EconoMinute: Presidential Politics

"Presidential Politics"

In this EconoMinute, Prof. Wolff provides a commentary on the upcoming presidential election, the major party candidates and their platforms, and the capitalist economic system they continue to protect and endorse.

Showing 4 comments

  • Will Cooper
    commented 2016-09-11 12:34:07 -0400
    Hi, Paul. You posed the question: “Does the oligarchy allow a few coop bakeries here and there, but undermine more substantial enterprises?” Here’s the answer in one word: Youngstown, 1977. Many believe that the steel industry conspired with the steel workers union to scotch the deal. Carter never delivered the loan that he’d promised the workers who wanted to turn the factory into a cooperative. The ruling class will opposed any development that threatens its hegemony and power. That goes almost without saying. You further asked, “Who has progressive political strategies (in addition to the Green Party); who has progressive strategies outside politics; and, who has the best integral strategy, organization, and pending actions?” I like the Socialist Equality Party. It’s the U.S. branch of the International Committee of the Fourth International. They’re unremittingly socialistic. The party’s running candidates for POTUS and Veep, Jerry White and Niles Niemuth, respectively. They’re not expecting votes, but they’re using the campaign to reach out to workers, seeking to help inform the growing left-leaning sentiments that have been displayed in the surge of interest in Bernie Sanders, and even in a dysfunctional way by the working class support for Trump. Trump shows the danger of hard times, how a demagogue can foment a fascistic reactionary movement based on scapegoating. I think it comes down to whether you’re willing to keep voting lesser evil. Stein is not a socialist; neither is Sanders, who claimed he was. He’s a New Deal democratic in the FDR mould. Stein is, too, but she takes it a little farther. My opinion is that the time for compromise has long passed. We need a revolution. Time is running out.
  • Pauli Olivet
    commented 2016-09-11 11:46:53 -0400
    The Greens are not entirely socialist, but I think they do have some socialist ideas, and they have some radical ideas. Maybe Professor Wolff should give some analysis of Gloria LaRiva’s positions and policies and the same for Mimi Soltysik. They are socialist presidential candidates. The problem is that they are not on the ballots, and it’s very hard to get comprehensive information (or any) on their candidacies and plans. Jill Stein is a compromise, but she deserves to be considered in marxian analysis of presidential politics. Detailed analysis of corporate candidates collapses down to the fact that they will work against the people, and all concessions must be “forced” in some way (General Strikes maybe). Why does the analysis end there? What about Jill Stein’s platform, and could we “force” or encourage her to change the system entirely where weak reforms will be easily taken back by the oligarchs? Bernie did not know how influential Black Lives Matter was going to be on his policy; Roosevelt had to be pushed; Nixon was pushed. Jill Stein can be pushed, and she does not seem to be out to use the petite bourgeoisie to screw the working class. Isn’t there some relevant Marxian analysis still needed to complete the profile of the current presidential politics? Should we just withdraw from politics and focus on the second coming of Karl Marx to rise in the streets and change the system?
  • Will Cooper
    commented 2016-09-11 01:23:28 -0400
    The Green Party does not oppose capitalism. They’re a reformist party, aiming for a new New Deal. Sort of Bernie Sanders on steroids. They’re not socialistic, not radical. Indeed, they’re representative of the petite bourgeoisie, not the working class.
  • Pauli Olivet
    commented 2016-09-01 14:24:04 -0400
    Jill Stein doesn’t label herself a Marxist, but the Green Party Platform is full of Marxist ideas. I think they (and Dr. Stein) propose facilitating worker coops. Stein and other Green Party candidates deserve some discussion here in the context of presidential politics. -
    What if the Green Party did win some offices, and what if Jill Stein won the highest office? -
    Could they hold power and get anything done? -—-
    Could we “make” the Green Party establish any progressive changes? --
    Are the Syriza and Podemos parties in Europe complete failures, and would the Green Party be undermined and fall to the oligarchs? -
    How can we stop the oligarchy? -
    Does the oligarchy allow a few coop bakeries here and there, but undermine more substantial enterprises? -
    Who has progressive political strategies (in addition to the Green Party); who has progressive strategies outside politics; and, who has the best integral strategy, organisation, and pending actions? -
    Might climate disasters disrupt the masses more than the oligarchy, and thereby serve to continue the status-quo into perpetuity (or at least deep into the 6th great extinction)? Alternatively, is there a chance to build and enjoy a Great Society in whatever short time we (individuals, communities, our species) we have left?

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