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A Perfunctory Defensive Vote

I have just read another article that writes the essential truth and yet the writer, Teodrose, concludes that he will not vote. As an erstwhile activist I feel compelled to explain why 0.001% of me disagrees and asks that you vote perfunctorily.

Let me state right from the start that these or any elections are not intended to empower people. The bipartisan model, that exists throughout the US hegemony (the western world) and pits supposed opposing parties against each other, is integral to the neoliberal system deluding people that they can have some sort of control. Whilst elections should give control their purpose is to create a delusion so that people think they have some power. Of course they don't as is evidenced by the two candidates in the 2016 election - Wall Street Democrat puppet vs White Nationalist Republican.

Here is how Teodrose described what I see as part of neoliberalism - "What we have before us is not so much a democracy but a brilliantly disguised kleptocracy where two parties have colluded to monopolize power throughout America and eradicated true competition from encroaching on their jealously guarded turf."" The only thing I disagree with in this description are the words "brilliantly disguised". It is not brilliantly disguised. Why many people don't see this description as true is not because of the disguise, but because they have been conditioned in education, and upbringing in general, to believe that this is not true and that their vote is part of democracy and matters. There is no need for disguise when people have been conditioned.

With the election process nothing changes, and people become more and more apathetic as they see they have no power. This is the result the 1% want - apathy, not simply apathy in elections but a wider empathy that discourages activism. But voting is not a demonstration that we are not being apathetic, in my view voting should simply be a perfunctory action that we take a small amount of time in our day as activists to perform. There is no expectation that voting will be effective, will make any changes, it might contribute a little in not making things worse.

Who do we vote for? The answer lies in the understanding of the neoliberal electoral democracy model itself. The right-wing is pitted against the less right-wing, this is a global standard. The right-wing is the gun ho Republicanism of Trump-puppet that could lead to fascism and promotes racism, sexism and gender bias, and deregulates those government offices who try to prevent the worst ravages of the corporations. The less right-wing does the same behind the scenes whilst in public appearing liberal. Neither party offers anything other than increased profits for the 1%. But one ostensibly promotes division and for that reason 0.001% of me wants to vote against the Republican.

In fact my whole argument is moot as I am British retired in Asia. The last time I noted an argument similar to Teodrose's was when a British Jewish activist who campaigns with jfjfp said there was no difference between Hillary-puppet and Trump-puppet. I don't know whether he feels different now that Trump has moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, a move calculated to attack Palestinians. I don't know whether Hillary would have done that - I do know Hillary does support the Israeli government and ignores the increasing occupation of Palestinian land.

In a sense this blog is even less moot as I have lost my vote. I left the UK in the early 90s. In the UK then the Labour party was becoming more and more a neoliberal stooge culminating in Blair, the war criminal. With Blair's confirmed neoliberal portfolio I thought my vote would not matter. 25 years later a possible source of positive change has happened, Jeremy Corbyn happened to win as leader of the Labour party. He is not making great strides at the moment because the party is so dominated by Blair's neoliberal stooges, but some positive things are happening. I cannot vote for him, and it saddens me, my voter registration has lapsed by law. When younger, Corbyn would have "liked" this blog, his role of leadership would perhaps prevent that now in the wider scheme of things. I personally have no doubts that he is doing all that he can to end neoliberalism, however little or large those results are.

Vote perfunctorily for the marginally less right-wing of the two chimeras of neoliberalism with 0.001% of your activism, and then get back to the real struggle.

Defensive Vote I was too emotional when I first wrote this because as any aware person I have the potential for anger at the way electoral democracy is manipulated. And that emotion sides with the emotional "f*** you I'm not voting". But I was not being analytical enough.

Does voting matter? Yes. Why? Because it matters to the 1%. The 1% invests huge amounts of money in the voting system including going as far as manipulating the supreme court with Citizen's United. And who have the 1% demonstrated they were afraid of - Occupy and the 99%; the 1% exerted all the political muscle they could and mashed up Occupy. They stifled the potential "revolution" that Occupy represented, the 99% rising up against the 1%.

So where is the 99% in our electoral democracy, and the answer is almost nowhere - hence my agreement with Ghion, and my original % of 0.001. But if the 1% want to buy the process then there has to be some voting that matters to them. So where in our voting sytstem is the 99%? In the UK I know the answer at the moment very clearly - the movement represented by Jeremy Corbyn. A vote for Jeremy matters - not quite, a vote for Jeremy starts to matter. So where are the 99% candidates like Jeremy? And the answer is the Progressive International - at the moment. For the US that means Bernie, not the Democrats - Bernie. For Europe that means Diem 25.

I corrected myself - why did I leave the correction in? To make a point about electing. If Jeremy gets in he is not in charge, the Deep State is always in charge - please note that Deep State means the Deep State defined by Yanis. Not some right-wing misinterpretation of government bureaucracy gone mad but a Deep State that exists for the sole purpose of promoting the interests of the 1%. So voting in defence of the 99% is a sound tactical vote. Many people have said maybe Bernie would have won, there would have been far more money to smear Bernie that there ever was to smear Wall Street woman. A big decision in 2016, did Bernie ask his supporters to vote for Hillary? At that point I am back down to 0.001%. Things might not be as overtly racist under Hillary, there might not have been MOAB, the US embassy might not have moved to Jerusalem, these smallish things might not have happened.

But that vote for the 99% needs always to be perfunctory - we don't want to invest in the vote. There is a need for community activism, not actviism about elections. Work with the grass roots, work with grass roots campaigning. At the grass roots people will see the corruption that is electoral politics. The more there is community activism the more things will change for the better, and eventually that grass roots campaigning working with the 99% might change the way the opportunists work in our elected 1%-satrapy - "government".

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