Aim of Biden's Presidential Initiative
for Democratic Renewal

Rally in Washington, DC, part of nationwide actions for women's rights and abortion justice, October 2, 2021.

The U.S. Congress is so dysfunctional it cannot pass major legislation, such as the budget, due this past October, and instead keeps threatening government shutdowns. Such threats affect hundreds of thousands of federal workers, seniors, mothers, children and unemployed who require federal payments like Social Security to just survive. They also further discredit Congress and reinforce the growing view among the people that it is no longer a viable institution of governance. The Supreme Court has also been discredited, as it is seen as a politicized force catering to one or another vying faction, not only in terms of the right to abortion but other matters as well.

It is in this context of the contention among the ruling factions in the United States, the discredited and dysfunctional institutions, and the increasing claims of the peoples for their rights and greater control, Biden put forward his Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal. He is striving to unite what he refers to as "all of us," behind the president and across the usual separations between countries, levels of government, and the peoples organizing to affirm human rights. He is striving to put in place organizational forms that serve to bypass and replace existing authorities and standards, both nationally, such as those between federal and state governments, as well as those enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the UN itself, while putting decision-making power in the hands of the presidency.

Biden's Presidential Initiative is a means to contend with these many conflicts among the authorities, within and between the president and military, with Congress, Governors, intelligence and other policing agencies, etc. and similarly in relation to other countries, by bypassing them and creating direct relations between the presidency and various organizational forms being put in place. He is trying to eliminate various authorities that can stand in the way of presidential dictate. The invitations to the Summit itself indicated that Biden will decide who is and is not to be included. "We're affirming the democratic values that are at the heart of our international system" and "we're committed to working with all who share those values to shape the rules of the road that are going to govern our progress in the 21st century," Biden explained.

In some ways the initiative is also an effort to bypass the existing bureaucracies, at least the civil ones, and put in place a different machinery dedicated to the presidency. This direction is in part a reflection of the disintegration of political parties and their machinery and puts in place separate machinery, much as Obama did for his election and Bernie Sanders did for his campaign as well. The utter dysfunction and lack of legitimacy of the existing institutions, including the discredited parties, is such that this counterrevolutionary initiative is required in the hopes of preventing what is now referred to as "the death spiral" of liberal democracy.

What gets left out is that all of these authorities are not in step with existing conditions, which demand empowering the people to govern and decide. People are rejecting the framework in which governments preside over them and are superior to them yet are completely incapable of providing the most basic necessities of life and stand in contempt of human rights.

Voice of Revolution is a publication of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization (USMLO).

(Photos: VOR, Nanks H)

This article was published in

Volume 52 Number 1 - January 9, 2022

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