In a year-end wrap-up of U.S. politics last week, which I caught on NPR by chance, the guest noted how both Democrats and Republicans have lost favor. The host, oblivious to reality, or perhaps determinedly fending it off, asked if this provided an opportunity for a third party, "something more centrist".
In that question, he persisted in the story line that the Democrats are the party of the left and the Republicans the party of the right, which has in fact never been true. The Democrats and Republicans as a whole have always marched hand in hand as two faces of one imperial capitalist party, sometimes playing the game as understood by the NPR host to keep their control. Thus, for example, during campaigns, if not while governing, Democrats once reached out to unions, Republicans to the upwardly mobile. It shifts with time and demographics, but the parties deftly divide the market between them.
There is no "center" between them. They represent two styles of imperial capitalism. Occasional individuals may break ranks on single issues, but they dare not truly break away and challenge the narrow range of action allowed by this system, let alone the assumptions of hegemonic exploitation as necessary to their comfort.
What the NPR host lacked is perspective, perhaps honesty. The center is not between the two imperial capitalist parties, but between the people and that government. The center is not some magic place of smorgasbord compromise, but a place of mediation. It is real government in communication with the people, not as targets of marketing to keep them buying a bill of goods, but as citizens.
It is the difference between democracy and fascism.
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