Marxists expressed that sometimes members of the ruling class — or the bourgeoise in his words — will speak the rhetoric of the socialist leadership, show empathy for the plight of the proletariat and will even say that they are compelled to join the rank-and-file of a socialist uprising; but, historically speaking, when the shit gets real, when the real threat of danger seems to close to home or upon the realization that the socialist ideology aims to dismantle their power, the weak-minded and heartless bourgeoise abandon the working class and retreat back to the protection of money and power. This person — in Marx’s language — is the petty bourgeoise and they are not to be trusted. This is Hillary Clinton.
The fact that the Democratic establishments top candidate is a former board-member of the single largest exploiter of the working-class in the United States (Walmart), is emblematic of why the democratic party happens to be at an all-time membership low (29%). You can only smile to the cameras and equivocate about equality and justice — as you simultaneously make tacit compromises with corporate America — for only so long before everybody stands up and screams “enough is enough”. This is, in the truest sense, a fucking scam.
The Hillary supporters who toss the inflammatory language of fascism towards the populist republican front-runner are, as they say, grossly overplaying their hand. The populist uprising of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in concert with the depleting democratic base is of no coincidence. I do not condone the explicit xenophobic underpinnings of Trump’s policy position, but it would be foolish not to note that the definition of fascism, as inscribed by the father of fascism (Giovanni Gentile), is the merger and concentration of corporate and state power for the sole purpose of elevating the power of the state. Fascism, like Hillary, promotes pragmatism, action as a tacit implication of progress, dismisses principles for obstinate political expediency and believes ardent idealism reflects a dangerous disconnection from reality and is, subsequently, politically irrelevant for creating progress. The unapologetic championing of American capitalism is, in essence, an empirically verifiable version of nationalism and exploiting a political monopoly to create concentrated corporate and political power is to implicitly champion an elusive and modern revision of fascism — creating nationalistic bonds from currency rather than identity. You may find it unfair and disingenuous for me to make such radical accusations — and to make sure we are on the same page, yes I am calling Hillary Clinton a fucking fascist — but, maybe when Hannah Arendt said that in the shadow of the totalitarian states of the past, the totalitarian states of the future will wear the mask of the opposition, maybe she was right and maybe this is that. Maybe a democrat flinging the charges of fascism at Donald Trump is the kettle calling the pot black. And maybe the explicit racism of mass deportation and the implicit racism of Hillary’s “debt free college pact” are two sides of the same coin.
The political revolution Bernie Sanders is advocating is not of the hollow political slogan, nor of the dance dance variety. This is not a catch phrase or an empty promise. For a revolution to be successful — so says Karl Kautsky, the social revolution theorist — it must rise from the bottom with unrelenting persistence and popular critical mass. For the Hillary supporters that rolls their eyes at the idealistic Sanders agenda and say, if Obamacare barely passed, how will he ever pass single-pay healthcare, I respond in-kind and say a revolution is not enacted by filling in a bubble and dropping it in a secret box. A revolution will not be won in a single election with a single candidate in November. A revolution is taking responsibility for the fate of our democracy and disempowering the cowardly petty bourgeoise that refuse to honor the will of the people. If it is improbable for Bernie Sanders’ idealistic agenda to succeed under the current conditions of reality, then DO NOT question the idealistic agenda, rather, question the conditions of reality and, a fortiori, fucking change them— this is your freedom and this is your battle! Otherwise, the day you stop fighting for your own freedom precedes the day you acquiesce to the bondage of the path of least resistance.
Karl Kautsky also expressed that sometimes members of the working class — or the proletariate in Marxist vernacular — will find it very easy and comforting to throw their support behind a petty bourgeoise — like Hillary Clinton — that pays sympathetic lip service to their plight. They will say repeatedly that they agree with the sentiment of the proletariat leader — like Bernie Sanders — but believe supporting the revolution is a risky proposition that will most likely shift power into the hands of the bourgeoise (republicans). The people who are unwilling to fight, unwilling to join the revolution and unwilling to radically assert that their freedom and democracy are worth fighting for and taking risks for, are — in Marxist language — the lumpenproletariat. When revolutions are lost, when totalitarianism rises above all else, when fascism exercises it’s will to power and when capitalism takes precedents over justice, equality, democracy and freedom; it is not because the revolution lacked merit or efficacy, or because the proletariat lacked electability or sensibility, or because it is a reasonable argument to assume an oligarch will eschew power just because they said they would; but, rather, it is because the revolution lacked an unrelenting persistent critical mass. It is because the cowardly and waffling lumpenproletariat is unwilling to fight for their own freedom and would rather be on the wining team than actually win.
Is it feasible that a vote for Sanders in the primary will curtail the democrats chance for beating Donald Trump? Perhaps, but so what. Is there virtue in choosing one brand of fascism over another because they have a pleasant proclivity towards platitudes? No. If November becomes Trump versus Clinton and I abstain from voting by refusing to accept a lose-lose or the- (slightly)-lesser-of-two-evils as an acceptable compromise and this manifests into a Trump victory I will not apologize. I will not now, nor ever, bow my head in shame for voting with my conscience. I will not now, nor ever, stop fighting for the ideals I believe in. Or, to quote the socialist philosopher Christopher Hedges, “[r]esistance is not about what we achieve, but it is about what it allows us to become. In the end, I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascist because they are fascists.” I will now, and always, vote with both my heart and my mind; because to vote otherwise is to incredulously and despondently dance on the graves of every man, woman and child whom believed in the exigency and necessity— to which Emmeline Pankhurst eloquently spoke — “[to] put the enemy in the position where they will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death”.
