2. seanhawkey:

    election night on Flickr.

    Election night in Managua on 6 Nov 2011, as it is announced that Daniel Ortega wins a landslide victory with over 60% of the vote for the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN).

    more photos on www.hawkey.co.uk


  3. Marx’s key insight remains valid, perhaps more than ever: for Marx, the question of freedom should not be located primarily in the political sphere proper (Does a country have free elections? Are its judges independent? Is its press free from hidden pressures? Does it respect human rights?). Rather, the key to actual freedom resides in the “apolitical” network of social relations, from the market to the family. Here the change required is not political reform but a transformation of the social relations of production—which entails precisely revolutionary class struggle rather than democratic elections or any other “political” measure in the narrow sense of the term. We do not vote on who owns what, or about relations in the factory, and so on — such matters remain outside the sphere of the political, and it is illusory to expect that one will effectively change things by “extending” democracy into the economic sphere (by, say, reorganizing the banks to place them under popular control). Radical changes in this domain need to be made outside the sphere of legal “rights.” In “democratic” procedures (which, of course, can have a positive role to play), no matter how radical our anti-capitalism, solutions are sought solely through those democratic mechanisms which themselves form part of the apparatuses of the “bourgeois” state that guarantees the undisturbed reproduction of capital. In this precise sense, Badiou was right to claim that today the name of the ultimate enemy is not capitalism, empire, exploitation, or anything similar, but democracy itself. It is the “democratic illusion,” the acceptance of democratic mechanisms as providing the only framework for all possible change, which prevents any radical transformation of capitalist relations.
    Click to read more.


  4. Notes on “Democratic Socialism”

    by Natalio Perez aka Selucha

    Just some elaborations on a Facebook comment I made earlier.

    It’s not a matter of being better or worse, it’s a matter of democratic socialism being untenable. Objectively yes, it is a superficial improvement in the sense that workers have more bargaining power, social services are more widely available, etc. But without attempting to sound like an orthodox Marxist here, democratic socialism ignores the built-in class nature of society and aims to create a state in which no particular class exercises economic or political power. The problem is, of course, that a state independent of class character is impossible and the bourgeoisie will eventually resume its brute domination over the proletariat. Look at European social democracy right now; as soon as the capitalists can no longer earn significant profits within that paradigm, workers rights and human services are the first thing to go out the window.

    Democratic socialism developed in the first place in the aftermath of World War II as the system’s way to pacify the proletariat of Western Europe and to prevent full-on revolution. Capitalists realized that they would have to make some temporary sacrifices to retain their class position in the long-term, sacrifices which they are now transferring back onto the people. Is this really the kind of system we want: one that falls short of the final destruction of capitalism and allows the resurgence of the enemy?

    In addition, for the most part ‘democratic socialism’ only is possible in advanced industrial countries that rely on their privileged position in the global capitalist economy. If the U.S. were to pursue democratic socialism and renounce its global privilege and supremacy, the economy would collapse, because private property and decent standards of living for the proletariat can only coexist if other people and countries are experiencing super-exploitation of their labor and resources, and if advanced countries maintain their monopoly on certain advanced production. Advocating democratic socialism, then, is a tacit approval of this unbalanced global relationship between the first and third world.

    Let’s stake out our position clearly and without equivocation: the only way forward is revolution: communist revolution. This means the destruction of the old system, the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, and the emancipation of the people.

    Nothing less than liberation!

  5. Mexican badass singer Oscar Chávez denounces the farce of Mexico’s electoral system in this song, titled Seis Años (Six Years) in reference to the 6-year terms for presidents.


    Cada seis años mi amor,
    yo te juro amor eterno
    Pero siempre se me olvida
    que cada seis años rasuran a este gobierno
    Y siempre es igual: es picoso el mole
    Diferente el dedo, pero el mismo atole
    Y siempre es igual: desde aqui te digo
    Se baila el jarabe al son de lo gringo

    Cada seis años mi amor
    prometo ser diferente
    Pero nunca te lo cumplo
    pues cada seis años quesque hay otro presidente
    Y siempre es igual: La misma camada
    Una burocrasia pero revolcada
    Y siempre es igual: Este mitotito
    Pura demagogia que el 15 da el grito

    Cada seis años mi amor
    me dices que no te quiero
    Lo que me sobra es cariño,
    ay cada seis años lo que falta es el dinero
    Y siempre es igual: 2 y 2 son 4
    Las mismas paredes con otro retrato
    Y siempre es igual: Cachao, culatazo
    Al que no se agacha le toca un balazo

    Cada seis años mi amor
    hacen mas grandes prisiones
    Pero nunca son tan grandes,
    pues cada seis años son mayores sus mansiones
    Y siempre es igual: ratoncitos presos
    Mientras pocas ratas se pelean los quesos
    Y siempre es igual: aunque abras la boca
    Tu no tienes culpa, ellos la provocan

    Cada seis años mi amor,
    dictan reparto de tierra
    Y ya han repartido tanta
    ay cada seis años que han fraccionado Siberia
    Y siempre es igual: pobre campesino
    La reforma agraria te la dan en vino
    Y siempre es igual: no grites, ni gruñas
    Tu si tienes tierra, la traes en las uñas

    Cada seis años mi amor
    preguntas y con razon
    Que cual sufragio efectivo,
    ay cada seis años donde la no reeleccion
    Y siempre es igual: negra al que no cante
    La nueva consigna tan pampanizante
    Y siempre es igual: frijolitos charros
    Yo ya me despido, me llevas cigarros…