[Marxism] On the 2006 elections in the USA

Anthony Boynton northbogota at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 3 13:14:16 MST 2006


On the 2006 elections in the United States

Marxists, and whatever left in general is left in the
USA, should look at the current elections first of all
to analyze what they indicate about where the USA is
going, and secondly to see what opportunity for
political action there might be.

The elections are a strong indication that the United
States is spiraling into a political crisis.

The bourgeoisie in the United is entering a new
chapter of political crisis caused by the resistance
of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, elsewhere in the
Middle East, and also in Latin America. 

The bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie, and the
working class of the United States are showing serious
fissures in their political unity which could for the
first time in a nearly a half century crack upon the
political unity within the center of imperialism. 

The System

If you look at US politics you see a truly bourgeois
political system with all other social forces absent
by design. 

What is known as the system of "checks and balances"
makes it almost impossible for a third political party
to emerge on a nationwide basis. Winner take all
elections, the electoral college, gerrymandering
(taken to new heights by the Texas Republicans), voter
fraud (now virtual in the electronic sense of the
word) have been carefully honed to a high tech art
form. 

(One commentator on this list said US elections are
more like those in Latin America than Europe. I think
he or she got it wrong, managing and manipulating
elections is a lot more like rock n'roll than it is
like Bach or Beethoven. Techniques to steal and
manipulate elections developed in New York, Chicago
and San Francisco were exported to Europe and Latin
American during the cold war to keep Communists and
others from winning elections in countries like
France, Italy, and Colombia. Read Phillip Agee's old
books on his time in the CIA for a hint of how it
worked.

The recent fraud in Mexico was almost certainly
directed out of the US embassy, as was much of the
fraud in the last several elections in Colombia most
likely directed out of the US embassy here in Bogotá.)

Elections in the United States have never been
democratic. Not in the since of the free participation
of the people.

Even after the death of segregation and the democratic
victories won in the 1960's and 70's, the two
capitalist parties kept a lock hold on elections. The
dead, who had been leaving the cemeteries for
generations to pull the handle on the old voting
machines, continued to march on, punching the hole on
the voting card, and now touching the screen of the
new improved voting machines. Democrats cheat
Republicans, Republicans cheat Democrats, Both cheat
everyone else. 

In the United States, except for moments of extreme
social upheaval and conflict, the bourgeoisie has been
much freer of the restraint that domestic class
struggle can impose than almost any other ruling class
in history. 

This means that the ruling class of the USA is free to
rob each other, steal elections from each other, put
each other in jail, sexually abuse each other and even
to a greater extent than in almost any other place on
the planet – publicly debate and fight out their
differences over political choices, decisions, and
strategies.

The ruling class of the United States fights among
itself almost with reckless abandon, because
absolutely NO domestic threat to its rule can be seen
anywhere on the horizon, and nothing at all has been
seen since the demise of the movement against the war
in Vietnam and the black rebellions of the 1960's.

But the increasing intensity of their infighting is
nevertheless a symptom of a real crisis.

The WHOLE US ruling class bet on Bush to lead them to
a solution to the world energy crisis six years ago.

When the Republican Party stole the elections six
years ago, the Democrats – personified by Al Gore –
politely bent over. The Democrats acted not simply out
of political cowardice, but more importantly out of
political calculation. Important Democrats wanted
Bush, not Gore, in the White House. 

Why? My guess is that they wanted a Republican in the
White House to lead the war for oil, so that the
Republicans would take the flack, and maybe the fall,
which was likely to come.

In other words the Democrats wanted to steal the oil
of the Middle East as badly as Bush and his clique,
but they doubted it could be done easily, cleanly, or
cheaply.

Bush was the man for that dirty job, and if he and his
friends stuffed a little cash into their pockets along
the way, that was the price that had to be paid.

Now the Democrats are trying to do the job they
anticipated six years ago, take back the Congress and
the White House for themselves.

The problem is that Bush could not do his assigned
job. The United States is failing in Iraq, failing in
Afghanistan, and losing political control over the
bourgeoisies and petty bourgeoisies of the world. 

China has nearly a free hand to expand its economic
and political power in east Asia. New countries are
developing nuclear weapons challenging the military
control of the US. 

The Latin American bourgeoisie, under the leadership
of Lula and Chaves, has made its boldest ever bid for
independence since the wars of Independence. Napoleon
made those wars possible, and the British helped make
them successful. Now the US invasion of the Middle
East has made it possible for bourgeois nationalism in
Latin America to try to stand on its own two feet and
walk. The United States was only barely able to steal
the Mexican elections, and its hold on power there
through the miserable PAN is very, very, shaky.

Bush's failures have put a new spin on the Democratic
party's calculations, and could open the door for the
reemergence of the left as a real, living, force in
the United States for the first time since 1973.

Can the Democrats win control of the House and Senate?

Duh. Of course. 

They are just as capitalist as the Republicans. They
have money, they have power, they know how to steal
elections, and they know how to fight election theft
when they want to.

If they want to win, and if significant sectors of the
bourgeoisie shift from the Republicans to the
Democrats, the Democrats will win control next
Tuesday.

It looks like both of the conditions already exist.
Important Republicans would not be going to jail
during a Republican administration if a shift within
the ruling class were not taking place. Important
Republicans would not be openly confronting the
President and leader of their party on a daily basis
if such a shift were not taking place. Senator Kerry
would have backtracked when Bush attacked him last
week.

What will happen if they win?

Bush will still be president, the United States will
still be in Iraq. 

The only political strategy open to the Democrats will
be to use their control of Congress to prepare for the
2008 elections.}

They will do that in two ways.

Investigate Republican corruption and crimes. Starting
with Iraq, but including Hurricane Katrina, Plan
Colombia II, FERC and you name it. More Republicans
will go to jail.

Fight Bush on the budget, but make a patriotic deal.

Will they be able to manage the crisis through to a
peaceful, smooth change of power in the 2008
elections, and will Bush crash and burn through
resignation, impeachment, suicide or assassination?

What will happen if the Republicans win?

Maybe another war, and more domestic police state laws
to try to give the Republicans a chance to keep power
in 2008.

What should the left in the USA do?

1. Of course support clean, open, democratic reforms
like proportional representation, but these are
meaningless without a mass movement for a third
anti-imperialist or working class political party.

2. Support Green and socialist candidates for office.
This is important, especially if these candidates make
support for a mass anti-war movement and a mass
immigrant rights movement an important part of their
campaigns.

3. Prepare for a mass protest movement after the
elections.

This is by far the most important of the three. If, as
seems likely, the elections can not heal the crisis of
the bourgeoisie, it will intensify in the next two
years. 

The only thing that can turn it into a really serious
crisis would be the emergence of a domestic challenge
to the power of the imperialist classes within the
United States. The clear starting point for that to
happen already exists: the anti-war movement combined
with the immigrants' rights movement.

All the best, Anthony



 
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