|Leading Green Party Member Jill Stein being arrested.|
A lot of people are very enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders. The reason for this enthusiasm is mainly positive. In his speeches he attacks the inequality of incomes and wealth. This is against the background of the anger against inequality, against the fall in living standards of the middle and working class, against the astronomical rise in wealth of the capitalist class. This is what creates the support for Sanders. These are also what are forcing discussion around the issue of socialism. This genie of the word socialism will not now be easily put back in the bottle again in US society. Look forward to when the next economic/financial crash comes. The worst affects of the last one in 2008/2009 were temporarily averted by the bail out with taxpayers money, that is working and middle class taxpayers money. It will not be so easy to do this the next time. Inevitably people will say well we bailed out the corporations and Wall Street swindlers before, even though they had caused the crisis, now they want us to bail them out again. No Way. This will tend to be the reaction. In this context the tendency will be to discuss why does capitalism always need to be bailed out, to discuss capitalism and socialism again.
Of course the capitalist class and their political parties and their mass media will say there is no alternative to capitalism and try to push any talk of socialism off the agenda and push to get another bail out by the middle class and working class tax payers. And they might succeed. But if they do so it will be at a cost. Part of this cost will be an increased consciousness amongst the US working class, about the class nature of society and the tiny capitalist dictatorship of corporations which runs the country. The idea of the 1% and the 99% will become even more prominent. The present talk of socialism will be built upon.
As this process unfolds we need to look at the role being played by Sanders. As we have said in a previous post on the Blog you have to listen carefully to what he says. He is identified as socialist not because he himself makes this a major issue but because the capitalist media identifies him as this as they think this will weaken him. He himself does not make the word socialism an issue. And he definitely does not make the reality of socialism an issue. Socialism is where the means of production, distribution and exchange are taken out of the private ownership of the major corporations and put into the collective ownership and control and management of the working class. Sanders never talks about this. Sanders would not touch this with a barge pole. He is for leaving these in private hands. All he talks about is a small, a tiny bit of redistribution. That is that the top 1 tenth of the top 1% should pay more taxes. This is not socialism or anything to do with socialism. This is only the tiniest adjustment in how much taxes the rich pay. It does not come to within a million light years of what the rich were paying under Truman. Sanders is not a socialist. He never talks about the need to take the giant corporations, the financial and industrial corporations out of private hands, to end their profit addicted ways and the domination of these profit addicted ways over the economy. He believes in leaving them in private hands and based on profit. That is he believes in capitalism.
Sanders, as we have said on this Blog, should not be supported or as some socialist groups say "welcomed" by socialists.
Take another issue. US foreign policy. US foreign policy is based on the needs of the US corporations to loot the rest of the world and their need to compete with their foreign rivals to loot the rest of the world. That is why there are US military bases in close to 200 locations world wide. If the money that was being spent on this was spent on raising living standards for working people in the US and internationally all peoples lives would be transformed for the better. But Sanders supports the present US corporation dominated US foreign policy. One of the most important areas for US capitalism abroad is the Middle East. This is so because of the oil wealth there. Also because of the US need to try and surround and contain Russia and China in that area and central Asia. The Zionist regime in Israel is central to this aim of US foreign policy in this region. It is the main ally of the US. It is financed and supplied by US capitalism. Sanders has not a word to say against this. Even when the Zionist regime was slaughtering women and children in Gaza he would not oppose this. Sanders is not a socialist. He is a supporter of US capitalism, of US imperialism and Zionism. As I say he should not be supported or "welcomed" by socialists.
Then on another issue. The repression and spying on the US population by the US capitalist state on behalf of the US corporations . People like Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Assange did the US and international working class a great favor by exposing this. Chelsea Manning is in the torture of solitary confinement for his heroic service. When Sanders was asked in the Democratic debate what should be done about Snowden he said. "He did break the law, and there should be a penalty for that." This is contemptible. Sanders is no socialist.
Compare this with the statement from Jill Stein. Jill Stein and the Green Party of which I am a member are not socialist. They are increasingly critical of capitalism but have not yet come out in opposition to it. As a member of that Party I advocate it do so. The class character of the Green Party has not yet been defined. As a member of that Party I advocate it seek to become a socialist party but not only that also become a workers party with its roots in the workplaces, union rank and files, communities, schools and colleges. Only socialism, only a mass workers party can solve the problems of US society.
But in spite of the Green Party and Jill Stein not being socialist, and I would wish to add "yet" here, consider how superior is the statement of Jill Stein on the issue of Snowden and Manning over Sanders. She said:' I think Snowden should be welcomed home as a hero. And I think Chelsea Manning, as well you know, ought to be recognized as the hero she is, and I would say the same for Julian Assange. We owe them all a great debt of gratitude."
Socialists should not support or "welcome" Sanders.