Post-Racialism and Imperialism thru Democracy
by, 11-07-2008 at 05:58 PM (1744 Views)
by I. Langalibalele
The landslide election of Barack Obama to the White House opens a critical new chapter in the world working class revolution. Obama’s victory came about because Imperialist contradictions have reached rotten ripe maturity. Marxists are fond of saying this and have been repeating it for a long time, however now it is more true than ever.
Indeed, this is apparent in the growing clash for global markets, intensified militarization, an expanding police State, the international financial meltdown cause by US domestic policy, and the colonized prison labor system. With laissez faire economic policy rapidly reaching its limitations, the friction of class contradictions can only sharpen the present crisis until the breaking point.
As the recent about face at the polls indicates, a renewed series of maneuvers has swung into play to extract the Imperialists from a potentially crippling situation. The Irak war and the world financial crisis, key to the Democratic Party victory, continues to compound the danger to the two-party State. The right-wing’s pervasive attacks on the notion of socialism, since no other discussion of socialist policy have genuinely entered the public debate, present in reality an offensive against democratic ideas. This trend presents an offensive against moderating the extremist, neo-fascist economic trends that have arisen under terms like neo-liberalism neo-conservativism, all popularly known as “voodoo economics”. It continues to spread the politic of divisiveness, ideological cleansing and ruling class warfare even while America has slowly, ploddingly but deliberately rejected that message.
With ebbing support for the parasitic, racist war and widespread fear of the economic situation, it became crucially important for the cynical bourgeoisie to win over the broadest segment of the population. The GOP put together the weakest possible ticket, one which would have conceded to the contending Democrats no matter what. This was necessary to save the republic from the disaster that a shrill, reactionary faction in American politics managed to achieve.
The logic of Milton Friedman’s laissez faire economic model played itself out over the past two years with all the terror and thrills of a white-water canoe ride. As the economy dashed itself upon the rocks following a 14,000 point historic high, crafted on the mortgage bubble, the free market philosophy of cut and spend went into free fall. Oil prices (not costs) continued to inflate, working class folks lost their homes and jobs, and suddenly neo-fascism lost its appeal. It became time for a change. So faster than you can say “regentrification”, a black man on the ballot didn’t seem so frightful anymore.
Now, the threat to the two-party State is a problem inherent in capitalist society. It arises from the very authoritarian character of the capitalist class (a demographic minority) and its need to consolidate as much power as possible in a crisis situation. In this case, the crisis was manufactured thru the logical outcome of neo-conservative ideology. We call that “historical determinism”. But it is merely logic, as precise and as cold as statistics bereft of human emotion. And this has been a financial crisis thirty years in the making, and could never have happened without Democratic Party collaboration.
Imperialism thru Democracy, and vice versa, remains the strategy for spreading Imperialism, not democracy. Democracy provides cover, but it is an exhaustible resource. Imperialism dragged the world into a pivotal, militaristic conflict which has already begun to transform the American political landscape. Then it dragged the world into an economic crisis which has started new wars in the Congo, Georgia, and places we have yet to take note.
Obama’s presidency is the era of Imperialism thru democracy. Imperialism must be rebuilt thru a new democratic ideal, the ideal that anybody can rise from any circumstance to become president of the United States of America. Imperialism’s new democratic theme is that racism is dead, that America is no longer afraid of the race question, that blacks have beat Italians and Irish to the White House. But this is not a victory for black people or even for democracy. It is a victory for Imperialism.
We have to say that. We have to say that, objectively, Imperialism needs Obama more than he needs it. Obama, leaping upwardly mobile from his middle class origins, infuses new blood into a bloodsucking class of international capitalists. This allows them to declare that the sharpest facet of the class struggle has been blunted, as it is, and they falsely say that we are beginning a “post-racial” era. While racism has become blunted, the class struggle that constitutes racism remains. The victory for Obama is not really a victory for working class Africans anywhere. Our victory will come when we can declare international unity for our people, when we have control over our resources and communities. Obama is not blunting the prison industrial complex, unemployment, the wars in Africa, or poverty in Haiti. There is no “post racial” era until those contradictions are solved.
What Obama represents for us is critical breathing room to intensify our organizational capacity. We, as black organizers, must take advantage of this time to redouble our efforts. We have to put Imperialism on the defensive by ideologically defeating it first, then by out-organizing it. We have to organize the unions, community groups, Latinos, whites and everybody in this country who does not have the power to weather the coming storm. Democracy is not in trouble. We are. And we have to fight to win.
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