Tuesday, November 11, 2008

heart and soul, one will burn...

remember when?

okay, i know this is far overdue but here's my two cents on Obama. I think his being elected to office is pretty fantastic. He motivated many people who normally would not vote to do so. He inspired people with his Robin Hood-esqe rhetoric concerned the redistribution of wealth. However, as a socialist I know that he is a capitalist politician, the representative of a capitalist party, who will form a capitalist administration to govern the most powerful capitalist country in the world.

And that, as a left-of-center politician getting support with hints of redistributing wealth to the poorer sections of society, he is going to fail, for the simple reason that capitalism simply cannot be made to work in the interest of the majority of the members of society. It is a profit-making system that can only work as such, in the interest of the tiny minority who own and control the means of production and live off the profits produced by the unpaid labour of the majority.

This said, there are two points that can be made.

First, the rapidity with which ideas can change. A few decades ago it was unthinkable that a man regarded as "black" could be elected President of the USA by an a predominantly "white" electorate. It is only about fifty years since most "blacks" in the South were allowed to vote and that segregation was ended. In some States the union of Obama's mother and father would have been illegal. But now, under the pressure of experience, such prejudices have been abandoned by a majority of people in America. We can look forward to the time when same thing happen to the pro-capitalist prejudices still held by the majority.

Second, the much higher turn-out shows that when people judge, rightly or wrongly, that what is at stake is important they are prepared to turn out and vote. We've seen this before in other circumstances, even if there too the issue wasn't really as important as the majority judged. But they thought it was, and acted on this. In other words, that voting is a way in which a change in consciousness from pro-capitalist to socialist will express itself, despite what the "anti-parliamentarists" say.

and this photo...

makes me want to cut my hair and move to the big city.

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