Beyond the Electoral Hell: A View from Long Beach

FTP-Long Beach

 As millions wait with bated breath for the 2020 US election to finally conclude, the old words of Shakespeare come to mind: “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” For all the bourgeois hype about saving or defending democracy, and all the astonished gasps at voter turnout and this or that state flipping, nothing that has happened this year has disproved the notion that the United States is not a democracy, has never really been a democracy, and will never be a democracy as long as it lives. It is a fascist, colonial enterprise that sits on the chest of the world like a blood-caked stone. Trump’s impending defeat does not change that.

Indeed, we’ve seen that all too many Americans would elect and re-elect Adolf Hitler if he could keep the stock market humming long enough. They would do so not in spite of his Nazism, but because of it. Americanism produces, and is produced by, crass, selfish, sadistic, plastic-barbaric people, a horde of tens of millions who would gladly sell you down the river or into the death camp for the right price, or for the mere satisfaction of it. This is, of course, a very white phenomenon. And if you’re waiting for them to come to their senses, and recognize that they are the monsters they crow about defending the world from, you’ll be waiting until the sun runs cold. Whatever pangs of guilt they may feel will pass with the next commercial break or their latest bowel movement. Trump lost not because he’s a fascist beast, but because he’s an incompetent one. Biden and Harris, on the other hand, represent an imagined return to imperialist normalcy, a world where the United States can go back to bombing, robbing, poisoning, starving, and disrupting the colonized nations and people of the world without the CEO of the Company saying and doing every damn fool thing that pops into his head. They hope to return to stomping on the necks of the poor and vulnerable with a smile rather than a scowl.


Here in Long Beach, California, Biden won an easy victory over Trump, outpacing him by wide margins in just about every voter precinct. This comes as no surprise. Superficially “progressive,” Long Beach is an excellent example of the bankruptcy of liberalism, where rainbow flags are easy to find but the City dumps boulders to block homeless encampments and dedicates half its budget to one of the worst police departments in a country riddled with them. One of our livelier City Council races was between a former cop and shady capitalist and a faux-populist landlord, with the former poised to win. In Long Beach as elsewhere, there have been recent calls and small rallies to “defend democracy” and urge elected officials to move in a more progressive direction. When the election is called for Biden and Harris, we will no doubt see more of them.

While we certainly defend what limited democratic rights exist for the masses under US fascism and colonialism, as revolutionaries, we do not believe this is the path forward. Long Beach is no stranger to demonstrations like this. At best, they provide an opportunity for fierce speeches with no teeth to back them up, and a fleeting sense of militancy or “doing something.” At worst, they distract and deflect down the rabbit hole of reformism and liberal electoral politics. In timing, location, and political content, they do not speak to the most oppressed and exploited people in Long Beach, nor do they threaten the status quo.

 We understand that the most important task before us isn’t standing in front of the electoral vending machine and choosing between different flavors of fascist and imperialist. Not in Long Beach, not in California, not in this entire star-spangled prison house. No, we have to recognize that revolution is our only escape route from this madness, and that the masses, the extraordinary ordinary people, are the saviors and makers of history. By embedding ourselves among them-the workers, the homeless, the survivors, the ignored and neglected-, learning from them, and encouraging their revolutionary ideas, spirit, and actions, we can succeed.

As this election reminds us, our enemies-the capitalist, colonialist ruling class and their lackeys-may disagree on tactics from time to time, but not strategy. For all of them, the end goal is the ongoing exploitation and oppression of billions of people born and unborn, and the planet itself. To these ends, they will commit every atrocity, every petty crime under the sun, all for a little more profit and power. They are powerful, and more united than we are, but they are not gods. They can be beaten. They will be beaten. If we are ready to equip ourselves with all the mental, organizational, and physical weapons of revolution, a new world is possible.

To everyone out there, we say this: Keep a revolutionary, independent political line. Keep your eyes on the prize, which will only come through militant, mass-based class and anti-colonial struggle. If you’re not a part of an actively revolutionary communist organization, hop to it. Let’s put this farce behind us.

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