[Marxism] RE: Who is David Cobb? (reply to Mark Lause re: Is Kerry the rulers' road to victory?)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Jul 18 16:30:28 MDT 2004

Mark wrote:
While speculative, I have to say that a Kerry administration does seem
like a potentially greater threat. 
I agree that Kerry's victory is far from certain, but I disagree that it
will open the road to fundamental gains for the rulers.   I don't
believe it is the key  to the solution to the growing problems they
While it's a saying with a point that noone ever went broke
underestimating the intelligence of the American people, I think the
fighters against war and imperialism CAN go broke that way. I believe we
need a firmer and more clearly positive estimate of the anti-Bush
sentiment in the US population, allowing for all the backwardness it
emerges from. 
I believe the problems that Bush has run into in Iraq, Venezuela, Korea
and elsewhere -- and also in the changing sentiments of broad sections
of the US population -- can only be resolved by victories in the
struggle for US imperialism, not by a new face in the White House.  I
think we should not fall victim to Kerry-phobia -- he has no magic
formula.  If he pursues the same policies and does not WIN decisively,
he will run into more and deeper problems.  If he carries out his
promises to cut programs and raise taxes -- "equitably" so that the
beneficiaries of the Bush policies don't suffer unduly, I believe he
will meet more resistance. 
This is a repetition of what I said before, and I have no new arguments.
But I think the widespread hatred of the current administration is a
clear gain for our side in the class struggle, not an opening for the
rulers because of their "illusions."  They have not had to deal with
THIS problem since the resignation of Nixon thirty years ago in August.
I believe that the most likely variant is that the problem of growing
antigovernment sentiment will continue to plague the next
administration, whether Bush or Kerry, unless the imperialists score
breakthroughs in the fights at home and abroad.  
An argument can also be made that a Kerry administration will be just
what the doctor ordered for a process of radicalization that is still
very primitive politically, as the power and almost irresistible
pressure of the ABB drive has shown. 
 As Kennedy and Johnson educated antiracist and antiwar fighters in the
early 1960s, Kerry could prove the ideal teacher for even broader
forces.  After all, the Progressive Party challenged Truman, not
Eisenhower; the Freedom Now Party emerged under Kennedy -- as did
Malcolm X as a revolutionary leader of the fight for independent Black
political action; the Black Panther Parties in Alabama and nationally
arose under Johnson, as did Raza Unida and the Peace and Freedom
Party-Panther campaign. The National Black Independent Political Party
peaked during the last years of the Carter administration.  We may
conclude in retrospect that the Clinton administration was the high
water mark of the independence of the Green Party.  
Republican administrations tend to be the breeding grounds for AB[FILL
IN HERE] campaigns in which the left backs the Democrats.  Democratic
administrations, when there is a radicalization of some kind taking
place, offer more ground for divisions over this course that are much
needed, as well as for regroupments and so forth.  I see signs that some
real, rather than half-fake, labor party motion may even emerge in the
coming years.
So I think we should oppose Kerry and Bush as imperialist and capitalist
politicians, but we should not fear the election of either of them.  The
rulers will win this election.  They can't lose.  But we should not
consider ourselves defeated or qualitatively more threatened, whatever
the outcome.  I don't believe that Kerry or Bush can solve the problems
in Iraq, unless US imperialism is strong enough to win it and the Iraqi
people retreat in a massive way.  I don't believe that either of them
has any more capacity to win the battle with Venezuela, unless the
imperialist ruling class can win it.  
So I think we should not be depressed about the power of Anybody But
Bush, which stems from their moving in tandem with a fairly powerful and
progressive mass sentiment of rejection of the current capitalist
administration, and will surely come apart during a Kerry administration
unless the imperialists can sweep all before them and reverse the
beginnings of radicalization.  Barring that -- which is not impossible
but, in my strong opinion, improbable -- we should be modestly
optimistic about what we face in the months and years to come.
Very little is settled in voting booths, especially in this country.
That isn't about to change.
Fred Feldman

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