[Marxism] Fwd: Bernie Sanders is no socialist: Socialism is his brand, but he’s a Democrat in every way but name - Salon.com

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 16 17:21:12 MST 2016

On 1/16/16 7:14 PM, Shalva Eliava wrote:
> Pssshhhh. I didn't even bother to read the rest of it. His platform
> is clearly within the scope and spirit of social democracy. He's
> raising awareness and expectations - which is more than what the
> "field socialists" have ever been able to accomplish.

If he were running as an independent, I'd certainly support him. The 
problem is that he is a Democrat. The key to class politics is creating 
a pole of attraction to the left of the Democrats that can challenge 
wage slavery just as the Republican Party challenged chattel slavery in 
the 1860s.


History shows that the Democrats and Republicans are not two 
counterpoised forces, but rather complementary halves of a single 
two-party system: "one animal with two heads that feed from the same 
trough," as Chicano leader Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzalez explained.

Since the Civil War a peculiar two-party political system has dominated 
the United States. Prior to the Civil War a two-party system existed 
which reflected opposing economic platforms. Since the Civil War a shift 
occurred. A two-party system remained in place but no longer had 
differing economic orientation. Since the Civil War the two parties show 
differences in their image, role, social base and some policies but in 
the last analysis, they both support essentially similar economic 

This development can be clearly dated to the split in the Republican 
Party of 1872 where one wing merged with the "New Departure" Democrats 
that had already shifted towards the Republican platform, which was 
pro-finance and industrial business. Prior to the Civil War, the 
Democratic Party, controlled by the slaveocracy, favored agricultural 
business interests and developed an alliance with small farmers in 
conflict with industrial and some commercial interests. That division 
ended with the Civil War. Both parties supported financial and 
industrial business as the core of their programmatic outlook.

For over 130 years the two major parties have been extremely effective 
in preventing the emergence of any mass political formations that could 
challenge their political monopoly. Most attempts to build political 
alternatives have been efforts to represent the interests of the average 
person, the working people. These efforts have been unable to develop. 
Both major parties have been dominated by moneyed interests and today 
reflect the historic period of corporate rule.

In this sense United States history has been different from that of any 
other advanced industrial nation. In all other countries multi-party 
systems have appeared and to one degree or another these countries have 
more democratic electoral laws and better political representation. In 
most other countries, there exist political parties ostensibly based on 
or promoting the interest of non-corporate sectors such as working people.

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