Republican takeover of Congress
tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Thu Nov 10 23:15:20 MST 1994
Perhaps this is better put onto the Left-L, although I have desubscribed
and have no intention of resubscribing. Perhaps somene would be kind
enough to forward it?
Have any of you Marxists been reading the papers lately? The Republicans
have taken over Congress. President Bill now declares he will strive to
find Common Ground--a misplaced phrase if ever there was one (I believe
it came from Jesse Jackson originally, doing something far more hopeful.
But perhaps the fact that he did it in the Democratic Party means that this
is poetic justice).
This is the first Republican Congress that I remember. Maybe there was one
in the 1950's, I don't know. In the meantime, the New York Times is printing
favorable book reviews on racist "scientific"
tracts that would make Sumner and Carnegie, not to
mention Goebbels, proud.
Well, it's 12:30 in the morning, I'm not working tomorrow at my boring job
as a full charge bookkeep, so it's time
for Tom's Little Sermonette on what this all means.
I think it means the total collapse of the Democratic Party. The working masses
have absolutely no faith in it anymore. I think it also means we're heading
for a period far worse than Reagan-Bush--something like the 1890's Gilded Age-
Social Darwinism, when Sumner wrote a tract called, "What Do Social Classes
Owe to Each Other?" His answer?--absolutely NOTHIN'.
More importantly, I think it's a complete repudiation of every social democratic
strategy on the left. Since the left is pretty much social democratic these
days, that means that this represents the final revelation of the bankruptcy
of the American Left in our time.
I do not refer simply to the willingness of such organizations as the DSA and
the COC to attempt to place themselves on "the left wing of the possible"--i.e.,
the Democratic Party. But let's examine why this is exhausted, for a moment.
Michael Harrington used to say that as long as the Democratic Party was doing
the nominating, he'd accept a random selection from the Manhattan
telephone book. Just such logic encouraged the DSA to support Bill Clinton,
who was obviously the arch enemy of Jesse Jackson and blacks in general within
the "Democratic Leadership Conference" which Clinton created. Clinton, as
governor of Arkansas . . . well, you know the rest. The point is, it was
just such a telephone book nominee's Presidential
Administratin that brought on the complete loss of Congress to the Republican
But in addition to the standing policy of the DSA to brazen class collaboration,
there is also the phenomena of political correctness, "radical" feminism,
and academics' and other leftists' capitulation to black nationalism. As I
was walking down the dirty corridors of City College tonight
(where both I and Leonard Jeffries teach), hearing a young
woman describe the bathrooms as filthy, I thought seriously about the fine
legacy that all these crackpot moralistic exclusivist groupings have had for
the young generation, in facing
the terrible onslaughts that will occur
under George Patacki and
Rudolph Guiliani. I remember the City College occupation of 91, when
the four-man black nationalist junta (and I do mean "man", they actually
took a vote on whether they wanted to coopt a woman, and this went down
to glorious defeat), completely blew whatever chance they had at building
something by telling all the students to go home, "classes are cancelled."
I thought as well about a "left" that jumps up and salutes everytime any
specially oppressed group labels itself a "nation" or a "class." And the
need we have here in this country to organize a LABOR PARTY as an
ALTERNATIVE seemed very very hopeless.
Let's not forget the contempt that most "leftists" today now feel for the
ideals of internal democracy and mutual responsibility once formulated by
that hopeless anachronism, the Bolsheviks. Let's think about what this has
led to: the slow but sure movement of the non-leaders of the left, to the right,
to the swallowing whole of the ideology of "humanitarian intervention"
foisted upon us by Bill Clinton and the bourgeois media. Let's pause now,
sisters and brothers, to think about the utter confusion this has gotten
us into, when we support murderous embargoes upon the Haitian people,
of the Serbs, "liberation" of the Somalians,etc. Let's reflect a little that
this confusion is only going to get worse--as President Bill finds "common
ground" with his Republican buddies on the Defense Committees, in the form
of more invasions, more bombings, more killing, starving, disease, and general
destruction, a la Iraq.
The time to build a Labor Party, with an integrated revolutionary
vanguard leadership, is NOW. The wolves are at the door: please let's wake
up from the lazy contempt for any and all "orthodoxy" which has plagued us
since the 1960's. Thank you, my sisters and brothers, and good night.
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