neil wrote:

>Yes, Jim D., true sure "they" give you a little red -white and blue
>sticker for your so-called duty to vote.
>But the "they" is a  courtesy of the capitalists political state machinery
>for going along with
>and promoting the illusion that common folk  have some say-so over the
>governments actions ,

You misunderstand the problem Neil, the common folk *do* have some 
say over the government's actions. The problem is that in a 
capitalist economy the government itself doesn't have any real say 
over the important economic decisions that effect the common folk. 
Because these decisions are in private hands, in the hands of those 
who own the economy.

Political democracy isn't the solution, but it isn't the main problem 
either. It is certainly an improvement over political dictatorship. 
(Ask anyone who has lived under a political dictatorship.) But it 
isn't economic democracy.

>  federal, state  city in the USA. This , is this modern  monopoly
>capitalist epoch, is the most nausiating  deception and deadly lie.
>Even as far as  social reforms are concerned, who can name any in our
>adult lifetimes that were won (and many were/are to be later stripped down)
>via voting?.

Again you miss the point. Nothing (or nothing I can think of 
off-hand) is won *entirely* by voting. There is much more involved.

But since you ask, I'll give you an example of a huge reform that was 
won as a result of a vote. The end of the 25 year Indonesian 
occupation of east Timor. The vote by itself didn't get the 
Indonesians out of course, but it was the key to getting them out. 
Once the people of East Timor voted in the independence/autonomy 
ballot, the world could no longer deny what was happening. No-one 
could any longer deny that Indonesian occupation was illegitimate, 
no-one any longer believed that the bloodshed was some kind of 
internal war between local factions.

The independence vote clearly turned the tide, it led to a 
significant shift in public opinion around the world, particularly in 
Australia. This in turn made it impossible for the Australian 
government to continue tolerating and supporting the Indonesian 
occupation and quickly led to the end of a vicious political 

So don't tell me voting never achieves anything. If the people of 
East Timor hadn't risked their lives to vote for independence, they 
would have remained a colony. If voting didn't matter, the indonesian 
army and militias would not have reacted so violently to the 
overwhelming vote for independence.

Bill Bartlett
Bracknell tas

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