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"It is the death of humanity to know the price of everything but the value of nothing." ~Unknown

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Supporting Democrats....

Is a serious political disorder like alcoholism or returning again & again to an abusive spouse who repeatedly lies to you. It's easy to fall off the wagon, to make excuses & rationalizations for it. Even many whose views are developed enough to recognize such truths as the fundamental rottenness of the 2-party system & the complicity of Democrats in all of the Republicans' major crimes, are still unable to draw the logical consequences of these insights.

The central point is this: capitalist society permits the Democrats to be one of the 2 allowed parties for a very definite reason. It's not because the Democrats "serve the people." It's because in a subtle but effective way, they help the capitalists keep the populace under control by providing them with the illusion of possible change. TPTB don't want the people "served." They want them managed, or controlled. It is the job, the central social function of the Democrats to always be dangling before the people's noses vague pseudo-hints of possible change, so as to keep them from bolting from bourgeois politics altogether. It is the Democrats' intention to never deliver meaningful change, but rather to keep dangling hints of it alluringly forever. This produces control -- a populace habituated to remain safely within the lines required by ruling class interests.

Maybe the bottom line is whether or not we all seek the same depth of changes in our society. There is no doubt in my mind that whether under the control of Democrats or the Republicans, the number one beneficiary of political decisions, be they foreign policy or domestic, will be large industries/the extremely wealthy - that is, the general protection of the status quo, and the continuation of a capital-before-people mentality, the right of the US to impose its will on sovereign nations for the benefit of its corporations.

If people are comfortable with this reality, if a slightly higher minimum wage and a slightly friendlier attitude toward minorities or some minor (and generally unenforced) efforts toward reducing environmental damage, if changes on that level are good enough, then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. But if people are seeking significant change, if they want to see the current military occupations end, the power of the military-industrial complex diminish or disappear, and the rights of working people protected, health care for everyone or other changes of that magnitude, then an honest analysis of the Dems' desire/ability to make those changes must be undertaken. And by all analysis I don't see these changes coming through them, ever.

I wish it was a matter of pressuring them, writing letters, lobbying their offices, supporting certain candidates. But it has been shown time and time again that these measures don't work. And this is the question I still don't seem to have a clear answer for - what evidence is there (in this time of high-paid and high-powered corporate lobbyists, manipulated elections, pro-corporate media, etc) that the citizens of this country have any real influence over the politicians in Washington, or even that elections actually represent the will of the American people? I see some placating legislation here and there but when it comes to the big national issues - war, health care, oil dependency, environment, there is little more than rhetoric and half-measures. It's the whole thing about doing the same things over and over and expecting different results....The main arguments I have seen for continuing to focus on the Dems as a force for real change are based on faith, not fact.

As an aside, I have been doing a fair amount of reading about social uprisings, revolts, and revolutions lately. There is one thing I know for sure - people successfully demanding social change is NOT some impossible dream. It has happened throughout history, all over the globe. It is common, it is necessary, and, as far as I am concerned IT IS TIME.

- by mcoyote 1/20/2010

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