Peace and Freedom Party

California's Feminist Socialist Political Party

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Home Articles General Why Ecosocialists Should Register Peace and Freedom

Why Ecosocialists Should Register Peace and Freedom

By Eugene Ruyle

Posted on September 29, 2013 by the Communications Committee

This article is available as a flyer to download, print and distribute here. It is reproduced by permission of the author from the Campaign for Peace and Socialism

Formed in the anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggles of the sixties, the Peace and Freedom Party has the strongest ecological stance of any ballot-qualified party in the United States. Alone among ballot-qualified parties, the Peace and Freedom Party locates the cause of our ecological crisis in capitalism and understands that any real solution must involve socialism. The Peace and Freedom Platform clearly states our position on capitalism, socialism, and ecology:

The same corporate forces and economic system that exploit and brutalize the world's working class people are destroying the world's biosphere. These social policies and ecological destruction often overlap. Socialism is necessary to end the ecological destruction caused by capitalism. Our goal is a society that is in harmony with nature as it is in harmony with its own people.

As early as 1970, before there was a Green Party and before he term ecosocialism was even coined, the Peace and Freedom Party included ecological concerns in its socialist program, with a call to: "Save the environment by prohibiting pollution, waste of resources and destruction of nature for profit."

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Ecological concerns have always played an important role in the Peace and Freedom program. In April 2011, the State Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party endorsed the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, adopted at the World’s People’s Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia in April 2010.

Our foundational opposition to U.S. imperialism includes recognition of its role in destroying the Earth. Not only is the U.S. military the biggest polluter on the planet, it protects and serves the same corporate forces that are systematically pillaging the Earth and paving the way to eco-destruction.

As a non-sectarian, multi-tendency party, Peace and Freedom welcomes the participation of members of other socialist groups. For example the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Socialist Organizer, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, and the Freedom Socialist Party have all been active within our ballot-qualified party. Our bylaws protect the formation of tendencies and the expression of various viewpoints.

The Peace and Freedom Party is an open, democratic, non-sectarian, multi-tendency, and movement-oriented political party, governed by the State Elections Code and our own Bylaws. Anyone eligible to vote in California can become a member of the Peace and Freedom Party simply by selecting Peace and Freedom Party under Political Party Preference while registering to vote. (There are also provisions for those who are prevented by law from voting to join the Peace and Freedom Party and participate in Party activities.)

The Peace and Freedom Party is governed by its State and County Central Committees. Any registered member can become a member of these Central Committees either through election in the Presidential Primary election or by appointment by attending two Central Committee meetings. All meetings of the State Central Committee are open, with voting rights limited to SCC members.

Image not available The Peace and Freedom Party
supported the Black Panthers
in the anti-racist struggle.

Peace and Freedom is a socialist party, but not organized as a vanguard party seeking to emulate the Bolsheviks of 1917. We respect such vanguard parties and welcome their participation as indicated above. We provide an electoral alternative to the war addicted, pro-capitalist parties that dominate U.S. politics. In an era of the unchallenged supremacy of capital, it is worthwhile to have a political party, however small, to offer an alternative to the twin parties of corporate capitalism, unending war, and ecological insanity. Whatever its shortcomings, the Peace and Freedom Party has been uncompromising in our opposition to imperialism, uncompromising in our support for people’s struggles in California and throughout the world, and uncompromising in our support for the defense of our Mother Earth.

Many socialists of difference kinds—ecosocialists, democratic socialists, libertarian socialists, revolutionary socialists—feel it is important to publically declare their opposition to capitalism. There is no more effective way to do this than by registering in the socialist Peace and Freedom Party. Given the hegemony of bourgeois ideology, this may seem futile. But as Marx and Engels wrote concerning the importance of electoral activity even in the worst of times:

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Even where there is no prospect of achieving their election the workers must put up their own candidates to preserve their independence, to gauge their own strength and to bring their revolutionary position and party standpoint to public attention. They must not be led astray by the empty phrases of the democrats, who will maintain that the workers' candidates will split the democratic party and offer the forces of reaction the chance of victory. All such talk means, in the final analysis, that the proletariat is to be swindled. The progress which the proletarian party will make by operating independently in this way is infinitely more important than the disadvantages resulting from the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body. (London, March 1850)

As we participate in a flawed and undemocratic electoral system, we recognize that our goals cannot be achieved by electoral means alone. We participate in mass organization and direct action in neighborhoods, workplaces, unions, schools, and the armed forces everywhere.

While organizing for the future, we work in the present, challenging the system with immediate and transitional goals, including:

  • Shut down the war machine and bring our troops home
  • Guaranteed employment, with a dignified guaranteed income, free education and health care for all
  • Open borders and full rights for immigrants
  • End all discrimination against immigrants, women, LGBT, and minorities, with marriage equality
  • No compromise in defense of our Mother Earth
Our personal and political freedoms are under sustained attack by the forces of corporate capitalism which include both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Signing petitions, demonstrating in the streets, and direct action are all important, as is an electoral challenge informed by the working class science of socialism.

Join the resistance by registering to vote at registertovote.ca.gov and choosing Peace and Freedom as your party preference.

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A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. — attributed to Albert Einstein

System Change NOT Climate Change

Eugene Rulye is a member of the State Central Committee and the Alameda County Central Committee.


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