Democrat and Republican leaders have always played Good Cop/Bad Cop. The first thing to note is when most political commentators advocate voting for the ‘lesser evil’, they rarely describe the lesser ‘evil’ but rather endow the ‘evil’ with numerous virtues. Find the positive things to praise; point out how scary the opponent is; find reasons to say that unlike the opponent a very rich powerful establishment figure is actually on the side of the common people and make sure not to mention the voting record that shows your candidate is against the common people.
We are admonished by the experts and pundits that politics is the art of the possible and to be reasonable in our expectations of those we elect, who all campaign on the impossible – reforming capitalism into a humane system that acts in the interests of the majority and not for the protection of the interests of the minority. The pragmatists tell us you have to have a seat at the table to enact real change but the real decisions are not made at the tables of government offices but in the board-rooms of the corporations and the floors of the stock-exchanges.
Sanders endorsed Biden because he believes he has bound him to the most progressive platform since FDR’s New Deal – a hyperbolic claim, if there ever was one, although it is merely election promises. The rhetoric is still to be turned into deeds and we shall see, as with all manifesto pledges, they get quickly broken. Remember all those Obama promises of change?
The logic of the lesser evil ensures that each new election cycle will see both greater and lesser evils being more evil than the last time around. Supporting Biden only strengthens the right-ward drift. It is simply impossible to support either Trump or Biden in good conscience. US voters are faced with a non-choice. Supporting Trump is an expression of hateful xenophobia or an act of delusional desperation, but supporting Biden is a clear endorsement of his past record of nationalism and militarism.
A wasted vote is voting for somebody you don’t believe in. That’s a wasted vote. Vote for what you believe in – that’s how you bring about change. It is better to have the vote than not to have it. The wealthy who opposed votes for workers on the grounds that the working class is many and the property-owning rich parasites are few and therefore the many might end the social power of the few had a point.
Sadly, the working-class franchise has not yet justified those fears of real democracy. The workers have been persuaded to play the game: bought off by reforms and conned by leaders, the potential power of the vote has been wasted in every single election.
The answer is not to abandon the vote and ignore elections, but to work to create a politically educated electorate of working men and women who understand where their interest lies. The battle, not just when the electoral whistle blows, but at all times, is to win workers’ minds; to make class-conscious workers. Such workers, currently only a small minority, will never waste their votes on electing leaders, nor will they support any policy designed to run the profit system which exploits and dominates them. We, in the World Socialist Party enter into the electoral contest, using it as a means of putting our revolutionary case for socialism to the widest number of fellow workers. The WSPUS views socialism as a worldwide society. The interconnected nature of today’s world makes it impossible to create a new society in a single country. Capitalism is a world system, so socialism too must be a world system. Socialists often describe socialism as a society where there will be free access, but what could this mean in concrete terms?
Socialism will be a society of free access to what has been produced. This does not mean alcohol being made available to children or anyone being able to get hold of guns. But there’ll be no money, credit cards or check books, no artificial barriers to people having what they’ve decided they want. But how would free access work, and would it lead to a free-for-all and chaos as people just took more and more.
Abolition of Money. Down through the ages this wild and visionary slogan has been whispered by a subversive few. Ever since human beings discovered money, they have hated it and tried to rid themselves of it – whilst their own actions have kept it alive. In this respect, money is like syphilis. When bacteria enter a person’s bloodstream, so that person’s health is gradually undermined. It is the same with money as with bacteria. Since money has unlimited power in the world, the ways of the world are bound to be increasingly debased. Step by step, morality is bound to be ruined and human nature faced with corruption. In the end, society is driven to destruction.
400BC: Hey all you thirsty people, though you’ve got no money, come to the water. Buy corn without money and eat. Buy wine without money and milk without price (Isaiah 55:1)
1652: There shall be no buying and selling . . . If any man or family want grain or other provisions, they may go to the storehouse and fetch without money (Gerrard Winstanley)
1968: The Abolition of Money. The abolition of pay housing, pay media, pay transportation, pay food, pay education, pay clothing, pay medical help and pay toilets. A society which works towards and actively promotes the concept of 'full unemployment' (Yippie election leaflet)