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Friday 2:15pm

A Marxist approach to parliamentary elections

Left debates
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Introduced by Sydney socialist activist Josh Lees.

Many socialists have argued in recent years that electoral projects, intervening into bourgeois parliamentary elections, are a key method to rebuild the socialist left. This is true of reformists who support figures like Corbyn, Sanders or Melanchon more or less uncritically, but also many who have come from the revolutionary socialist tradition, who have backed these projects more critically or sought to build “broad parties”to contest elections. But how has all this played out? The evidence of recent years suggests the fetishisation of electoral activity has been a failure, has not built the left generally, and in fact has significantly weakened it, dragging socialist organisations to the right where it hasn’t destroyed them altogether.

Readings

‘Marxists and Elections’ by Paul D’Amato https://isreview.org/issue/13/marxists-and-elections

Daniel Taylor ‘What do Marxists say about elections?’ https://redflag.org.au/node/6775

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