Communist Party of Mexico (M-L)

The Mexican communists and revolutionaries on the 2012 electoral process

Building Revolutionary Electoral Tactics!

The present document tries to sum up all the elements of the discussion that have taken place in the last years by the Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist) (PCMML) and the Revolutionary Popular Front (FPR), to clarify to our membership, to the mass movement in general and to the world the elements of our electoral tactics in general, and our participation in the elections of 2012 in particular.

Some elements of the present situation in our country

Although this is not the main topic to be taken up, it is important to keep in mind a series of elements that necessarily affect the coming electoral process, since this is not an isolated event. On the contrary, is one more ingredient in the development of capital. Therefore the rest of the elements, such as the political situation, the economic and social crisis of our country, will define the course of this electoral process in the first place.

Mexico, having an economy dependent on imperialism, mainly U.S. imperialism, and being interconnected with other world economies, is suffering the consequences of the general crisis that exists throughout the world. The Mexican economy is suffering directly from the burden of the U.S. crisis, since most of the capital that sustains it is of Yankee origin, the national oligarchy is highly dependent on U.S. finance capital, production is sustained by foreign capital, and therefore there is no independent economic development. With these characteristics, the economic situation in Mexico is even more disastrous, because not only must it pay for the crisis and carry on its back the enrichment of the national oligarchy, but the popular masses must directly bear the burden of the U.S. crisis.

The consequences of the crisis are vast: millions of jobs are being directly lost; in the last 2 years, workers have been laid off or their real wages have been cut drastically, there have been cuts in the workforce. Therefore the reserve army of the unemployed is growing bigger every day; the budget in the areas of health care, education, housing, social security, the countryside, etc. is being slashed. Combined with this is the increase in prices of basic goods. These are some of the consequences of the crisis that the proletarians and the poor in the countryside are facing at the moment, including famine that has been seen in various parts of the country; they are some of the most extreme effects of this present crisis that capitalism is experiencing.

On the other hand the popular masses, the working class, the poor peasants, the indigenous peoples, the youth, the neighbourhood residents, and the popular masses in general have a tendency to develop the class struggle. Every day various contingents take to the streets, there are constantly skirmishes of the masses against the State, the seizure of public plazas and government agencies; these events expose the discontent of the most diverse forms, that the struggle of the masses is growing. There are various alternatives for unity in the country, which also find very fertile ground and every day the masses are embracing more political causes, without yet settling accounts with the economism and the trade unionism. All this is in itself a manifestation of the popular repudiation of the pro-imperialist and neoliberal policies of the Mexican government.

To all this the political response of the regime is the policy of fascistization, the strengthening of the military forces and the repressive bodies, the offensive against the political and labour rights won until now – through a process of reforms – that in good part have advanced, with some pending, as in the case of the reform of the Federal Labour Law, which is attempting to give the coup de grace to the Mexican working class. The fight against drug trafficking is a real fraud, and a great pretext to militarily occupy the whole national territory, whose only result is more than 65 thousand dead (in 5 years of war), in the majority innocent young people; this war has partially achieved its real objective: to terrify the popular masses.

The tendency in the national situation is the same as that of capitalism in the world. Economically, the crisis will deepen, because there is no alternative either in the short or the long term, not within the capitalist system. The fascistization of politics is the only viable way that the financial oligarchy has to maintain itself in power, the bloody and terrorist dictatorship of finance capital is the only thing that they have left to impose on the working class and the Mexican people; whereas the process of social decomposition will deepen in terms of both the economic crisis and the political crisis.

The characterization of the electoral processes in general

Within capitalist society the electoral process always has the same function: to strengthen bourgeois democracy, to make it seem as if the masses have the possibility of choosing their rulers, which in fact means to choose their executioners. These elections are held every few years, to legitimize a ruler; in the case of Mexico, they are held every 6 years to “choose” the president of the republic and senators, and every 3 years to “choose” the federal deputies.

In capitalist society, the ruling regime is the dictatorship of the financial oligarchy; therefore the elections only determine which fraction of the oligarchy will govern for the following period, the governments have the function of administering and protecting the policy and big property of the bourgeoisie, against the proletariat and the popular masses.

