Discussion: Voting is Not Harm Reduction
- at Page Against the Machine
Is voting harm reduction?
As the 2020 presidential election looms ever closer, the clamor about electoral politics is again consuming the left in the so-called USA.
The glimmer of hope that many saw in a Bernie Sanders' presidency has nearly been extinguished once again, with the democratic party establishment throwing its support behind candidates at the center such as Joe Biden. Come November, its likely that we'll once again be at the point of "Vote Blue No Matter Who!"
Meanwhile, in Long Beach, voters in city council district 2 will have the choice between the so-called establishment candidate and ex-police officer, Cindy Allen, or landlord spurring on an increasingly reactionary middle class, Robert Fox. Both are registered democrats vying for the seat previously occupied by "progressive" Jeanine Pearce, who did not seek reelection due to her embroilment in several scandals and conflicts of interest.
If voting is the democratic participation in our own oppression, voting as harm reduction is a politics that keeps us at the mercy of our oppressors.
Given the history of failed social democratic attemps at reformism through electoral strategies and the current reality which curtails the efforts of even the best and most well-meaning candidates, we will be discussing the article Voting is Not Harm Reduction, which examines the contradictions in electoral strategies that seek reforms and how voting itself reinforces the domination of the ruling class through careful exclusion of certain groups (namely, the poor, incarcerated, undocumented, and indigenous) and perhaps even more careful inclusion of other groups.
We've chosen this text partially due to the indigenous background of its authors, as critiques of voting are often miscontrued as coming from a position of privilege and whiteness, or sometimes apathy and nihilism.
We hope you'll join us for this discussion on Friday, March 13th at Page Against the Machine, 2714 E 4th St, here in Long Beach. We'll meet up at 6pm for some introductions and reading time and then begin our discussion.
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