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democrats aren’t a leftist alternative

November 20, 2013

From ThinkProgress:

State Rep. Uses Sledgehammer To Destroy Homeless People’s Possessions

Yet more attacks on the homeless by the state; and this time it’s a literally attack on their personal possessions by a Democratic representative from Hawaii, where lawmakers have apparently also “approved $100,000 over the next two years to offer one-way flights off the islands to any of the state’s estimated 17,000 homeless persons.”

In my opinion, this is just another example of a growing trend of state-led attacks on the property-less that crosses party lines. If you’re not a housed wage labourer, you’re shit out of luck. In Portland, for example, which has a Democratic mayor, city council, and is in a Democratic state, they’ve repeatedly tried to pass sit-lie ordinances in order to harass homeless people by forcing them to move if they’re sitting or lying anywhere downtown at anytime; and they’ve also taken to filling in underpasses with boulders to prevent homeless people from sleeping there at night.

When push comes to shove, Democrats are just as friendly towards the down-and-out as Republicans because each is a political representation of capital and holds bourgeois property relationships sacrosanct. The former may pay lip service to the working class by supporting things like food assistance programs and Social Security (when they’re not busy joining with Republicans to cut social programs at any rate), but many of these programs themselves are really just means of subsidizing cheap labour, not ending poverty, de-privatizing opportunity, or weakening the class antagonisms and hierarchies arising out of capitalist social relations.

Like most forms of government centered around private property rights, the basic principle behind the establishment of our form of representative democracy had more to do with the ruling elites wanting to protect the small minority of property owners (including themselves) from the majority of the property-less than anything else (e.g., see Federalist No. 10). While they may disagree on the approach, both Democrats and Republicans are capitalist parties that seek to keep the capitalist profit-making machine rolling.

Case in point. Despite all of his left-leaning rhetoric prior to the 2008 election, Obama is (and always was) clearly a centrist, and he has no qualms about courting capital, from talking about lowering the corporate tax rate and how his healthcare boondoggle is based on “the private marketplace” (which is a handout to private insurance companies as opposed to a not-for-profit, single payer system like they have in most other advanced industrialized nations), to bragging about the vitality of the stock market (until the next crisis of overaccumulation, of course).

He’s right when he says he’s no socialist; and the Democratic Party isn’t a leftist alternative. In fact, they’re essentially the conservatives of yesteryear.


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