Monday, November 07, 2016

Clinton or Trump? Makes no difference

Whoever becomes president; capitalism will continue with its poverty, homelessness, and hunger for many Americans. It’s not a new president that is needed but a new economic system. The main reason that it makes no difference is that politicians and governments do not, and cannot, control the way the capitalist economy works. They have to navigate by sight in the face of what the capitalist economy throws up and so can do no more than react to how the economy moves. This quite apart from the fact that their remit is to govern in the overall interest of the capitalist class. In fact, far from them controlling the way capitalism works, it's the other way round. That's why Obama failed to honor his promises. Whoever wins may introduce a few reforms but sooner or later will have to make the excuse about being "blown off course" and settle down to governing capitalism in the only way it can be: as a profit-making system in the interest of those who live off the profits drawn from their ownership of the means of production. So the outcome of the US Presidential election is essentially irrelevant to American working people. Indeed, every election is irrelevant to working people when the electorate is confronted with the conventional political parties whose policies do no more than perpetuate the mastery of the capitalist class.

In foreign policy, the President will defend the overseas investments and interests of US corporations and the ‘world global order’ of capital accumulation. Where corporations see a further opportunity to expand their profit base into another country, US government influence will be exerted to transform that country’s economy, culture and political life in order to integrate its productive structures into the international system of capital accumulation. If the indigenous people cannot be peacefully persuaded to open up their country to outside exploitation, pretexts will be found for military intervention.

 Listening to Trump’s speeches, he seems to be making extravagant promises claiming that he personally can turn the American capitalist economy around and create millions of new jobs. He is either dishonest or stupid. Probably both. Not even a saint could control capitalism or make it work in the interest of all. It is perhaps understandable to a certain extent why some people should want to vote for Clinton, what is utterly incomprehensible is why so many should want Trump, a self-satisfied capitalist who has made no attempt to disguise his disdain for the workers. A sad reflection of the low level of political consciousness amongst workers in America.

While these elections may be irrelevant, that is not to say that ordinary working people in America, or elsewhere, should turn their back on the electoral system as such. Once the world’s working people demand socialism, the electoral system can be utilised to effect the revolutionary act of abolishing capitalism by signaling that a majority of ordinary people fully understand and want to effect that change. So we should not be fooled by the myth that there is no alternative to capitalism, that it will always be with us. A socialist society will have no place for leaders or government. The periodic election of the President whose function is to protect class interest of wealth and privilege and perpetuate our servitude will disappear.

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