US corporations with the Republican party in the lead are deliberately destroying the democratic gains that have been made in this country over the years. This blog does not believe that capitalism can be ended by a vote in Congress and that will be that. History shows us when corporate power, the capitalist class, loses control of the capitalist democratic institutions, that is, its own institutions, then it will take out the guns, Nazi Germany, Chile, Latin America, SE Asia, all are examples of where when capitalism was threatened they slaughtered to stay in power. Capitalism will only accept democracy as long as democracy accepts capitalism.
However, and this is a big however, this does not mean that the democratic gains that exist and have been won in struggle in the US and other countries are unimportant. Their importance is shown by the fact that US capitalism is now taking away these rights. In state after state millions are being purged off voting registers. Then we have elected councillors and mayors being removed and replaced by financial managers who can break all contracts and do what they want. Then we have the decision by the Supreme Court to allow the big corporations to buy the elections. And we have Washington and all legislatures a den of bribers and thieves acting to pass laws favoring the corporations.
Those of us who are socialists and anti capitalists have to deal with this issue concretely. We have to campaign against the buying of the legislature by the corporations. This means coming up with and campaigning for a proposal that bans corporate money from any and all elections. Perhaps we should campaign for a proposal that the only financial contribution that can be made is a maximum of $25.00 per person. That a maximum of only four contributions per person can be made in any one year. That no corporations can make donations, that is that only people can make donations. I am not clear on the details of this but something along these lines. Also that all lobbyists are identified for what they are, bribers, bagmen and women, and are banned from legislatures.
The union leadership will scream and oppose such steps as they also use big donations and lobbyists to try and influence politics. They also have lobbyists at Washinton and every legislature. But the Unions have millions of members. If they fight on the right program this will mobilize their millions of members and they can win their victories in this way. The corporations cannot do this. They do not have a mass membership. The union leadership are making a bad mistake playing by the corporations rules.
We have to defend the democratic rights that have been won. These were won on the streets and workplaces. They have to be defended on the streets and the workplaces. But such movements can often be mobilized best by having concrete clear and simple demands to change the present system and campaigning for these wherever the opportunity exists. This is what we need now. The mass of the population are extremely disillusioned with the way politics are run in the country. They see that political power is a commodity with the politicians bought and sold like goods of a supermarket shelf. It has been a mistake of left forces to give insufficient thought to concrete demands to end the anti democratic and strengthening drive of capitalism.
Of course while fighting on this front we have to keep in mind that when capitalism cannot get its way through the democratic process it will bring out the guns and this means the state apparatus and its auxiliaries. We have to learn the lessons of history and be ready for this also.
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