Archive for Barrack Obama

What Can We Expect from Obama’s Presidency?

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by Umer

George Gruenthal

(posted from Revolutionary Democracy)

In one sense, there is no doubt that the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States is historic. As the first Black president, it is clear that no longer can Afro-Americans be told to only aim for what is ‘realistic’ for them. Decades ago, Malcolm X wrote in his autobiography that, when he told his teacher that he wanted to be a lawyer, the teacher told him that he should aim to be something like a carpenter, as becoming a lawyer was not a ‘realistic’ goal for a Black person.

Further, Obama’s presidency will mark a change from Bush’s style of unbridled unilateral wars of aggression. Bush has made the U.S. government one of the most detested ones for people all over the world, not only in the Middle East and other oppressed and dependent countries, but also among people in its ‘allies’ in Western Europe. Bush has also become one of the most despised presidents among a large section of people in the U.S. In New York City, Obama won by almost 80% of the vote over McCain, who was correctly seen as a continuer of Bush’s policies, and in the Bronx, with its overwhelmingly Black and Latino population, Obama won with almost 90% of the vote.

But Obama did not win just because he had broad popular support. He won largely because he was the clear favourite of the main sectors of the monopoly capitalist ruling class. His campaign outspent McCain’s by about $640 million to $240 million. And this was not just because millions of Afro-Americans and other working people sent in their small contributions (which they did do), but because the big monopolists, the oil companies, auto, real estate and other sectors, gave millions to his campaign.

Also, the majority of the bourgeois media gave their support to Obama. In New York City, not only the New York Times, which represents the liberal sector of finance capital and is aimed primarily at the white petty and middle bourgeoisie, supported Obama. So did the Daily News, whose main function is to direct bourgeois demagogy at the working class. Of the large bourgeois newspapers, only the New York Post, the mouthpiece of the most reactionary sectors of the ruling class, supported McCain. (Of course, the bourgeois papers totally ignored the campaign of Cynthia McKinney, the progressive Afro-American woman who ran an independent campaign on the Green Party line.) To see the importance of the bourgeois media in elections, one must only recall the universal ridicule that they directed at Howard Dean, knocking him out of the race when he was the leading candidate in the Democratic Primary in 2004, because he took a stance against the war on Iraq.

The elections themselves showed the clear rejection of Bush’s policies, not only on the war but also on his giveaways to the rich. Millions of new voters were registered (some 300,000 in New York City alone), the great majority of whom supported Obama. About 95% of Afro-American voters supported Obama, as did almost 70% of Latino voters. White voters in the majority (55%) went for McCain, though white voters in overwhelmingly white states (such as Iowa or New Hampshire) were in the majority for Obama. It was whites in the Afro-American nation in the Black Belt South who voted primarily for McCain.

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This Land is Your Land

Posted in International Affairs, Poetry, Literature, Art with tags , , , on January 24, 2009 by Umer

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen at the Obama inaugural celebration concert

They tried to stop me,
With a great big sign there,
Which said “Private Property”,
While on the other side,
It said nothing.
That is made for you and me!

Marx’s letter to Abraham Lincoln

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by Umer

undersigned by Karl Marx

The relevance of the posted letter by International Working Men’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, needs no mention at this very significant moment in the history of USA.

Sir:

We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.

From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?

When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, “slavery” on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding “the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution”, and maintained slavery to be “a beneficent institution”, indeed, the old solution of the great problem of “the relation of capital to labor”, and cynically proclaimed property in man “the cornerstone of the new edifice” — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.

While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world. [B]

Signed on behalf of the International Workingmen’s Association, the Central Council:

Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osbourne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L.Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci;

George Odger, President of the Council; P.V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G.P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J.E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland; H.F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary.

18 Greek Street, Soho.

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