[Translators: this is still a work in progress.]
I. Turnover in office
"Gerrymandering--unless it results in districts that are unequal in population or that, as in the Boston case, disenfranchise minority owners-- is not illegal. . . Congressional elections sport competitiveness rates on a par with elections [in] Cuba and the old Soviet Union."(1)
It's a secret to the Amerikan public, but for many years in the House of Representatives, the re- election rate has been higher than that of Soviet Central Committees. From 1964 to 2000, the lowest percentage of incumbents winning elections was 86.6% in 1964. The highest was approximately 98% which is what it was in 1998 and 2000.(2)
The reason incumbents get re-elected is corporate campaign contributions and gerrymandering of districts. Once in power, incumbents push state legislatures to rewrite the boundaries of their district to give them voters who like their politics. That's not hard, because districts are either predominantly Democratic or Republican, and it's only a two-party system.
The Amerikan two-party system is patently inferior to one-party Marxist systems when it comes to processing political input. The turnover rate on Politburos measured for Marxist and phony Marxist parties is higher than in the U.S. Congress. Someone with get-up-and-go just joined the Soviet Communist Party and brought change by so doing.
In fact, the Marxist one-party system is so much superior in representing opinion that one danger it faces is the recruitment procedure, where everyone pretends to be communist. Contrary to the ignorant prattle about "totalitarianism" from Trotsky and his Amerikan imperialist descendants carrying out the Cold War, the Soviet Union was able to change from within and covered more various ideological grounds in 50 years than the united $tates did in 200. The reason for that is as Lenin said in several essays before he died, including "Better Fewer But Better." Namely, Lenin said that state power attracts careerists like a fire-hydrant attracts dogs. Thus, even one-party states cannot completely eliminate those trying to turn politics into a perceptions game.
II. Degraded information to the public
When the one-party system has a vote, it's up or down on a candidate or idea. Direct competition of candidates produces opportunism--grandstanding, Watergate "plumbers," baby-kissing and various pseudo-political gestures of symbolism to the public. This means that even "different" candidates in parliamentary democracy have the same underlying imperative--the need to mislead voters based on voter perceptions, not what political leaders know to be true from their responsibilities in holding state power. Anybody who has seen a politician dodge a question or a media outlet fail to cover an uncomfortable or unpopular issue knows that this is true.
In contrast, a top leader such as Mao can choose to make public self-criticism and he did so during the Great Leap as even his bourgeois academic critics admit. It's possible the party will push a leader aside based on information a leader like Mao reveals about himself, but it's less likely than if Mao made such a speech in a bourgeois parliamentary campaign. Such campaigns are all about avoiding uncomfortable issues and matching up with voter and corporate donor perceptions, no matter how far they are removed from anything useful or justice-inspiring to running the state. MIM has recently provided the example of how Clinton misled the U.$. public as president with regard to Iraq. Clinton created the perception in the public that Saddam Hussein was not complying with UN inspections. Clinton needed to do so both to fend off his bourgeois rivals and to cover up CIA operations in Iraq. We need to work on removing the underlying motivations for politicians like Clinton to come up with perception manipulations.
We believe it's not enough to say, "yah, we know Clinton demonstrates our flawed human nature." People are flawed. We MIM communists know it. The question is the motivations of the leaders. If they have to fend off other perception- manipulating leaders, how do we expect to get the best out of our politicians? The leaders and their rivals will simply manipulate perceptions while letting the truth go down the drain. The best chance of getting the truth out of politicians comes from a situation where money and voter competition are absent. It does not mean we believe power does not corrupt communists too. Of course it does. Where politicians or their families or friends can profit from a political decision as is common under capitalism though, it is ridiculous to think politicians will ever bring any truth to the media-- and since the media does not make money by making the public uncomfortable, we can kiss the truth goodbye under capitalism.
Parliamentary competition of candidates sounds good on paper but it does not work as advertised. In town-meetings or direct democracy, the petty- bourgeoisie has reason for taking some pride in its role. In the early days of America, bourgeois democracy played a positive role among whites and Lenin gave the American Revolution its full due. However, the days when town meetings or a meeting of Minutemen soldiers or the voting booth could determine anything fairly even among whites are long gone. The reason for that is that mega- corporations have gained concentrated power as Lenin pointed out in "Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism." Halliburton has much more influence on foreign policy than any group of concerned Amerikans.
Most of the problems that we communists have in debating with the public stem from the illusion that somehow Europe will go back in time or the United $tates will go back to its settler days of small to non-existent corporations. The fact is that power is concentrated now and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The only choice is what direction that concentrated power will push people. There is no petty-bourgeois option. The only two options are proletarian and imperialist.
We warn those people outside the u$a trying to copy the u$a that there is a legacy of individual initiative in Amerika, but it is dying, thanks to the mega-corporations. What people find attractive about Amerika came at the expense of Blacks and First Nations: the Amerikkkan experience cannot and should not be reduplicated.
When the Amerikans call us wannabe "dictators," we say "better us than the mega- corporation boards you support." Some will admit that Time-Warner-AOL has more media outlets than Mao ever had, but will say what we want is no better. The problem with our critics' view is that it is unrealistic. The capitalist economy is never going back. The mega-corporations have shown how to make profits. If profits were higher from being small, these mega-corporations would not exist. The spokespeople for the petty-bourgeoisie fantasize about ending corporate bribery of the state, but even if they could do that (and they can't), there's no way they could prevent mega- corporations from hiring the private armies they need to carry out the functions of states, and with larger budgets than most countries have in the world.
