By Rogelio Acevedo
On occasion it is thought that the fact that there is a severe crisis in the territory of Puerto Rico will be sufficient to provoke a social explosion that “overthrows the system.” Communists recognize that there does not exist a linear relationship between crisis and revolution. In order to connect causes and effects of a crisis with the aspirations of the masses for change in the political and economic regimen, mass organization and mobilization are necessary.
In this regard when we speak of an electoral boycott, we are not referring to the assumption of a passive attitude on the part of the masses before the current circumstances in which they simple comply by not voting; in other words, “exercising our right” to abstention. Under certain conditions, with specific purposes as well as an in an organized way, this form of abstention can be a mechanism for mass rejection of a particular political regime. However, this is not the case in time of PROMESA. At this stage, in which the representatives of finance capital attempt to impose upon the working masses a dictatorial regime in order to rob us of human and natural resources, our first step in the rejection of its implantation must become manifested through an active boycott of the elections.
When we speak of an active boycott, we do so parting from the premise that the working class cannot offer any political validation to the colonial regime that reigns within the territory or its new modality, the Wall Street Junta. Electoral participation is precisely the form through which the bondholding vultures and their allies attempt to make us validate their Junta. One only needs to review the ‘offering’ of candidates, all of them from their respective visions and particular class interests that have united forces to rescue and even restore capitalism in the territory by defending the decrepit electoral system.
The active electoral boycott is not an end, but rather a first step to bring together the discontent of all social sectors impacted by the austerity measures that have been aggressively implanted since the government of Aníbal Acevedo Vilá in 2004. However, in order to convert this social discontent into an open political struggle against the regime of the Junta, mass organization outside of the structures of electoral (and the corresponding Party) bureaucracy are indispensable.
The distinct kinds of mass self-organization, such as workers’ councils, are higher organizational forms than the system of bourgeois ‘representative’ democracy. Contrary to the electoral and clientelist system of the bourgeoisie, which converts us into passive consumers of ideas that run counter to our interests, mass self-organization makes us protagonists, gives us political independence and, above all, provides the tools to start constructing a process that inevitably results in social revolution. To the extent that the masses rehearse instances of deliberation and decision-making, we will gain political maturity and make progress in the necessary tasks to achieve the suppression of the political regime imposed by Wall Street.
During the past year there have been diverse rehearsals of novel forms of mass self-organization that are indicative, beyond discontent with the current political regime, that the working masses are willing to take the route of a rupture with bourgeois democracy. In the same way that the Wall Street Junta attempts to impose new conditions for our exploitation, the workers’ assemblies from last year the encampment against the Junta as well as a multitude of other manifestations of protest are signs of the development of a new conjuncture that is favorable for the mass struggle in the territory of Puerto Rico. In order for these efforts, which are still very embryonic, to develop, the formation of a revolutionary leadership capable of giving guidance and political content to this struggle is necessary. On the other hand, the strengthening of mass self-organizations, which can assume multiple forms such as workers’ councils, workplace assemblies, community assemblies, is a necessary condition for the masses to be participants in the changes that are on the way so that they respond to the interests and aspirations of the majority of society.
The urgency of the moment demands that we take this first step. For this reason, we must actively boycott the electoral fraud with manifestations, pickets, organizing assemblies in our communities and workplaces as well as supporting the workers struggle against the measures of the Wall Street Junta.