[Marxism] Kerry and G.O.P. Spar Over Iraq Remarks

Austin, Andrew austina at uwgb.edu
Wed Nov 1 15:50:55 MST 2006

First, Marvin Gandall has made a useful contribution to the discussion.
It's that sort of reasonable argument that I think will serve this
discussion well.

Second, no Marxists-supporting-Lincoln analogy has been offered, Mark
Lause, and no amount of repeating a falsehood will change the truth.
The only thing that has been said is that it is simply not true that
communists never support bourgeois politics.  Marx supporting
Republicans proves that is not true.  I know it's one of those
undeniable truths that makes a person want to twist things around, but I
think you can do better than using the type of tactics that the
Republicans and the corporate media are currently using to twist Kerry's
words.  You should move on to some substance now - please no more jokes
about people you disagree with being drug addicts.

As for Kerry, he is not running for office in my state of Wisconsin.
Things are close here.  If communists and socialists don't get behind
Democratic candidates in Wisconsin, the Republicans are likely to win.
If the failure to act occurs in other states, as well, the terrible
conditions in which working people find themselves will drag on and
possibly worsen.  The Republicans will take that as a sign that
Americans approve of their policies and it may inspire them to go even
further in running over the poor, elderly, and minorities.

In part, Kerry says what he has to say because the Republicans - and
this is a sign of their fascism - have cornered the market on
superpatriotism.  Any non-Republican who criticizes the war becomes
identified as an anti-troop anti-Americanist and much of the public
stops listening.  The fascistic mentality is widespread in America - the
consequence of so many years of Republican rule - and Democrats, who
because they, unlike any other party, are actually in a position to win,
understand that more complex messages will get squashed by the
simplistic drumbeat of jingoistic slogans.  The far right commands the
news cycle.  Democrats have to walk on eggshells.  They don't have the
luxury we enjoy of being able to criticize the government.

The reason why blacks, workers, homosexuals, and so many other
disadvantaged and oppressed groups support the Democratic Party is
because these groups understand that the Democrats are the only
effective alternative at the government level in the current
circumstances.  This doesn't mean that they don't work on alternatives
in the meantime.  They simply recognize, like many Marxists do, that one
must act strategically while at the same time working on changing the
climate at the grassroots.  Many of the dozens of millions who vote
Democrat understand that Democrats with progressive leanings often have
to talk masculine politics on issues like the war because Republicans
use any speech that sounds like cut-and-run to mobilize their base.  If
Democrats become the majority party, this changes the climate of debate.
It permits more open questioning of policy at the level in which things
actually get done, which could lead to some really wonderful things,
like bringing the troops home.  The majority of Americans want to change
the climate.  I'm with them.  The climate they seek is better for
Marxists, as well.  More of the ideas we support get heard and even get
some movement.  Pulling the center back opens up the range of possible
policy ideas. 

Dayne tries to turn my question around with this - "What i want to know
is Why are you voting for an imperialist party?  Do you think that this
will bring an end to imperialism?"  But what he is asking is actually a
restatement of the question I put to him.  I am more than happy to
answer the question for him.  No matter who I vote for, I will not be
voting to bring an end to imperialism.  He and I may vote for a
political party that says it wants to bring about an end to imperialism,
but this party is not in a position to be elected, and therefore has no
chance of actually accomplishing what it says it wants to.  Slogans are
nice.  But without political power, they are just slogans.  Like me,
Dayne isn't voting on November 7th to end imperialism.  Nobody in the
United States is voting to end imperialism.  Imperialism is simply not
the issue in this election.  Imperialism is the ground upon which we
make many decision.  What is at issue is whether we are going to
continue to allow Republicans to control the government and entrench
fascistic policies and politics.  If we vote for Democrats and Democrats
win then we will have taken away from Republicans a substantial
component of their power.  This is something that we can impact.  I will
continue my work at the grassroots for all the issues that are important
to me as a communist.  But on November 7th I have an opportunity (one of
many) to make a difference and I aim to do that.

Socius_awa at hotmail.com

-----Original Message-----
From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of Mark Lause
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 3:24 PM
To: 'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'
Subject: RE: [Marxism] Kerry and G.O.P. Spar Over Iraq Remarks

So that Marxists-supporting-Lincoln analogy putters out ingloriously.

The analogy would be to argue that Marxists should have supported
Jefferson Davis because, despite what Jefferson Davis said--and did--or
how he voted--he was really a closet abolitionist.....


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