The lumpenproletariat qua Hillary supporters espouse that the progressive politics of FDR were only possible in the wake up the disaster of 1929 and I respond to this meaningless historical speculation in agreement. However, isn’t the lesson of the great depression that we shouldn’t sit on our complacent hands and await disaster as a catalyst to respond meaningfully? Shall we continue to provide evidence to validate the profound statement Hegel spoke from his death bed, “ [that] the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history”? But, maybe I am overtly and naively idealistic. Maybe we will never learn from history. Maybe we will not recognize that it is possible to willingly and democratically bond ourselves to slavery; and, more importantly, realize that the key to our own salvation is clutched in our fist awaiting to be actualized and asserted. But, if disaster is what it takes to wake the lumpenproletariat from their peaceful slumber, then I rather bring about the bombastic and quick-to-the-point disaster of Donald Trump, over the slow incremental disaster of Hillary Clinton. Or, in other words, I rather drop America in boiling water and watch the fervor of a radical awakening, than set the stove to simmer and watch our democracy decay like a train-wreck in slow motion.
I hear all your arguments to the contrary: the super delegates, the black vote, a Trump judicial nomination, the reductionism to economics and so on. And, if yelling excuses in the wind helps you sleep better at night, then I apologize for audaciously assuming that I can disrupt your sleep. Does a Clinton victory over Trump rationalize your cowardliness? Because you know, as Madeline Albright reminds us, there are “special places in hell” and, as Jean Paul Sartre reminds us, there is a special place reserved for the coward. Was that too harsh? Did I hurt your feelings? Should I temper my tone with political-double-speak and tell you exactly what you want to hear and then hobnob with my campaign financiers at your expense? It is, you know, quite common for the oppressed to mimic the actions of the oppressor and assume it’s the path to liberation.
Of course, if you meticulously and objectively read all of Hillary’s policy positions and after comparing them to Sanders, Trump and Cruz you decide with both your heart and mind that Hillary is the best possible candidate — then vote for her. If you think her vision for America is the America you want and you think the path she has spelled out in detail on her website is the best possible path — then vote for her. As long as you do not use phrases like, I agree with Sanders on every issue, but…. as this is code for, my freely acted will prefers candidate X, but instead of actualizing my freedom I am going to hand over this decision to a handful of aristocrats and ideologues; this way I am not burden with the responsibility of having to make a free choice and if this Hillary thing completely backfires I can at least take solace in knowing my poor choice was the poor choice of the majority.
Perhaps I have been too abstract, so let me speak more concretely, if Clinton’s policies have a higher probability of being passed in our current political climate, this does not mean they are better ideas, but, rather, it simply means her policies are (neo)liberal and conservative enough to make a donkey, an elephant and a bull all salivate in unison. This is not a sign of progress nor leadership. In one of the democratic primary debates Hillary criticized Sanders twice in the same debate for first being too dogmatically adherent to his ideals and secondly, for being too quick to compromise his ideals. That may seem obviously contradicting, but Clinton’s confusion is understandable and I am hoping she reads this article and gains some insight and on how she missed this seemingly obvious contradiction. This is not an error of memory or logic, but rather a fundamental misconception on the concept of leadership and what it looks like in practice. The most successful leaders in both the public and private sphere are, generally speaking, the unrelenting visionaries who understand that it is foolish to walk while fixated on the stars above, as you may trip and fall; but, it is also foolish to walk while fixated on only the grounding of your next step, as you’re likely to stray from the stars that guide you. A leader needs to be both an optimist and a pessimist, an idealist and a realist, a speaker and a listener. Hillary inadvertently accused Sanders of being both an uncompromising principled visionary and a compromising and pragmatic legislator and clearly neglected to realize that these seemingly contradicting qualities are actually what true leadership looks like. Put simply, a leader has to find balance between seeing the trees within the forest, and the forest among the trees — this is no easy feat and so rarely exhibited in American politics that it’s understandable that Clinton can no longer recognize it. All the meanwhile, Hillary has spent her career lost in a forest gravitating towards whatever tree the polls dictate and assumes that her ability to incrementally wander from tree to tree — qua pragmatism — is a substitute for having the ability to see the forest as it is and the foresight to imagine what it can become. How often did you hear Sanders say in the debate, “I agree with secretary Clinton” and how often did he concede to her on certain positions and how often did he defend her integrity? Leadership is about admitting your faults, weaknesses and shortcomings. Leadership is about building trust through humility and honesty. Leadership is about finding harmony between the Machiavellian false dichotomy of being both feared and loved, or in Teddy Roosevelt talk, speak softly and carry a big stick.
It is for these reasons, and many others, that come June 7th 2016 I will vote for Bernie Sanders in the California democratic primary regardless of the results of the preceding primaries and caucuses and then, again, I will cast my vote for him in November. I believe liberals, progressives, democrats and independents can all gather behind Bernie Sanders, as a leader who wants to inspire all of us to stand up and fight against the powers that be — empowering us to take back our democracy from the hands of corporate demagogues. I know that this article is harsh, and perhaps even insulting, but I assure you it comes from a place of love and passion, and it is my hope that it is a shared love for the ideals and virtues that hopefully get us closer to the shared vision of a more perfect union.
Find out how to vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary election for your state by clicking here.