The bourgeois political parties do not represent the popular masses, they do not have antagonistic differences among themselves; in case they differ in the sector of the bourgeoisie which they each represent; their differences, which are superficial, stem from this. Therefore, all the bourgeois parties defend the interests of their class, and when it comes to attacking the popular masses they unite as one single party. One of the mechanisms for maintaining the bourgeois dictatorship is that the political-electoral monopoly is maintained by a few parties, generally those that represent the most reactionary sectors of the oligarchy, whereas those that represent the nationalist bourgeoisie and sometimes the petty bourgeoisie just go along with this; in the case of Mexico, the monopoly of political-electoral power is mainly concentrated in the hands of the PRI, PAN and PRD.

The laws that govern the electoral process are limited to assuring the monopoly of the ruling parties in a certain country; they prevent the independent participation of the masses; if they make certain temporary and deceptive concessions, it is to legitimize the dictatorship of capital, never to give lasting concessions to the proletariat and the masses.

The particularities of the 2012 electoral process in Mexico

At the Ordinary Fifth National Conference of the PCMML, some elements were outlined that were ratified at the Sixth Conference, about particular questions of the electoral process that will end next July 1, in which the following will be elected: the President of the Republic, 128 senators (64 by relative majority, 32 by first minority and 32 by proportional representation), 500 deputies (300 by relative majority and 200 by proportional representation). The federal elections will coincide with the election of 304 local deputies, 701 municipal presidents, 5 governors and 1 Head of Government of the Federal District. These elections will be held in the states of Queretaro, Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Yucatan and the Federal District.

This electoral process will be influenced by the economic crisis that is battering the world, with all the consequences that go along with it: the impoverishment of the popular masses, the increase in social discontent because of the increased cost of living, the political and fiscal reforms, reforms of social security, education and labour. Unlike any previous electoral process, the one in 2012 in Mexico will also resound with insurrections and big mass movement that have taken place in various parts from the world, against the “anti-crisis” measures of imperialism.

The advanced process of fascistization is another element of the present electoral process, whose fundamental characteristic is militarization and terror, under the pretext of the fight against drug trafficking. This has led the country to large-scale violence, with really alarming results, which have served as justification for the curfews and de facto states of emergency that prevail in many parts of the country. This is leading to a wider degree of uncertainty in the electoral process. It is logical that the degree of decomposition of the state apparatus and of the bourgeois parties has led to establishing many channels of relationships with drug trafficking and all kinds of criminal organizations, which have already begun to invest many millions to finance political campaigns and put forward candidates to occupy all levels of government.

For the 2012 elections, some blocs of different sectors of the bourgeoisie have been formed, represented by the parties and coalitions that will compete in the various elections. In general the situation is the following: the National Action Party (PAN), which is the party of Felipe Calderon, president of the republic imposed by fraud, represents the extreme right, the most reactionary in the country. PAN will participate in the next elections without any alliance with other bourgeois parties; for the presidency of the republic it will put forward Josefina Vazquez Mota, who prevailed over other candidates of the party in the primary competition last February. Candidate Vazquez Mota, even prevailed over the candidate proposed by Calderon, Ernesto Cordero. Even after 12 years of governing (2 six-year terms), PAN will have serious difficulties in winning the presidency of the republic in these elections; nevertheless it is very probable that it will remain one of the two main forces in the Congress of the Union.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is a party that has governed together with the PAN through the force that it maintains today in the Congress of the Union; in the next elections it will run in alliance with the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM). This latter is a small party that has stayed in the shadow of the PRI; both are endorsing the candidacy of Enrique Peña Nieto, who is also openly supported by the television duopoly (Televisa – Aztec Television). After having governed the country for about 8 decades, the PRI lost the government and it passed into the hands of the PAN. However after 12 years, it seems that now it will strongly contest the presidency of the republic, since in the last years it has regained several State governments, it has a national structure, it controls several corporate organizations of the working class and the peasantry, it has the support of important sectors of U.S. imperialism, of the financial oligarchy and the national bourgeoisie. Its class position vacillates between the nationalist oligarchy and pro-imperialism. Because of all this, the PRI has possibilities of winning the elections, but its main obstacle now is the clumsiness and poor preparation of its candidate, who has been ridiculed in the mass media. However, in the next period the PRI will undoubtedly continue to be one of the two most important forces both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate.

