Barack Obama, a “Democrat,” has been elected as president of the United States of America. He won with over 69 million votes, while McCain (Republican Party) received over 59 million and the PSL and Socialist candidates received 7,000 and 6,800, respectively. The importance of the elections lies not in the number of votes for the various socialist parties, but in the obvious crisis of the bourgeois parties. The amazing voting force behind the various candidates does nothing to hide the decay of their prestige and the impatience of the people. The importance also lies in the unusually clear purpose of the bourgeois reformism as a means of combating socialism.
In all capitalist countries, the parties which act on behalf of the capitalist class came into being a long time ago, and in the United States the two bourgeois parties have been distinguished by their remarkable solidarity and strength. The Democratic Party is the so-called “peoples’ party” of capitalist social programs and reform. The Republican Party is the party of old money. Since the end of the Civil War, the gap between these two parties has been rapidly diminishing and the fight between them has been mainly over to what extent to expand imperialism. Their fight before the imperialist war has not had much serious importance for the mass of people, but that has recently changed given the imperialist war and the economic crisis. The people have since been deceived and diverted from their vital interests by means of spectacular, pre-determined duels between the two ruling class parties.
The so-called bipartisan two-party system in America has been one of the most powerful means of preventing the rise of an independent working class movement. Now the country of the most advanced capitalism is facing a period of imminent loss of confidence. Already the cold grip of reality is dawning on the supporters of Obama. They realize thats the two parties are both of an era that seeks to establish a capitalist empire as speedily as possible: the only struggle between them is how to best facilitate such exploitation. The question has already been raised whether unfettered capitalism is a working system or no, or if the nation should head towards European-style social democracy.
The entire program of Obama and the Democrats has now turned to how to save capitalism by means of bourgeois reforms. “We shall save capitalism by bailing out businesses!” says that Party. “Through reforms, we shall grant the most progressive legislation. We shall establish bourgeois state control over the industries. We shall allow greater social benefits and more ‘decent’ wages to eliminate poverty! We shall seek ‘social justice!’ We shall summon all reforms-the only reform we don’t want is the expropriation of the capitalists!” When looking at the national wealth of the USA, 40,000 families own 80% of the wealth and many of the wage slaves. Obviously, so long as this set-up remains in place all reforms are a deception.
Obama has been deliberately hired by the imperialists to preach this deception and to sell it to the population. The “state control” he promises will become-if the capitalists are allowed to keep their capital under the protection of the state-a form of modern economic fascism, a means of combating and crushing strikes.
Social Democracy-which is soft-left capitalism with an existent bourgeois class but more working class benefits-means strengthening capitalism tremendously, for Social Democracy is the main want of the working class under capitalism. They do not consider socialism an option, or at least consider it “too radical,” “too risky” or as “idealist.” Even while the working class receives minor benefits under Social-Democracy, it does nothing to alleviate the enormous greed, exploitation and drive for profit felt under imperialism. It does nothing to stop bloodshed and imperialist wars. Social-Democracy will only perpetuate the rule of capitalism throughout the world.
But the American proletariat has already begun to awaken to the deception. They greet Obama’s success with optimism, optimism that is already falling, as if to say: “You lured millions with your promises of reform, Mr. Obama. Very well! Tomorrow those millions will see that your promises were fraud, and do not think they will forget how they were let down!”