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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Use the Bernie campaign for education - not condemnation

On the actual left there has been stiff opposition to supporting the Bernie Sanders campaign for president. The arguments goes that Bernie is not a real Marxist and never said he was. Most of us realize that Bernie will not make serious differences in the system, the system has plenty of mechanics in place to make sure that doesn't happen.
Most of us know that elections are rigged so no real Marxist can really get elected and if they do, the system will wear them down until they give up on their rebellion (see Salvador Allende)
There is also the argument that the Democratic Party is a bourgeoisie party and nothing will change that. But at the same time, no president can get elected without being in one of the two parties. There are also serious problems with some of Bernie's issues, such as his support for Israel.
I am suggesting that the Bernie Sanders campaign gives us a chance to both educate about socialism and challenge the bourgeoisie's talking heads that suggest that socialism is dead.
Also we can't just ignore issues and positions that hinder or effect how working people's lives. We would be negligent if we allow their lives to deteriorate because of some right-wing experiment that the bourgeoisie decided would be fun to impose on working people. We see that now with Tea Party Republicans who are out to destroy the US infrastructure and any and all programs that bring relief to either working people or the poor.
We do need to work for a revolution and Bernie will never be part of that. But in the short run we can use the campaign to try and educate people. A lot of people are supporting him and over looking the "s" word; socialism. We need to reach out to people to let them know they don't have to fear the "s" word and take it one step further; don't fear the "c" word either. It is the bourgeoisie that needs to fear the words such as socialism and not the common worker.
Here are a few examples of arguments I have seen on Facebook about the Bernie campaign:

John Stephenson If self proclaimed marxist communists aren't going to build a socialist movement and are going to be Democrats, who the heck is going to build a socialist movement? Claiming that socialism is impossible isn't actually a pro Bernie argument, it's even more pessimistic than our position.

Alexander Bergbacka In return, he'll continue wage slavery, Imperialistic wars, Zionism, the wars of ethnic cleansing currently waged on people of colour, etc.

Alexander Bergbacka Absolutely. We *must* educate those drawn to Sanders about *real* socialism, but make no mistake, he is an enemy of the highest order, like all Social Democrats.

Jacob Monrean
 Consider how electing a self-described socialist could change the conversation about socialism and capitalism. It makes perfect sense for a Marxist to support Bernie. Marx was more pragmatic than some of you hard-liners like to believe.

Doug Greene No one here is saying that you shouldn't talk to or engage with Sanders' supporters, that's great. They need to be educated since a lot of them don't know better. But that is different than providing material support to the Democrats - giving them money, organizing for them, etc. That is direct support for the enemy and no socialist can do that without crossing the line.

-There has been sufficient discussion on the pros and cons of supporting the Bernie Campaign. I don't think any of us really want to support the Democrats. But some of us want to take advantage of this campaign for symbolic and educational reasons.

- សតិវ អតុ

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