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Saturday, Sep. 20, 2003 at 5:21 AM
I feel compelled to interrupt this endless stream of electoral politics and inject a few words of reality into the debate.
Does anyone honestly think that if by some miracle Kucinich gets elected the system will actually allow him to put into practice even half of what he says he'll do? If Kucinich gets into office, he'll have had to sell out to get there, and once there, he'd be forced to sell out more. The seats of power corrupt whomever happens to sit in them.
I mean, first of all, we're talking about a brainwashed public that, thanks to an oligarchic media that's anything but a 'free press', half of which still claims that the Emperor is doing a 'good job' at governing, more than half of which thinks that Iraq and Saddam had something to do with the 9/11 attacks, a media that trivializes the Left while actively organizing pro-Establishment pro-war demonstrations.
Ah yes, the media. The big debate right now is whether to keep it as-is or to make it even more oligarchic; in other words the current totally unacceptable state of things that's helped foster the rise of American fascism is considered the bleeding LEFT (!) edge of what's politically possible by the system. Not to mention a political process that's so advertising-dependent that it forces all candidates to pander to the rich at $100 (or $1000) a plate fundraisers if they want a ghost of a chance of being viable.
When fascist propaganda machinery is considered the left edge of the politically possible, I don't think it should take an Einstein to conclude that the whole system ITSELF is fucked up and needs to be questioned.
Besides, just look at history. The Progressive Era (Socialist Party and IWW membership at all time highs), the New Deal (Communist Party growing by leaps and bounds), and the Civil Rights Acts (scads of radical energy in the '60s) didn't happen in a vacuum, and weren't put into law because of generosity. They happened in the background of growing discontent, manifesting itself as growing numbers of people seeing the system itself as the problem and becoming willing to step outside its bounds in seeking change.
Reforms are allowed to pass -- grudgingly -- by a ruling class that's starting to worry their corpses are about to become the latest fashion in lamp-post decorations. (Note to any po-po reading this about to put it in their domestic terrorism file: I said "that's starting to worry their corpses are about to become ..." not "whose corpses have just become ...". I'm discussing the fears of the ruling class, not advocating any concrete policy for confronting them. So there.)
And if the reforms succeed in buying off the radical movements that were responsible for prompting them, they'll be undermined or repealed. Clinton ended 'welfare as we know it', Bush is gutting EPA regulations, affirmative action is under attack everywhere, FDR's sops to the people on media ownership and fairness were long ago defined as unacceptably left-wing, etc.
In other words, there is no alternative to social revolution, and even what are trotted out as the gains of reformism are in fact the gains of revolutionaries.
Vote? Sure, definitely. Why voluntarily refuse a chance to have some influence (however limited) over the system just by blacking in some ovals and putting a stamp on an envelope. Bush is so abysmally bad that pretty much anybody else would be an improvement.
But don't get so caught up in this that you lose sight of the rest of the picture.
I now return you to our regularly-scheduled program of squabbles over which Democrat is best.
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