“Capitalist politics is about defusing that collective confidence and replacing it with individual passivity. The mechanism for that is the capitalist state. All political disputes have to be settled through the bureaucratic machinery of the state. If you don’t wield state power in capitalist society, you aren’t allowed to change the laws, or give different instructions to the police who are tear-gassing you, or do whatever it is you want to do. If you want to win, you have to play the game of replacing one bureaucratic government with another. The desire for victory, combined with an acceptance of the rules of capitalist politics, can mean that anti-political social movements quickly find their energy converted into extreme illusions in new electoral political parties and their charismatic candidates. Activism is redirected into electoral canvassing. Protests that threaten to disrupt electoral victories are frowned on. To the extent movements are tolerated, it is only to bolster support for elected politicians. And by definition, the more those parties succeed in official politics, the more they are converted into instruments for administering capitalism – and so they betray, demoralise and paralyse their supporters.”

“Capitalist politics is about defusing that collective confidence and replacing it with individual passivity. The mechanism for that is the capitalist state. All political disputes have to be settled through the bureaucratic machinery of the state. If you don’t wield state power in capitalist society, you aren’t allowed to change the laws, or give different instructions to the police who are tear-gassing you, or do whatever it is you want to do. If you want to win, you have to play the game of replacing one bureaucratic government with another. The desire for victory, combined with an acceptance of the rules of capitalist politics, can mean that anti-political social movements quickly find their energy converted into extreme illusions in new electoral political parties and their charismatic candidates. Activism is redirected into electoral canvassing. Protests that threaten to disrupt electoral victories are frowned on. To the extent movements are tolerated, it is only to bolster support for elected politicians. And by definition, the more those parties succeed in official politics, the more they are converted into instruments for administering capitalism – and so they betray, demoralise and paralyse their supporters.”

We need a party that can win revolutions, not elections | Red Flag

To the new generation heroically fighting against authoritarian governments and right wing economic policies around the world, political parties can seem like just another institution of the system they’re struggling against. It’s easy to see why. Most of the well-known political parties are pro…

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