You are here

Electoral Politics and Social Change

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."—Emma Goldman

Electoral politics within republican systems does cause social change, which is why the Nordic countries, Germany, and Switzerland are the best polities on Earth. America has built-in anti-republican mechanisms, like the electoral college, the Presidency, Supreme Court, etc. that are designed to thwart the democratic process. Theoretically, these institutions should have checked republicanism and popular democracy and kept the people from being able to overturn the institution of slavery, Jim Crow, marijuana prohibition, same-sex marriage prohibition, etc. But, the monarchical and aristocratic aspects of the American republic, which the conservative John Adams insisted upon as a mechanism to prevent a slide into pure republicanism or pure democracy, only slow social progress and prevent rapid change; the regressive nature of the American system can only slow progress, not halt it.

The republican element has won on many issues (minimum wage, OSHA, 40-hour week, Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, marijuana legalization, marriage equality, etc.). The right feels the need to make voting illegal precisely because it does change things, however slowly. There is power in republican institutions, which is why the falsely-named Republican Party is hellbent on destroying the republican aspects of our system. In reality, the march of history is inevitable, moving like Marx and Burke predicted, and no amount of tory, conservative, or right-wing reactionary backlash can halt it.

These chaotic times may be remembered by future historians as the death throes of the aristocratic and monarchical institions that no longer serve any decent purpose and are ready to atrophy and decay—the aristocratic and monarchical elements, which is to say the Senate and the Presidency, are ready to shrink in power as nothing more than vestigial organs from a distant stage of social evolution.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on December 19, 2018.