Socialist Studies Socialist Studies

The US Election 2020: Capitalism is the Winner

As the deaths from the pandemic increased to over 230,000 the US electorate voted in record numbers for Joe Biden as President of the United States of America. Did Biden win the election? Socialists disagree.

So who won the election? If it wasn't Biden, who was it?

The winner was capitalism. It was the profit system. The election means capitalism for another four years. Wall Street was pleased. Industrialists smiled. Landlords looked happy. Bankers, Hedge fund owners and financiers looked relaxed. There is to be four more years of wage slavery for the working class, and four more years of profit, privilege and comfort for the capitalist class.

The capitalist class have nothing to fear from Biden. He will run the United States in the interest of the capitalist class. As do all Presidents. That is their job.

Black Lives won't matter. The poor will remain poor. The working class will still be exploited. And the need for decent housing and health provision will go unmet. Roughly one in 8 Americans is considered "officially poor" (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2019 1-year estimates).

Then there is the poverty associated with housing. According to The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, more than 40 million American families find themselves in a situation where housing consumes more than 30 percent of their income, forcing them to maintain a nearly impossible balance by making hard decisions about food, transportation and health. Do not think Biden will resolve this problem.
https://www.habitat.org/stories/7-things-you-should-know-about-poverty-and-housing

And what about 'Black Lives Matter'? What about police violence against blacks often resulting in death? What about the millions of blacks disproportionately imprisoned in the United States? Again nothing will be done. Biden knows that the police, the National Guard and the military exists, foremost, to protect private property. He will do nothing to endanger the prime function of the coercive forces of the government from defending the institution of private property over which he is in charge. The private ownership of the means of production and distribution will be safe in his hands.

Biden will be a prisoner of the profit system. Profit is all that matters.

Will Biden end war? No, he will continue wars and start new ones. He already has form as Vice President under the Obama administration.

The US is engaged in war and conflict across the globe. According the SMITHSONIAN Magazine (January 2019) the U.S. is now operating in 40 percent of the world's nations in its War n Terror. The war isn't being waged by the military alone, which has spent $1.9 trillion fighting terrorism since 2001. The State Department has spent $127 billion in the last 17 years to train police, military and border patrol agents in many countries and to develop antiterrorism education programs, among other activities. This will be continued by President Biden.

There is also the question of capitalist Russia and China. Biden will maintain the tensions between the US and Russia in the Ukraine and against China in the South Seas. Wars reflect the determination of governments to gain or to maintain the mastery of territories where there are rich mineral deposits, vital land, sea or air routes or areas where commodities can be sold or capital invested. As commander in chief, President Biden will pursue the interests of the United States across the globe even if it means conflict and war; death and destruction.

What of the environment? What about the much touted 'Green New Deal'? It will be watered down by conflicting interests within the capitalist class. It will go the way of Truman's New Deal: and become a failure. You cannot reform capitalism in the interest of the working class. The environmentalists will be disappointed just as they will be on the politics of climate change.

Most countries play lip service to the reforms pursued by the United Nations and will not introduce legislation which will harm their capitalist interests if it does not equally affect the capitalist interests of other countries. The United States is no different. We will see President Biden being photographed with Greta Thunberg. But then she will find that it was just a publicity stunt. Publicity stunts cost nothing. To resolve the serious environmental problems affecting the world requires the abolition of capitalism and its replacement with socialism.

What about the capitalist left who Trump says will own Biden? They are irrelevant. They will be ignored. Biden will appoint hard-nosed administrators to run his capitalist policies. How quickly will the capitalist left become disappointed with Biden? Very quickly: within months.

Then there is the capitalist economy. Biden will be powerless to prevent economic crises and trade depressions. He will be unable to prevent the bankruptcies and the high level of unemployment. He will be powerless to do anything to arrest the economic laws of capitalism.

Capitalism has won for another four years. It needn't be the case four years from now. Workers should understand that capitalism can never be run in their interest. They will always be disappointed by political leaders. They should not elect political leaders in the first place.

Workers have to understand that the problems of poverty, violence by the state, poor housing, class exploitation and inadequate health provision and war all flow from capitalism and the profit system. It flows because the means to life, resources, land, factories, transport and communication system, distribution points and what is produced in the form of commodities for sale are all owned by the capitalist class to the exclusion of the rest of society.

Production under capitalism only takes place if a profit is to be made. This means that most of us, the working class, have to eke out an existence on a wage and salary. There is only one privileged class in society and that is the capitalist class; white, black, Hispanic, male, female, Jewish, atheist and Christian fundamentalist.

Biden or Trump was no alternative. The Republicans and Democrats are on the same side when it comes to defending the profit system. For the working class there was no fundamental difference between Trump and Biden. Biden won and he will now run capitalism just as Trump would have done. It may not be as crude, racist and authoritarian as Trump, but Biden will run the same system. There will be no basic change to the capital-labour relationship. Workers will still be forced into employment and the wages system. There will be no revolution. Workers will continue to be exploited. And if workers are not profitable to employ then they will be made unemployed with all the social discomfort this brings with it; break up of families, ill-health, drug abuse, petty theft, homelessness and stress. They will still be required to fight in capitalism's wars.

So what would an alternative for the working class look like? It would be a socialist alternative made up of the conscious and political action of a socialist majority towards a socialist object. This socialist movement would have to take place in a principled socialist party with socialism and only socialism as its object. And socialists would have to send socialist delegates to form a majority to the institutions of political power in order to replace capitalism with socialism. That is, to replace the profit system with the common ownership and democratic control over the means of production and distribution by all of society. That is the socialist alternative to capitalism and the socialist alternative to Biden and Trump.

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