[Marxism] On the question of the Democrats

Rakesh Bhandari 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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