It isn’t really a quandary at all.
This is written as a response to the upcoming US-election, but is valid in all countries, a text four years in the making.
Stay with me, I will do it step by step.
The only somewhat valid argument to vote for Obama and the Democratic Party is if you see them as a lesser of two evils, and see the Republican Party as a vast evil that must be vanquished, as illustrated by this quote from Paul Krugman:
«The Democrats may not be the party of your dreams, but Republicans are certainly the party of your nightmares».
And he has a point. It is a very astute and not completely wrong reflection of the false quandary that one…
I would say he is basically correct, in a limited way. The Democrats are bad, true, but they aren’t insane, aren’t a bunch of intolerant, ignorant assholes and zealots bent on making modern society even worse, even more horrible than it already is.
But Krugman’s quote, seen in a larger, necessary context is certainly inherently wrong, based on one of the worst off-track assumptions alive today: namely that there are no alternatives.
I have followed Obama from he declared his candidacy over four years ago and to this day. There was a certain freshness to him at first, or there seemed to be. His focus on change, even radical change certainly appealed to me, in spite of my grave misgivings about the entire political process as it is practiced today. When I heard him speak about change I interpreted that as far more than a mere rejection of the Bush years. Boy, was I wrong.
His rhetoric was pretty common, the «greatness of
and such shit, and the usual war drums. But I figured he had to speak like that
to not distance himself from mainstream voters. He sounded honest, or at least
like a liberal/progressive that truly meant what he said and wanted to go a
step beyond the usual liberal trappings. America
I, a long time non-voter and green anarchist was at least partly fooled. This guy is slick and thereby twice dangerous to any true freedom-hungry human being. What he revealed himself to be after he became president was a typical mainstream neo-liberal, AIPAC-shill and almost moderate republican. He didn’t close Guantanamo, he keep repeating that he is a friend of Israel, he and the Democratic Party has voted for, kept, even instigated even more oppressive laws (NDAA, Patriot Act, and far more), the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, the US world-wide aggression, military and otherwise continues unabated. If the few things he has done that is fairly right is sufficient to satisfy those who are still his supporters, they don’t demand much. Anyone explaining away his actions or lack or thereof as a result of lacking support in Congress is closing their eyes to the evidence. Obama has (like Mitt Romney) ties to Monsanto, to Wall Street and has done little or nothing with the grave environmental destruction ravaging our world and all life on the planet. His administration has, in an attempt to silence the Occupy movement orchestrated an increase in police brutality across the nation to pale that of any other area. And so on. He isn’t even remotely close to fulfill his promise of true change, and that was never the intention either. If you believe that I have a piece of real estate in the desert (without oil) to sell you.
He has, at least temporarily made the word «change» a fake word, just like he, himself is fake.
And any president or elected leader of a given country is just a janitor, an administrator without true power taking orders from those truly in charge anyway.
It is a good thing, a step in the right direction that there has been a black president (or one with one white and one black parent). The «critique» (harassment) from the political right is certainly based on the fact that racism is pretty much enshrined in
society. United States
But ultimately none of that matters, because the deeds of the man are what’s wrong and lacking, no matter the color of his skin.
I don’t need to bore you with the details. They are obvious and undeniable. In a sane world Mitt Romney wouldn't have been a contender at all and Obama would have been without changes of winning.
So, we’re back at the start: The Republican Party is an insane and eager force of support for the forces of tyranny ruling the
and the world, the Democratic Party slightly less so. What to do? United States
As stated, some people make a case of support for the lesser evil, for allowing the Democratic Party to exist and keep fucking up life even more because the Republican Party, if given free reign will go totally off the bend and ruin even more of what is still good about this world, and that motion isn't totally without merit.
But ultimately flawed. At best it is passive voting/«action», acting against something, instead of in favor of something. At worst it is far worse. One can argue that the Republican Party is so bad that they must be stopped and marginalized (and they are and they must be), but one can make that case at every election. And people have, and so effective has that argument been that it has stopped any true debate of how to proceed, how to make humanity’s future. It’s a scare tactic, to be blunt, one basically made and supported by those in charge, by the forces behind both major parties, in order to quell true resistance and action, to strangle it in its inception.
So, what are the alternatives? Certainly not Ron Paul and the libertarians. They are capitalists, accepting wealthy people and the market, and thereby the existence of powerful people exerting their undue influence over others. There is far more I could say about them, but again: their flaws are obvious. They don’t truly want to change society in dramatic ways either, and the changes they do want to make are mostly for the worse.
The Green Party is pointing to itself, really, for many reasons, most of them obvious. It, by its very nature and conception is critical to the forces of industry ruining this world. Its members have a different focus, inevitably. The slogan «people before profit and property» sits well with them.
Yes, I know, by my study of local state legislation and election rules that new and small parties have an even slimmer change of succeeding. Both the Repubs and the Dems have seen to that, in perfect union. But the struggle has to start at some point and we are all overdue for that to happen and for it to take off like a rocket. It should have happened at a distant yesterday.
But as stated: I don’t believe in democracy. I am convinced it is the slickest tyranny in history because it gives people the illusion of participation, of being a part of the decision-making. Selecting new and even presumably good people and groups of people for government is ultimately useless without also changing the fundamental structures of society. No matter who wins the election and becomes president and majority party in the United States in November the empire will prevail, and before Jill Stein and the Green Party, or anyone is big enough to make the necessary sweeping changes they, too will be corrupted by the system, like Obama and countless other idealists and initial agents of change have been. I have written in detail about how that can befall even the strongest person, how he or she slowly becomes as bad as people they decades ago despised.
So, the Green Party and others may work as an intermediary force towards a more enlightened society, but it isn't very likely, also when considering other green party’s history in other countries. If you absolutely feel compelled to vote, vote Green, but don’t be content with leaving it to them. Take part in the Change, be ready to move beyond them the moment you catch up with them, and leave the baggage of the past, the horrors of nationalism, religion, bias, conservatism, the market, ignorance and intolerance on the garbage heap where it belongs.
Many claim that you give your voice away by not voting, but I say it’s the other way around. Voting is apathy.
Almost everything that has happened and been «discussed» during this campaign (like during virtually all campaigns) is more or less totally meaningless and irrelevant compared to humanity’s dire circumstances.
Obama did fool me, not in the sense that I ever believed he was the right man, but by softening my resistance to tyranny’s propaganda, but fortunately even my minor delusion was only temporary. When people make excuses for the current janitor it reminds me very much of clever bookkeeping.
What should happen is that people form truly autonomous communities all over the world, where they reject both central and local government and the market and all power structures anywhere and keep fighting back no matter how hard the forces ruling the world lean on them. That is the right way to go, a major first step towards a society with true freedom and equality, one where people can live and thrive and not be the puppets of anyone, one where people, by necessity and desire wouldn't destroy the foundation for their own survival and happiness.