Most of the political work I do is with Democrats, but I never forget that the answer to our deepest problems transcend the polarized options of electoral politics.

As Eugene V. Debs put it, “The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and┬ásuch differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.”

I disagree with Debs that the parties do not have important differences. But, his point, as I understand it, is that “liberal” and “conservative” are arcs of the same continuum. In this case, the parties do not fundamentally disagree on capitalism and empire. They disagree on how the spoils of capitalism and empire are to be divided.

“Liberal” and “conservative” are important distinctions, but if neither party addresses the true causes of our captivity to monied interests and to war, then our partisan elections are a struggle to decide who will captain a sinking ship.