revolutionaries must always keep in mind that they are striving for a complete revolution. Complete mastery of power in their hands."

A compromise is only correct if it is a means to an end rather than the end in themselves.

Coming back to the initial question. Elections is a very effective compormise, if utilised proporly. Back in 1900s, Lenin used the Duma to spread his propoganda and advocated the participation of revolutionaries in Duma. I think parliment is a very effective way to spread the socialist ideals among the general population. A socialist revolution can only come around once the masses are are aware of their condition and the alternative to capitalism. That is once they are concious. All methods should be brought to use to spead awareness and truth. A true revolutionary sitting in the parliment should use his position to spread the messege of socialism and communism. Bhagat Singh had to throw a bomb in the parliment to do that.


Statement from Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (

Why Revolutionaries Should Participate in Capitalist Parliaments and Elections?

The capitalist class created the parliamentary system in order to facilitate the work of the capitalist class. Thus, the parliament is an instrument of capitalist rule. It follows that the final goal of our party is to dispense with capitalist parliaments and create a peoples parliament. Some people conclude from this argument that we must not participate in the capitalist parliament. They argue that we must always boycott parliaments and capitalist institutions because participation in bourgeois institutions corrupts revolutionaries. This is also incorrect.
Generally speaking, as long as revolutionaries are unable to disperse capitalist institutions with revolutionary institutions, we work inside them to educate workers who are stupefied by the agents of the capitalist class. Therefore, revolutionaries build a working-class opposition within all capitalist institutions.

People who argue that parliaments should always be boycotted because they have a corrupting influence on revolutionaries have not understood the tactics of class struggle. Our goal is to create a new revolutionary society of justice and equality. Naturally, such a society cannot be created with leaders who are easily corrupted by petty privileges. In fact, parliament is an excellent test to check the honesty and sincerity of leaders. The workers can not only create a good incorruptible parliamentary group of convinced, devoted, heroic revolutionaries, they are actively creating an entire society on the basis of equality and justice.

During ordinary conditions the parliament helps to gauge the measure of success of the workers struggle. During repressive conditions when it is often necessary to hide leaders underground, the development of good, reliable, experienced and authoritative leaders can only be accomplished by combining open parliamentary and trade union activity with the work of distributing Party literature. Further, at times the tactic of boycott is extremely useful for the working-class. In a situation where extra parliamentary revolutionary mass action (for example, strikes and agrarian movements) is growing with exceptional rapidity, the tactic of boycott may intensify the revolutionary wave and strengthen the connection of the party with the broad masses.

In conclusion, the revolutionary party utilizes elections and the parliamentary platform in a revolutionary manner to educate and enlighten the working-class. The experience of revolutionary movements in the world teaches important lessons. Experience teaches that the work of dispersing a capitalist parliament is not hindered but facilitated by the presence of a working-class opposition within the parliament. Therefore, participation in elections and the parliament is obligatory for the revolutionary party of the working-class.

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