Thursday, August 27, 2020

The New Abnormal

No election would be complete without denial, delusion, deception, and those words: “the lesser of two evils.” At every election leftists argue about ‘lesser evil’ and ‘tactical voting’. Truth is the bosses have both parties in the palms of their hands, while we need one of our own. Workers who are so hypnotized by the promise of reforms, those bandaids upon the festering sores of a social structure, that they neglect to observe the rottenness of the capitalist system itself, will naturally support that party whose program promises them most, providing that they retain enough infantile trustfulness to believe anything from the mouth of a politician. Suicidal though this is, and regrettable from the socialist standpoint, there is no doubt that the workers who will to vote for Joe Biden believe they are acting intelligently. He might bring some seeming advantage to some other sections of the workers. He might introduce measures bringing fleeting relief to the some of the working class who forget to ask themselves why reform legislation is necessary, and why, in spite of it, their conditions still grow steadily worse.

Socialism distinguishes itself from capitalism by this fundamental requirement: the community shall own the means of production in common. Biden believes in the capitalist system. He might advocate reform of capitalism’s current excesses, but he is still pro-capitalist. The World Socialist Party of the United States doesn’t see capitalism as a reformable institution but liberal and progressives willing to vote for Biden do. Biden believes in a basic market economy with a welfare state and a healthy amount of regulation, standard fare for a Democrat politician’s promises. Like all politicians Biden is selling America a fantasy.

The US has the highest number of its citizens languishing behind bars. Biden played a central role in winning support for Bill Clinton's two crime bills in 1994 and 1996 that required mandatory sentencing guidelines, accelerated spending on prisons and put more police on the streets. Now he wants us to believe that he has had a change of heart and wants to end the worst abuses of the system. Everyone talks about how awful it would be if Trump won again but what he has been doing is what the Democrats have actually been doing in previous years –  regime change campaign, the death squad campaigns, all hidden in the artful dodge of the humanitarian intervention. Biden is running a supposedly liberal campaign because he had to fend off the populist candidacy from Sanders. Nothing he says is the truth because once he gets in the office he will do what exactly what he espoused in the past with  trade agreements like NAFTA and while in the Senate or VP he never opposed any wars, pushed hard for the destruction of Libya. Biden has the blood on his hands while put a moral veneer over military intervention, killing in the name of democracy, and taking credit for it as being humanitarian even if it isn’t.

Whatever else might be said about these and related facts on economic mobility, they show that America is not a land of opportunity in which everyone has a good chance to get ahead. The rich are getting richer, at the expense of the rest of us. This is not a radical viewpoint. It is well understood by everyone. The hard part is not grasping what is happening. The hard part is motivating people to do something about it.

We have choices to make. There's no way that reforming this current system is going to change the quality of life for the majority of humanity. Quite the opposite. The more we improve the system, the more we're keep the system whose logical outcome will be the destruction of the planet. The global economy by definition destroys the planet. To-day's capitalist way of living has maybe a 30-year expiry date on it. Communicating this message to our fellow workers is a strong and urgent priority. The global capitalist culture wants us to believe that there is no alternative. Free access and sharing is going to be a central pillar of the post-capitalist world. The social revolution needn’t be violent. It will probably be multifaceted, and multilayered.

Socialism is one of the most abused and misunderstood words in modern history. Socialism has always been based upon the idea of social ownership and control of the means of production, to be achieved through the expropriation of the private property of the capitalist class.

 Eugene Debs called for workers to unite to “assert their combined power” to “break the fetters of wage slavery.” Sanders is yet to refer to wage slavery as endemic in a capitalist economy, as Debs did. Debs spoke derisively of the business owner, who “holds the exploited wage worker in utter contempt…No master ever had any respect for his slave, and no slave ever had, or ever could have, any real love for his master.” “Prostitution,” Debs wrote, “is a part, a necessary part, of capitalist society.” He called for workers to “assume control of every industry” and for ownership to be “transferred from the idle capitalist to the workers to whom it rightfully belongs.” Biden still guarantees the corporations their independence.

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