The other main force in this election is the alliance called Progressive Movement, which is made up of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Party of Labour (PT), the Citizen’s Movement (MC) and the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA). The latter, not yet a political party, is the electoral movement created by social-democratic and reformist sectors that endorse the presidential candidate of the Progressive Movement coalition: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. MORENA also brings together large sectors of the non-party masses who hope that Lopez Obrador will break with the continuity of Calderon’s policy. The Progressive Movement has its main force in its candidate, who has developed an early campaign, who has the support of an important sector of the popular masses, achieved by a radical and clearly anti-oligarchic discourse that he is developing, with a bourgeois nationalist program. But in the last stage and counting on the support of the oligarchy, he is changing his discourse, now putting forward the loving republic. This is a clear message of praise for the big bourgeoisie and the oligarchy of the country. The early campaign and the level playing field that Lopez Obrador made, in addition to the fact that he is now seeking to be an instrument of the oligarchy itself, to influence large sectors of the masses dissatisfied due to the present crisis, make him today one of the strongest candidates. Even at this stage of the electoral process, one can say that he is the best positioned of the three main candidates. With regard to the seats in the Congress of the Union, it is probable that the parties that form the Progressive Movement will increase in number. However, the great problem of these parties is that in many cases they are recycling personalities who come from the ranks of the PRI and the PAN, which places them in the same situation in relation to the process of decomposition.

An important number of mass organizations, linked to the workers, peasants and people’s movements, support the Progressive Movement. Even the people’s movement, in various parts of the country, are seeking spaces for citizens’ and people’s candidacies, even though there will undoubtedly be very few that will be won, given the narrow-mindedness of the bourgeois parties in this coalition.

Finally, the New Alliance Party, which has been vacillating between being an appendage of the PAN or the PRI, has now announced that it will go into the electoral process alone. This is one more element in favour of Lopez Obrador, since this party still has under its control an important sector of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), the largest union in the country, because it seems that it will now not endorse either the candidate of the PRI or of the PAN.

With this summary of the main alternatives that the elections offer this year, we can conclude that all these three correspond to the interests of the national bourgeoisie, the oligarchy and imperialism. There is no candidacy, party or alliance that represents the real interests of the working class or the popular masses. None of these alternatives has a solution to the present crisis of the capitalist system, they only differ in the way to maintain the control and the dictatorship of capital over the popular masses. It becomes clearer every day that in the electoral process these re contradictions among the bourgeoisie, the struggles between different fractions of the bourgeoisie. As this is a process that is taking place in the midst of a sharpening crisis, the different factions of the bourgeoisie are seeking to control the state apparatus for their own benefit, a situation that was not publicized as much in previous elections.

These contradictions combined with the increasing violence in the country can end up in other scenarios that our party and the FPR have not discarded; the possibility of a coup d’état or the imposition of a de facto military dictatorship. This scenario could start under the pretext of increasing violence and the interference of drug trafficking in the electoral process, by declaring that conditions do not exist for the elections to be held normally. The fundamental purpose of that kind of a solution would be to avoid dissatisfaction blooming in the midst of this process, that the struggle of the masses would be radicalized, as we saw in 2006 after an electoral fraud. If this took place, we communists and revolutionaries would have fertile soil to raise our own proposals. In a scenario of deepening contradictions among the bourgeoisie, the possibility a second electoral fraud orchestrated by the PRI and PAN can also not be discarded. This would also generate great discontent, in the midst of which we would have to push the discontent towards the class struggle.

How the general tactics of the communists and revolutionaries is related to the electoral process?

