[Marxism] attack on Obama right to be president (re GaryMcLellan response)
gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 5 03:08:04 MST 2008
Hi Joaquin et al,
Well with Fred describing me as psycho, lumpen and trash and you now using
the f... word and saying I don't have a clue about U.S. Politics I would say
that you have taken the gloves off now.
However I have been thru a flame war and have no intention of joining in
another one. So let us try and calm down. There is no one on the list
whose posts I have read with as much benefit as those of Fred, Walter and
yourself. That is the simple truth. I should also say that off list I
offered to the moderator to withdraw from this debate some time ago. But he
said that was not necessary. But I feel I have no alternative but to repeat
my offer now.
While we wait for the moderator's intervention I would like to address in a
quiet tone the question of under what circumstances should we defend Obama.
Well of course that question does not confront us at all. For a start let
us not pretend he is under attack. This Supreme Court "thang" will end up
in the trash bin. You know that, Fred knows that, Walter knows that and
Paddy knows that and Mark knows it too.
What we are witnessing and which you will not even address is a *fete dans
les rues* of the ruling class and their accomplices. That is what is
happening. They are over the moon and beyond - probably as far as Centaurus
- about the election of Obama and the construction and make up of his
team. There is nothing but a surly silence broken only by insults from
your side about this.
Yet part of you still knows that when the standard bearer of the ruling
class gets up and calls for "unity and sacrifice" then the working class
will pay with their blood. Hence your anger and Fred's anger against me. Is
it lumpen, or psycho or trash to say that? Does that show I do not have a
But in some senses this is an unreal debate. I will win this one hands
down. Why? Because I have Obama and the Democratic Party on my side.
They will do everything and more that I have said they will to the working
class. This will be a victory I will take no joy in at all for the young
Latinos and the blacks who so rightly have your heart and loyalty will pay
dearly for their illusions in Obama. There is no crystal ball needed for
that prediction. None at all, comrades.
What is frustrating and confusing me in this debate is that I am fully aware
that in Joaquin, Walter and Fred I am arguing with three of the most
distinguished and honorable members of the American Revolutionary Left. Why
then should I have to be saying to them the things that every revolutionary
knows about the bourgeoisie and those who like Obama serve them?
I can only think that an answer lies in a return to the theme of collapsed
desire, because I believe that that is what is at work here. What should we
hope for? What should we want? Because of the accursed legacy of
anti-utopianism, these questions generally do not figure so prominently in
Marxist discourse compared with the classic "What is to be Done", but they
are absolutely vital for all that.
Should we then simply hope that Obama will turn out to be the poor man's
FDR? Actually I am thinking more along the lines that we should be content
with nothing less than a Castro or a Chavez. Of course this piece of
lumpen, psycho trash who doesn't have a fucking clue knows that such is not
on the agenda.
But why should we let that sad fact blind us to the reality of Obama and his
party? Why should we be holding fire on his appointments? Why should we
leave the working class to be led to the slaughter under the banner of
"Unity and sacrifice"? What does Joaquin think will be the ethnic identity
of those who will return in the body bags?
Let me make another prediction here. The new found confidence that Obama's
election has given the ruling class will mean that the bodies will no longer
have to be smuggled in at night. Obama will preside over the funerals with
Above all I want to ask the question of why should we be repeating history
as farce and preparing to launch a CPUSA like blanket defence of Obama's
presidency as the Party did for FDR.
I was serious when in an earlier post I quoted William Morris on the need
for the education of desire. It seems to me that those who oppose me on all
this have been beaten down by the brutal actualities of late capitalism. I
understand what that is like. Trust me. When I was sacked and had the
security called to throw me out of the university where I had been working
for 32 years, I knew what it felt like to be treated like trash. But we
cannot let it rest there. We still have to work and hope for it all. And we
must not be intimidated from speaking truth to power, even if it turns up
unexpectedly on a Marxism list.
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