Lately, the American working class got punched in the face too many times. The so-called “left” was completely helpless and suffered many defeats. Bernie Sanders failed, again. The unemployment rate is the highest ever. There is a big housing crisis. An economic depression is coming. And in the middle of all that, all of the “Progressives” voted for the biggest corporate bailout in history. On the mainstream political spectrum, nobody is actually representing the people. I repeat, nobody.
Essentially, there is only one party
The key reason why the left is being kicked out of the political discourse is the system. Under this neoliberal plutocracy, there is no real political pluralism, there is only one party which is divided into two sections to make an illusion of a democracy. “Divide et impera” – meaning divide and rule – is a strategy used to control and rule over a population, it originates from ancient Rome and is now used by the American Empire. This means that the government ignites conflicts between the people – in the current situation mostly social issues – so that they can rule more easily and without rebellions. If the people fight between themselves over non-important issues, they are too weak to even consider rebelling against the government. Explanation:
There are two main parties – the Democrats and the Republicans, of course, there are also others like the Green Party but they have no power at all and zero chance of getting it. The Democrats are supposed to represent liberals and the Republicans conservatives. They may fight about social issues, but as far as the economy is concerned, they essentially agree and only argue about non-important details, just for the show. The record of who voted for/against the important economic bills proves that. Both parties 100% support capitalism, corporatism, imperialism, and neocolonialism. Some care about the ethnic minorities, the LGBT community, and feminism, but besides that, nothing sets them apart.
There are only the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the real game. Nobody from a third party has ever been elected president and other parties are forced to be irrelevant. Maybe one of the most obvious signs that nobody really represents the “plebeians” are the ideologies of the two mainstream parties. There are liberalism (neoliberalism) and (neo)conservatism but no socialism. In history, the political spectrum was always divided into three main ideologies: socialism – representing the working class, liberalism – representing the bourgeoisie (capitalists), and conservatism – representing the aristocracy (the nobles). To be clear, by socialists I don’t mean the modern definition of the ideology, but the broader term which stood for all of the left ideologies. Though they had some conflicts, liberals and conservatives almost always allied themselves against the socialists, thus preventing them from having political power.
Although it’s not the same today, the situation is comparable. The Democrats/liberals and the Republicans/conservatives managed to form such a strong allegiance that hijacked democracy, alienated the real left & working class and gave them all the power. The voice of the working people isn’t heard, it’s not represented – it’s suppressed.
Such a situation is not a democracy, it’s more of an aristocracy, a plutocracy or even a dictatorship of the corporations who have control over everything important.
Bernie Sanders and the Progressives failed
In recent years, the more left-leaning Democrats formed a so-called Progressive movement. In the beginning, it seemed somewhat promising, but it failed almost completely. They were supposed to be fighting for a public healthcare system (Medicare for All), free college and student debt relief, an economic reform to tackle climate change (Green New Deal), and getting money out of politics. It was all dandy in theory and rhetoric, but in practice, the movement failed as they didn’t solve even one of the main issues of their manifest. The senators, congressmen, and congresswomen who were elected as progressive candidates moved more and more to the right and – apart from their rhetoric – they almost completely adopted the corporate ideology and became ordinary corrupt Democrats.
The leader of the Progressive movement was and for now still is Bernie Sanders. He became famous in 2016 after an inspiring campaign when he almost got the Democratic nomination which Hillary Clinton stole from him. Among many, I hoped he learned enough from that experience and would play differently now. He disappointed us all and choose the same road again, consciously or not. He didn’t point out the corruptness of the whole system, he didn’t point out that his biggest rival has dementia, and – the most important – he didn’t use his supporters enough. It’s not even a surprise that he was defeated again, he made things too easy for the establishment. He had enough people behind him to be able to organize mass strikes and protests against the establishment, but he just jelled about policies. That is not enough and will never be enough to break this corrupt system.
The Progressives are in fact just another tool of the ruling elites
The Progressives satisfy the people with their fancy rhetoric and bragging about giving crumbs to the people. They manage to enforce some really bad and non-sufficient policies that only slightly improve the situation of the proletariat, they also shout and argue with even more corrupt politicians, thus presenting themselves as reformers and revolutionaries – representatives of the people.
In normal circumstances, when there is no crisis, this works. Crumbs for the people to survive, and free money to the corporations. The Progressives satisfy the working class just enough so they don’t protest and rebel. In fact, they are a tool which helps the elites to control the situation. They are still a part of the system, a very important part because without them it wouldn’t work. The Progressives are de facto the enemies of the working class. They aren’t on our side, they’re just more emphatic subjects of the neoliberal regime. Essentially, they prevent real change and support the system under which the proletariat suffers immensely.
The current system only works in “normal” conditions
Neoliberalism only works in normal conditions. Now an economic depression is coming and things will start to fall apart. The rate of unemployment is record high, people can’t pay rent, and thousands are still dying because they don’t get the right medical treatment. This is just the tip of the iceberg… If things progress as the situation is developing now, soon survival will be the main issue for many.
The situation is similar to the Great Depression at the end of the 1920s. After the Golden Twenties, a time of high economic growth, the market crashed and the US fell into an economic depression which affected almost the whole world. Many people lost their jobs and became homeless, the situation was desperate. After president Hoover’s non-intervention economy politics failed massively, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president. With his New Deal, he overcame the crisis and consequently saved capitalism. If the there were no drastic reforms, the system would have crashed.
Only a real revolution would change things for the better
Right now we are in the beginning stages of a global depression. I think that it’s highly possible that people’s survival could become endangered at some point. If/when that happens, the system could collapse, again. Sooner or later “enough will really be enough”. What matters the most is how the proletariat and the political left will react. FDR carried out drastic reforms that saved capitalism and enabled its rise for future decades. In a weird way, it is fascinating that it was able to last this long. Until now, there were some small crashes, but it wasn’t endangered. Now, after almost 100 years, capitalism is collapsing again and the question is, how are the people going to react.
Will someone become the next FDR or will a revolution end the age of capitalism? What would be better and what would the consequence of each decision be?
I’ll be answering these questions in my next article.