Sunday, September 18, 2016

Third-Party Candidates Left off Stage

by Luke Pickrell

The ruling class in America will have its two parties front and center for the first presidential debate, and surely will hope its pick, Clinton, will hit the high notes. In fact, the Democrats and Republicans will be the only two parties on stage, now that Gary Johnson and Jill Stein have officially been cut from the televised spectacle. The New York Times - unofficial stenographer for the state - presented the news with an article that makes its sound like exclusion from the televised debate is the individual fault of Johnson and Stein; if only they'd tried a little harder! (I was compelled to see what the paper said about Obama in 2012: "President Obama has governed from a deep commitment to the role of government in fostering growth, forming sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and saving the social safety net to protect the powerless").

Of course, the deck is stacked against third party candidates and has been since the capitalist class realized bourgeois democracy is the best strategy for extracting surplus value and maintaining social control. In the name of "democracy" we have been given the choice to choose the next representative of the oppressing class - the next person to bail out Wall Street; apologize for unending wars for profit; conduct attacks on families, workers, immigrants, and students; oversee the American gulag and police terror squads; feign interest in stopping climate change. All of this is not to say that Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will solve the problems list above and bring about a revolution of the working class. Rather, the exclusion of popular discourse other than that spurting from two parties inexorably linked to richest people in the world shows the lie of "democracy" under capitalism.

The richest Americans are finding it a bit harder these days to sell their wares to the majority of the Americans. Trump and Clinton are the two most unpopular candidates from their respective parties, ever. Clinton is lagging in popularity among young people, and is turning to Sanders to suck them up for the party.

Today - between schmoozing businessmen at the Economic Club of Detroit and appealing to the military at the Commander-in-Chief Forum in New York City - the two corporate parties don’t even both to hide the identity of the puppet masters who pull the strings. The grandest master of them all is capitalism, as the need to maximize profit and maintain social control means more war, more pollution, and more attacks on living standards no matter the consequences. The ruling class has nothing but contempt for the workers in society. Nothing living is too valuable to defame or kill, nothing is too sacred to commoditize and turn into a profit.

Allowing voices other than Trump or Clinton to be heard on a national platform wouldn't necessarily be a threat to capitalism and the wealth of the 62 richest people in the world, but it might make keeping social control in the U.S. just a little harder. People might start getting the idea that an alternative to the status quo is possible. And that would be a very dangerous thing. 


Margaret Walker MD RMT said...

Thank you for your words, Richard.

Sean said...

Thank you for your very good article Luke. Sean O'T.


An honest piece about the realities of American "democracy' ruled by capitalism. Great Job, Luke!

Richard Mellor said...

That's nice of you Margaret but this piece is written by Luke Pickrell