American Opportunism

Over on the left, the Unrepentant Marxist critiques Barbara Ehrenreich's modest call for socialist planning, and argues that "the main task facing socialists today is breaking with the two-party system, not coming up with blueprints for socialism . . . Most people vote for Democrats because they fear and hate the Republicans. In order for the class struggle to move forward in the U.S., a class alternative to the two big capitalist parties must be forged." A paradox to consider here is that many on the left who consistently vote Democratic nonetheless also agree that the two-party system is part of the problem. Just like their counterparts on the right, they know very well that the Republicans and Democrats are both beholden to the same corporate interests, that both are complicit in the various debacles, crises and failures of the "system," that neither party has a monopoly on corruption etc., but still they often cannot bring themselves to act, that is to say, vote, in a manner consistent with what they know to be true, and, in good old American fashion, call it pragmatism. (Lenin called it opportunism.) On the other hand, the parties' actions are clearly informed by this knowledge: bipartisanship is easy to come by when it is a matter of rigging the rules to exclude voices beyond the duopoly.

1 comment:

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