Don’t be a turkey and vote between Thanksgiving and Christmas
“Lesser of two evils” is exactly what the name implies – choosing the lesser evil within the existing social system. Objectively, this is a call for conciliation with a section of the capitalist class. The people who pursue this tactic are those who don’t understand the real alternative to any evil is socialism. Many people in America today are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic parties and their presidential candidates. Reform and utopian movements, as well, as fascistic movements are springing up and taking root in the minds of the discontented masses who know by hard experience that something is wrong. They recognize that their grievances serve merely as topics of campaign speeches, rousing oratory that will be forgotten the day after the election. Many would like to see a complete shake-up of the political scene. Every deep recession in the past increased the political activity of the working class. Popular movements sprung up on the heels of economic and social dislocation. These movements faded with the first signs of the return to prosperity. But the present crisis continues. Government and private measures to stimulate business have failed to succeed. The condition of the working class has become worse and discontent increases. Obama’s promises could not be realized. Some political pundits in the media insist that voting on the basis of our conscience and standing by our principles may be lofty sentiment, but it is scarcely the aim of politics. They tell us to avoid isolation, to avoid sectarianism, avoid splitting the “progressive” vote with a spoiler candidate. Independent action for a third party serves the cause of reaction, we are lectured. The liberal intellectuals seek that workers cross class lines and support a capitalist party as a purely tactical strategy.
Socialists say to our fellow workers don’t lend your support to the capitalist election circus! What does a vote for President of the U.S mean today? Few believe that the person in the White House will abide by the wishes of the electors. Once seated in the Oval Office, it is Wall Street and Wall Street alone who must be obeyed. They want you to vote because they want some legitimacy for their “democracy” as if a larger voter turn-out means there is real democracy. They want to promote the illusion that maybe this election or that candidate will make a difference. This illusion is an obstacle in the way of the workers’ march toward real democracy, real power. Regardless of who gets elected, working people face unemployment, cuts in benefits and more austerity.
There is no choice offered in November because no socialist is running. There will be no change, except that things will get worse. They will get worse because the underlying cause of the innumerable social problems, the exploitation and oppression of the working class by the capitalist class, the evil of private property and maximum profit-taking by the corporations, will not change. There certainly are differences between Clinton and Trump, but only differences on how best to rule, how best to pillage working people and plunder the environment. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party are merely candidates of small-scale production and small-scale ownership. They don’t want to get rid of capitalism, they want it only to have a prettier face. Johnson is from the reactionary Right, Stein from the reformist Left. Neither represents the interests of the working class. The present evil today is not any particular candidate, but the system of capitalism.
Boom-time capitalism can grant reforms, and such were granted to the degree of the pressure of the working class could assert. Today, every concession wrung from the capitalist rests upon an entirely different basis than the previous reforms. The reforms in the period of capitalist growth were used to bribe a part of the working class to enable the capitalists to have a free hand against the majority of the working class. The economic base of reform parties has been wiped out by the conditions of the economic slump. New but relatively ineffectual reforms are the price now paid by the capitalists as the “lesser evil” to maintain power. The Democrat liberals have transformed every struggle for immediate demands into reforms of the worst kind. We know that reforms do not come from the kindness of the bosses. We know they are granted because the class pressure from below compels them to relinquish some material gain for our class in order to stem the tide and check a growing resistance. It is more profitable to kill with kindness than to kill through white terror, providing the position of the economy enables them to carry out the former.
The solution to the lesser evil/bigger evil is to build the independent activity and consciousness of the working class. It is to unite the working class in the fight for socialism! Our job is to hasten this process, our job is to break with the idea of a ’lesser’ evil. Capitalism offers no future for any worker. There is no choice for workers in this November’s election. Sadly, there will be no genuine socialist party to offer a real alternative. Until we form a mass socialist party we are accepting the rule of the capitalist parties. The working class must make use of democratic rights under capitalism to build their own organizations of struggle and in doing so we shall acquire the ability to bring down this wretched system of exploitation, oppression, and sham democracy. The working class needs a political alternative, a socialist party dedicated to overthrowing both the capitalist economic system and the state that defends it.
The Socialist Party holds capitalist society responsible for Clinton and Trump, not Clinton or Trump for capitalist society; the non-socialist holds them guilty and acquits capitalist society.