Two Anarres Project contributors comment on the radical potential of Bernie Sanders after the surge in popularity leaving the Iowa caucuses.
What pushes political discourse to the left? Radical social movements or reformist politicians?
As this article explains, Richard Nixon called for a guaranteed annual income in 1969, at a time when radical movements were sweeping the globe. Although he was (and is) the paradigm of a rightwing republican, he felt compelled to propose a policy far more radical than anything on Bernie Sanders’s agenda today. That’s because he had to—he had to appease the revolutionary sentiments on the streets.
Don’t let Bernie Sanders suck you into the Democratic Party or talk you out of building a movement. That’s what we need and that’s what matters. No president can or will solve our problems. Occupy and the Black Lives Matter movement are great examples of what can happen. That’s what we need.
Junyoung Veronica Kim
Many people have been asking me who I support in the US elections and especially as many of my friends, colleagues, and students have expressed great enthusiasm for the Bernie Sanders Campaign, I am taking a moment to post my thoughts.
The sad truth is that Sanders’ record, with his past support for No Child Left Behind and Three Strikes legislation in addition to statements he has made to the effect that immigrants drive down wages and take jobs from “native” workers, is not really the ideal choice for working people in the US, particularly working-class people of color.
As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, Sanders’ platform is not that different from Eisenhower’s. The electoral strategy of the neoliberal state, a model which is progressively being copied across the globe (i.e. France, the UK, Germany etc.) is to reduce elections to a self-reinforcing dog and pony show in which consumers rather than conscious political subjects are encouraged to choose between brand A and brand B, the red team or the blue team, etc.
In the end, the winner pursues policies which serve to perpetuate the hegemony of imperial capital both domestically and abroad (which is especially detrimental for those who live in the “democratic” countries of the Global South) — policies that are no different from the ones his/her opponent would have pursued had s/he won the election.