With the chaotic coverage of U.S. midterms slowing down, Richard Wolff is here to wrap up your election analysis with a big, red, socialist bow of a lecture that covers the real issues (which were avoided in the elections), one issue that defined the votes this year and the impact of our undemocratic midterms on the whole world.
Watch ‘After the Elections: Now What?’ on our website or listen to it as a podcast today. Keep reading below for a summary of the lecture with quotes from Prof Wolff.
“The election we just had carefully avoided dealing with these issues, carefully avoided providing a choice between one direction or another, one policy or another, one solution or another. [It]went nowhere near there. Silence, avoidance- that's what we got.”
To Richard Wolff, the defining feature of these midterms was silence. Where we could have had real debate about domestic policies to control inflation, student debt, housing, inequality, COVID-19, transportation and even Twitter, Republicans & Democrats defended the status quo by not advocating any true policy changes.
Americans are sick of the silence on real policies for real problems- and that's why there was no Red Wave, because the Republicans offer no solutions just like the Democrats.
“Where are the proposals in this election?... We really are going to face the issues that have been avoided, but not in this election, not at all. No proposals to choose between. No plans. No announcements by the candidates of a settled program if they get into office one way or the other. Nope, nope, nope. We have an election that avoids, evades, denies.”
And just as many international issues were avoided in this election. There were no ballot measures on policies toward China, the war in Ukraine and raised interest rates putting many other countries in extreme debt. The American people deserve to democratically control U.S. policy abroad- but that didn’t happen this time around the voting booth. It’s a daunting prospect to see such undemocratic, economic nationalism returning to nations around the world.
“We need a different kind of politics, a politics that happens in the street when masses of people explain to these political hustlers that the era for them to exclude all the rest of us from all the decisions that matter is over, and a new, genuine, democratic system for governance will replace it.”
These elections expose the sham of electoral, party politics in the U.S. capitalist system- but the answer isn’t to give up on democracy. Richard Wolff, and the whole Democracy at Work team, want to build an understanding that we need democracy in the strongest sense of the word. To build a society that works for everyone, we must democratize our politics, our economies and our workplaces.
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