[Marxism] On the question of the Democrats
bhandari at berkeley.edu
Thu Nov 2 16:28:58 MST 2006
Now on this question of the Democrats, Andrew, you ignored the
challenge I put forth: I think you have made it too easy on yourself.
The question is not simply whether to cast a ballot but whether the
possible benefits of Democratic victories justify the real time and
energy and money which the Democrats must command to have a
reasonable chance of electoral success. They are selling a product
and it has a cost. I just don't see how you have been speaking to
this hard question. Perhaps you believe that there is no tradeoff
involved in supporting the Democrats so that it's costless to vote
for them? That may be true from your perspective but it does not hold
at a social level, the level at which your critics are thinking.
There is a social and opportunity cost to making the Democrats
electorally viable so that you can urge people that their vote may
tip the balance in the Democrats' favor. Have you justified that
social cost in terms of the possible benefits? If you don't think
that the social cost is worth it (you don't yourself work within the
DP) but are saying that since social effort has already been expended
you're going to vote Democratic anyway, then how do you ensure that
the social cost is not borne in the future?
It would have been much better had you argued that given the options
available one should work within the Democratic Party which is the
only real game in town today. That is a coherent position; yours is
And again you have said very little in defense of positions you argue
for at length.
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