Aside from the political turnover being phony in the united $tates, and on a very narrow ideological basis, in all parliamentary systems, political perception matters more than leadership. In other words there is a great breakdown between politicians and their voters. Politicians must say whatever it is that voters will approve, so politicians manipulate perceptions. They do not ever actively deal in realities. If the public has to be told something about politics, the public is very likely to "shoot the messenger." No serious politician bothers to risk it. Those that do surely lose elections.
People who have to solve problems as leaders are much more likely in possession of truth and likely to do something about it. That's why MIM puts focus on raising the bar for political leaders. Make public political service more like serving in the military in terms of self-sacrifice and we will find that much of the bullshit perception- chasing suddenly disappears.
III. The failed theory of "totalitarianism"
The theorists of "totalitarianism" predicted that the Soviet Union would not change politically without war bringing down the system from the outside. These psychologically fearful people said the Soviet Union was monolithic. They were wrong. Khruschev came to power and denounced Stalin. By the early 1960s, Yeltsin was already in the party.
What is more: when the two parties in the united $tates agree, the result is devastating. The 2003 Iraq War is a case in point. Legitimacy went to a war that the leaders of both parties supported. When that happens, the two party system propagandizes the public even more effectively than a one-party system. It's just like having two mouthpieces for the mega-corporations and the media amplify their message. The two parties may vary on abortion and gun ownership, but the central corporate message is the same. In contrast with Iraq in the united $tates, in the Bolshevik Party of Lenin thought to be so "monolithic," the positions of Lenin, Trotsky and Bukharin all differed on the question of World War I--on how and whether to get out of the war.
IV. Serving humyn needs a higher priority than majority rule
As we explained elsewhere, we cannot agree with democracy in principle, because a majority even inside its borders should not have the power to withhold the power to implement survival rights. Whether a majority wants it or not, no one should be able to withhold the means of producing or eating food, clothing, shelter etc., because the rights of the minority must reach that level.
We won't deny that some European countries have a more level playing field, and a better claim to real democracy than Amerika, because they have done more to attempt to remove corporate influence and excite voters with differences in ideology. Some major parties in Europe are more radical than say the revisionist "Communist Party U$A," which supports the occupation government in Iraq and opposes violence against it. There are some European social-democratic parties that are only shooting for 51% of the vote and they are willing to alienate at least 49% of their country's population. In the u$a, we have many parties like the CP=U$A, Trotskyists and crypto-Trotskyists afraid to alienate the 90% and they end up less radical than some of the European parliamentary parties. Competitive numbers of Europeans vote for those more radical parties that tend to oppose imperialist wars.
The most radical parties are in small countries, where victory endangers the fewest mega- corporations. In France and Italy where they have elaborate systems to protect ideological difference, the main factor holding back the development of difference is the labor aristocracy, which tends to want some radical benefits for itself while taking an attitude of "to hell with the rest of the world."
This brings us to our last point. Our main problem with the multi-party system is that competition for voters leads to pandering to and worsening nationalist and other parochial differences. When a country, whether Belgium or the United $tates holds a vote, "foreigners" do not vote, but their governments interfere in affairs globally. That's why we need a proletarian-led United Nations. Politics is global and any formal voting should be.
Many drug-addicted petty-bourgeois Greens, Nader supporters, anarchists, "local control" freaks etc. believe "small is beautiful." We remind them that the most genocidal violence has been in small places like ex-Yugoslavia. Peoples who are not in touch with each other, because they believe in the beauty of their own small towns and villages can brew some unhealthy fantasies about each other.
What is more, just as the petty-bourgeoisie is not so profitable as to be able to prevent the formation of mega-corporations, the "small is beautiful" crowd cannot stop the political concentration of power reflecting the existence of those mega-corporations. Leopold Kohr is one author in that line of thinking and he is famous for his chapter in his book admitting that his goal of small canton-based society is hopeless.
Futile attempts to resist the concentration of power breed frustration and spawn reaction. The last leader in power to harken back to the virtues of peasant life and claim that he did not need colonies and only cared about his own territory was Hitler. It is the petty-bourgeoisie most likely to come up with fanatic solutions that go no where, just as the petty-bourgeois class stuck between the proletariat and bourgeoisie has no future. Once again, if any of these small-is- beautiful fantasies could work within capitalism, they would have already. Decentralized power so often the slogan of the petty-bourgeoisie does not bring peace and economic cooperation and has no future except as a program of genocide.
In the above, we present the case for a one-party state. In actual practice concerning major imperialist countries, many parties will participate in the joint dictatorship of the proletariat of the oppressed nations over imperialism. The political sources of input and participation in this project will be more diverse and international than any previous political project in history. The success of the parties contributing to the joint dictatorship of the proletariat will depend on the cultural diversity of the parties on the one hand and on the other hand, their iron will and unity to abolish exploitation, super-profits in particular
The concentration of power brings us technology connecting the world. It allows for the first time for the international proletariat to connect itself and communicate with itself. Seizure of state power by communists allows for paying of reparations across borders of great distance. Increased economic understanding will bring the day when workers at great distance from each other can really know whether they are in a fair business arrangement with workers thousands of miles away. Right now, under capitalism, the people of Yugoslavia were not able to work out economic cooperation and peace within a few short miles. Hence, not everything about the concentration of power and the global reach of communications is negative. We cannot go back to an idyllic dispersed past of peasant farmers with proportionately small states and mega-corporations not existing. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we will ask for the one party state in charge of a socialist economy.