The electoral process is a scene where the contradictions among the bourgeoisie bloom the most, but it also puts up for discussion, although in a limit way, the debate about the government and power, it casts doubt on the role of the governmental apparatus and the bourgeois political parties. Also in the electoral process the aspirations of important sectors of the masses for change are revived, for a different form of government and power; therefore they become involved, with the hope of finding new alternatives, and particularly in the midst of a crisis such as the one we are experiencing.

For our part, we communists and revolutionaries in Mexico are developing a process of revolutionary accumulation of forces, through the tactics of building a United anti-fascist, anti-imperialist Front and for the proletarian revolution, for this all forms of struggle are valid, as long as the masses themselves take them up.

Whenever there are still large sectors of masses that see a solution to their needs and aspirations in the legal and/or electoral struggle, we communists cannot withdraw from them; on the contrary we must go along with the masses, so that they can understand from their own experience that the illegal struggle and revolutionary violence are also necessary. As long as the bourgeois institutions cannot be replaced by the proletariat as the class in the power, we revolutionaries and communists must take part in them, not to lead the masses to parliamentary cretinism or the cult of bourgeois legality, but on the contrary, to denounce their process of decomposition, their class character, to use them to push forward the process of revolutionary accumulation of forces. This is the only way that use of the legal struggle makes sense and in particular to participate in bourgeois elections.

In our country, not only large sectors of the masses in general, but also a good part of organized labour and the popular movement are still involved in the electoral process. This demands that we clarify our position on this matter, because we run the risk of being isolated, of not influencing them in the process for unity with slogans for unity, because the right and the extreme right are also carrying out intense work to win the organized sectors to their positions. The ideological struggle in this field is also sharpening, putting the process of the accumulation of forces achieved so far at risk. Therefore while drawing up our electoral tactics we must place in the centre the need to pay attention to and maintain the United Front processes that have been achieved so far; also to seek to launch unitary slogans and, along with the United Front process also to make it possible, to form a single political platform and even to support joint candidates.

Why and how we should participate in the 2012 electoral process?

In the FPR and the PCMML, we consider it necessary not to withdraw from the 2012 electoral process, since it will be an important scene of the class struggle in Mexico. This electoral process will be of particular importance, because of the elements that take part in it and that were not present in the previous processes, or at least not to the same degree of development. In particular we are speaking of the economic crisis and the reactionary violence that are overrunning the country; also because the electoral process itself can unleash other scenes of struggle and the radicalization of the masses. For example, during the 2006 electoral fraud, millions of men and women were eager to take the fight beyond the electoral process; in the present process a new fraud should not be discounted, and therefore, skirmishes of revolt and insurrection may occur that break with the normal parameters of an electoral process. Or there is the possibility that the process will be cancelled or postponed, under the pretext of violence and criminal intervention, which would unleash a new and deeper repression of the mass struggle. But the role that the masses will play in these scenes does not depend on them themselves, it depends on who places themselves at their head; it depends on whether or not we allow it to continue to be the big bourgeoisie or the petty bourgeoisie, using social-democratic positions, that leads the struggle in these processes. Therefore our Party and the FPR have decided to participate, because we are ready to win over the masses, including large sectors of the proletariat and poor peasantry, which social democracy still leads.

At the Fifth Conference of the PCMML (July 2011), we decided to launch the following slogans for the 2012 elections: Not one vote for the PRI, not one vote for the PAN! No more neoliberal government! Now is the time for the proletarian revolution! In the first place these slogans call on the masses to defeat the forces of the right and extreme right in the elections, since both represent in themselves the process of fascistization in the country; second, they demarcate from the neoliberal positions of the other bourgeois parties, such as social democracy, and call on the masses to fight against any neoliberal government, no matter of which party; and finally they conclude with the ratification of the road to the real emancipation of the proletariat, which cannot be obtained in any way other than the Proletarian Revolution. This is also made clear to the masses, that the electoral process will not be the scene of the struggle for real political, economic and social transformation of the country.

