What to do about nationalism and electoralism

Justin Podur, a Canadian writer for ZNet, posted recently about two important topics for the left to think about: nationalism and electoralism.

I added my thoughts about nationalism in the comments to his post. The left has historically been internationalist in its rhetoric, but anti-imperialist movements and communist revolutions have almost always governed in distinctly nationalist ways when they came to power, generally to the great harm of their people. But would their success have been possible without nationalism to mobilize support? Do the gains they make outweigh the damage their nationalism does?

On electoralism I spelled out my thoughts in this article. While I'm ultimately opposed to representative "democracy", I also think electoral strength is an important means to a more progressive society. Yet the electoral system isn't much use to us as long as we remain weak in our ability to mobilize people or money. So the priority should be building social movements, community organizations, and democratic businesses. If that can be done thru electoral organizing, fine. But that should always be the focus, and mustn't be lost in the strange obsession many leftists have in figuring out who to vote for (as if one vote matters).

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