Friday, August 28, 2020

The Distorted Deluded Debate

The so-called Democratic Party decided that Joe Biden will face Donald Trump in the up-coming presidential election. Working people know that Trump stands for more repression, more injustice and more poverty. But the question is: will Biden be any better? Chomsky and other liberal progressives believe so.

 Neither a Democratic nor a Republican president is capable of addressing the crises of the 21st century: the pandemic; climate change; concentration of wealth and power among the 5%, the shredding of the social safety net for the poor to pay for a growing national-security state and its endless war. The difference between a Biden presidency and a Trump presidency is the difference between driving towards a cliff-edge at 55 mph and driving at 90 mph. The sad reality, though, is that it is impossible to disabuse people of the lesser evil idea. No matter how compelling the case against lesser evilism may be, when faced with a Biden versus Trump choice, what sane person would not succumb? The Democratic Party functionaries and their media hacks will do their best to keep lesser evil thinking alive. No politician can ever confess to the impossibility of the tasks he or she sets themselves. The gap between promises and reality must be bridged by other means. Sometimes, as we said, it might be by a little bit of luck. Mostly, the gap is bridged by a more calculated method, the public relations and the advertising agencies. You sell yourself and your programs the way a business sells its products.

Lesser evil is a losing strategy. It invariably paves the path for greater evils. There is no time like the present to push a socialist agenda in the electoral arena. A voter revolt is underway and we are beginning to see an unprecedented number of Americans rejecting both parties and their candidates. A vote for Biden may be a vote to defeat Trump, but it also a vote to defeat the emergence of a socialist alternative.

What Biden’s program amounts to is little more than sugar coated regulations. He and his backers understand that the people of the U.S. will not continue to accept no jobs, poor housing, decaying schools, lack of adequate health care, and police terror. They also understand the need to devise new means of ruling other than the open repression of the Trump administration. Biden’s plans are presented as a modern version of FDR’s New Deal. Roosevelt tried to save capitalism from the 1930’s Depression by making jobs, setting up an elaborate system of welfare and unemployment work compensation insurance. But the New Deal didn’t really solve problems – it just temporarily papered over them. In the end it took a world war to keep capitalism from going under. If Biden is elected we can be sure that his plans and deals will also falter and fail, as wellBiden’s ideas and proposals are a compendium of catch-all slogans. He makes his appeal on a false, hypocritical and deceptive basis. Biden is promising a lot of things like more jobs, extra housing, better welfare, etc. – but who is going to pay the bill? For a while the federal budget can be altered with military spending diverted for social programs, and corporations may even be asked to pay higher taxes. Yet even this will only scratch the surface. In the end the people will bear the cost with austerity cuts. Biden is just the latest instalment in a series of “liberal” politicians full of promises to deliver security. In the end, Biden will be leading a ruling class war against the people of this country.

Never has the need been greater than now for socialists to conduct a campaign for their own principles and in their own name against capitalism. The last months have been portraying the illusion that the Democratic Party can somehow be used as instruments of struggle for civil rights and for civil liberties.

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