The Democrats don’t make change
IN RESPONSE to the collection of letters in "Wrong about Bernie Sanders" that critiqued the article "The problem with Bernie Sanders": Calling SocialistWorker.org faux revolutionaries while arguing that it's revolutionary to support someone running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination?
Just because the working class is and has been under attack does not mean that anyone who isn't a Republican will be a good choice. Democrats support austerity, Israel, police officers and corporations. Just because they say they care about marginalized people doesn't mean they actually do. In fact, we know just the opposite by looking at the Democrats' record on the issues.
Ultimately, the Democrats are one side of the pro-capitalist U.S. political system. I do not think that they can, do, or want to, make real change. I believe that rebellion, like in Baltimore, makes change. I believe blockades make change. I believe that the working class will always resist, and can rebuild its confidence in revolutionary politics.
Fifty years of neoliberalism and 400 years of capitalism in the U.S. has made it tough today for workers to feel like they can make a difference. But we see with Occupy Wall Street, with Idle No More, with Black Lives Matter, with the resistance to the ecological devastation and the fight against Israeli military occupation, and the combined strength of the solidarity that is rising from connecting these struggles, that the working class can be powerful. I think it does the working class a disservice to argue that they are not seeing the crisis of capitalism, and that they cannot mobilize again against the ruling class. This isn't some far-off dream--I see it in the streets, in the words of activists, and in the immense work radicals today are doing to argue that we need a revolutionary workers party to combat austerity and white supremacy.
Another radical told me that if I read Lenin, I would understand why we need to support Sanders: "There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us, just because he is a scoundrel."
Actually, this is Lenin arguing that revolutionaries should not discount parliamentary elections, not Lenin arguing to revolutionaries that the Democratic Party can be the people's party if we work from inside it. There is no changing the structure, nor the entrenched capitalism, of the Democrats. Out of context, that quote can mean back a capitalist. In context, it means use the scoundrel to expose capitalism. Exploit the "mistakes" they make by showing the working class that they are not mistakes, but choices to uphold capital before people.
Understanding Lenin means actually reading Lenin: "You want to create a new society, yet you fear the difficulties involved in forming a good parliamentary group made up of convinced, devoted and heroic Communists, in a reactionary parliament!" Sanders is not a convinced, devoted or heroic communist.
There really is very little to differentiate Democrats from Republicans. The Democrats are only a veneer for capitalist policies. The Democrats will not protect us from conservative reactionary policies nor will they argue for social safety nets, and they are against our collective liberation. We need elected officials who aren't going to side with police, who are going to actually support Black Lives Matter, who are not Zionists, and who are going to be condemning the state, not the people. And the Democrats cannot and will not provide such a candidate.
Caro Gonzales (Chemehuevi), Olympia, Washington