Unhitching our Wagons
New Blood, New Visions, and a New Political
When I rise it will be with the ranks, not from the ranks. -
Eugene Debs, June 16, 1918
By Charles Sullivan
01/24/06 "ICH" -- -- Working class people, especially
progressives, must come to understand that our interests are not
being served by hitching our political wagons to either the
Democratic or the Republican Party. The Republicrats represent a
capitalist system that has given rise to class division, the
unequal distribution of wealth, private ownership, and a system
of wage slavery that does not serve democracy, but plutocracy.
It condemns workers to being the property of their employers.
Capitalism is the opposite of Democracy. We are only deceiving
ourselves—falling into an old trap—by casting our votes in a
system that not only excludes the majority of us, but also
treats us with utter contempt.
Whichever party we choose represents a system that favors
plutocrats—those of wealth and privilege. It is a system of
their creation, for their sole benefit. In that system we are
the servants of power and they are its masters. The vast
majority of us, probably ninety percent of the population, is
not served by this party. We will always be servile; we will
never have representation in this system. Our only rational
alternative is to form a new party that represents the silent,
repressed majority. We are making a serious mistake by thinking
that we can reform a system that was created to serve people of
wealth and means. It is a system that operates on capital. Our
political enemies have all of the money; we have none. Thus they
have access to power; we do not. We cannot possibly compete in
this system. We have no alternative but to create a new system
in place of the old.
The disease is not in the two major political parties, which
are, in fact a single entity. The disease lies in the system
itself; and that is why it cannot be reformed. It must be torn
down and built anew; and the sooner the better.
There are some good people working within the system who are
making valiant efforts for just causes; but who are themselves
victims of a system that eventually overwhelms and consumes
A system that treats the large majority of its citizens as
property does not serve those people. It does not deserve their
support. The people should not be servants to wealth and power.
Power belongs to the people; the system must serve the people,
not the other way round.
The system exploits the masses, treats them with contempt, and
uses them as cannon fodder in wars the people do not sanction.
It is in the interest of this system to keep the multitudes
servile to the wealthy and powerful. We are a solid majority
that is without voice in a system that operates on vast sums of
capital. That is why they call it capitalism. We are at best
never more than a fringe element of this system. We are given
just enough to keep us participating in a system that cruelly
and inhumanely dangles the American dream before our eyes,
deceives us into believing that with a little more hard work and
personal sacrifice the dream is attainable—then pulls the dream
away, leaving us to grasp at air.
Capitalism allows the small minority to rule and to control the
large majority. It is a corrupt process that is incapable of
producing justice for the large majority of its citizens. It
allows the small minority to wage wars in which the large
majority are forced to fight and die, without giving them a
voice in the decision making process. When have the people ever
been consulted when it comes to war? It is not for them to
question why; it is for them to serve and to die. The large
majority has no interest in war because it serves the interest
of wealth and power, of empire—not their own. The invasion and
occupation of Iraq is a trenchant case in point. How many
plutocrats do you see over there taking enemy fire? How many
plutocrats do you see at home profiting from the spoils of war?
Every time we cast a vote within a corrupt system, thinking we
are doing our duty as citizens in a democratic society, we are
in fact driving another nail into our own coffin. Each vote cast
in such a system makes revolutionary change more difficult and
unlikely. We are participants in a system that is rigged to
assure our defeat and our continued subservience to wealth and
power. It is absurd to call this system a democracy. It is a
system of control designed to deceive the silent majority into
participation, even as it bilks them of everything they have.
It is clear to me that we must form a new political party that
is not founded upon money and wealth. It must be a party that is
of and for the people, as well as by the people. Some have
proposed that we call it the Constitution Party, the Liberty
Party, or the Peace Party. Whatever we chose to call it, it must
be a party that genuinely represents and empowers the large
majority, the average American, the worker. It must not, it
cannot, operate within the current system; or it will be
corrupted by it and fail. The new party should have an objective
of overhauling the existing system and replacing it with genuine
The new party must work across the often divisive boundaries of
race, sex, class and creed. It must build bridges to like minds
and kindred spirits of every ilk in every nation on earth.
We must expect that our efforts will be met with derision and
hatred, perhaps even violence. Expect our names to be sullied by
the commercial media, as revolutionaries always are. We might
even be rounded up by the thought police and imprisoned, as
happened to Eugene Debs and others early in the twentieth
century. Those in power have a vested interest in maintaining
the status quo. The large majority of us, however, have an
interest in social justice and peace. Not until real political
power rests in the hands of the common people, the large silent
majority, rather than plutocrats and corporatists, can our
dreams of a free, peaceful and just society be realized.
The plutocrats who are running the country are free to prey upon
us, to treat us with contempt, because they have no fear of us.
They are protected by a system that assures their rule. We must
make them both fear and respect us. When we evoke a powerful
response from our political adversaries we will know that we are
on the right track. As long as we remain separate, disjointed,
and immobile and disorganized our enemies can afford to ignore
us. When we organize and mobilize that will surely change.
Several South American countries have already taken this
direction. They have rejected the coercive agenda of empire and
charted a course toward equality and peace. We would be wise to
follow their example. To be sure, the capitalists in Washington
and abroad hope to obliterate them both economically and
militarily but their power appears to be growing, not
diminishing. Populist movements always trouble plutocracy.
Whatever pretensions they may make, no political party operating
within the existing system of capitalism represent the large
majority of its citizens. Casting our vote for any party within
that system only further stacks the deck against us; it assures
our defeat through continued servitude to wealth and power. It
gives the appearance of legitimacy to illegitimate power. When
we chose to withdraw our support from a corrupt system, we
reveal it for the fraud that it is.
The defect does not lie in the political parties themselves, as
it would appear, but in the system that spawned them. Giving a
dying person a transfusion of blood tainted with a lethal virus
will not save that patient. It will only prolong his suffering
and hasten her decay. We need new blood, new visions, and a new
political party. That which is tainted only poisons us and
prolongs our agony and suffering.
We must have the courage of our convictions, as well as the
strength of character to swim against a swift and powerful
current. We must be willing to cut against the grain of deeply
entrenched paradigms. The struggle, while difficult and
sometimes demoralizing, will make us stronger and better human
beings. It is our best hope.
Charles Sullivan is a furniture maker, photographer and free
lance writer living in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
He can be reached at
(In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational purposes.
Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the
originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)