These positions have given us quite a wide margin to define how we apply and develop these slogans in each part of the country, since they can be used simply as a campaign in itself (it is clear that even without an electoral process we can develop a broad campaign for the Proletarian Revolution), in other areas and according to the conditions, using these same slogans we could support candidacies with popular influence, in some areas we could have our own candidacies, as in District 6, with its seat in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, where a pre-campaign has been developed, with comrade Florentino Lopez Martinez, National President of the FPR, seeking the candidacy of the Progressive Movement; in still other areas the slogans that have been launched allow us to have a closer relationship, to form alliances with sectors of the masses of the Movement for National Regeneration and even the parties of the Progressive Movement.

The use of these slogans defined specifically for the electoral process must be accompanied by the use of our tactical and strategic proposals: the United Front, General Political Strike, general insurrection of the masses, For a Revolutionary Provisional Government, For a National, Democratic, Proletarian and Popular Constituent Assembly, For a New Constitution, For a Democratic and People’s Republic.

It should be sufficiently clear that our participation in this electoral process is not confined to the searching for or supporting some candidacy, because we can have or not have our own candidate, we can support or not support a democratic candidate, which we should do; it is to develop our own campaign of agitation and propaganda for the strategy and tactics of the socialist revolution, in the midst of the shaken electoral process, tied to our own temporary slogans.

What are our particular objectives and how should we develop them in the 2012 electoral process?

To participate in the electoral process with the aim of advancing in the process of the revolutionary accumulation of forces has its particularities, on this occasion, beyond the obtaining of a certain position or candidacies; this is the growth of our mass organizations, the expansion of our presence among the working class, the poor and indigenous peasants, the youth, the neighbourhood residents and all people’s sectors, to win them to the strategy and tactics of the proletariat. We are putting forward the Popular Revolutionary Front (FPR), the Union of Revolutionary Youth of Mexico (UJRM), the Popular Urban Revolutionary Union (URUP), the Union of Poor Peasants (UCP), the Union of Education Workers (UTE), the General Union of Workers of Mexico (UGTM) and in general all the mass organizations and unitary processes such as the Social Congress Towards a New Constituent Assembly, the National Dialogue and the National Movement for Food and Energy Sovereignty, for the Defence of the Rights of Workers (Pact).

To achieve this, in addition to the promotion of our central slogans, the tactical and strategic proposals of the Party and the FPR, we must promote platforms for demands that are indissolubly linked to the fight for the proletarian revolution. In this way we will be able to organize and draw in large sectors of the masses, to mobilize them in the short term, but mainly to imbue them with a revolutionary perspective; to show them that it is possible and necessary to organize on a territorial and sectoral basis, which would involve every school, community or workplace, which would heighten their level of struggle and organization, so that they see that it is necessary, not only to form structures for the elections, but to create fighting structures, organizations for the insurrection. That is the type of organization, the soviet, that led to the victory of the communists in the 1917 revolution in Russia; after the victory of the revolution the soviets were the nuclei for the exercise of power by the proletariat and the popular masses.

The most effective way to achieve our participation in the electoral scene is to develop a great campaign of propaganda, sufficiently bold and aggressive to be noticed. In no way will we raise the banners of the bourgeois parties nor of social democracy; we must have an impact on the rallies, meetings and the plazas, to disseminate our symbols and our own newspaper, Proletarian Vanguard.

In most cases, this campaign of agitation will be without a candidate, so we must be skilful and demanding, to burst in, if it is necessary to impose ourselves with the force of the masses, to speak out in the meetings and to use all type of tribunes, not to flatter candidates, but to explain our perspective to the masses who will listen to us there, so that our people can listen to and see the differences that we have with other forces.

We will continue along the road of the building of revolutionary electoral tactics

Now is important that we continue with this experience; we do not have one tactic for everything, our tactics are being built, they are finding the way and above all are having a revolutionary message. That is, we must take care of, nourish and contribute to the building of revolutionary electoral tactics, which, like everything, is a dialectical process, which is founded in concrete reality and revolutionary theory. We are learning from our own experience, but also we are illuminated on this road by the experience of our communist and revolutionary comrades in other parts of the world, whom we salute as faithful soldiers of proletarian internationalism.

February 2012

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