[Marxism] Why the ruling class chose Obama
elishastephens at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 10 14:30:57 MDT 2008
An article by Eugene Puryear, vice-presidential candidate of the Party for
Socialism and Liberation:
Just a few paragraphs chosen not quite at random:
It is worth reviewing the history of what is called the "Obama phenomenon."
Neither a social movement, nor any record of leadership within the Black
community initially catapulted Obama into the limelight.
Obama has proven that a Black man can gain the support of the ruling class. They
not only tolerate, but even encourage his campaign to take on the appearance of
a social movement, as long as he consistently distances himself from actual
social movements. The leading figures in the political and economic
establishment have supported Obama precisely because of his appeal to Black
people, youth, and large sectors of other parts of the population.
The bourgeois elections have always played a critical role in channeling this
discontent into acceptable avenues. In fact, the illusion of hope and
change—through the peaceful and seemingly easy method of going to the ballot
box—is the very purpose of the electoral cycle.
Revolutionaries cannot be a tail on the kite of the Democrats. Nor can we simply
criticize the available candidates and decide to do nothing. We must build an
independent alternative inside the electoral process that uses every chance to
intervene to bring the demands and voices from the people’s struggles. We have
to speak for those locked out of the electoral system altogether. We have to
engage in the electoral process in order to fight against it.
Our role is to represent and reinvigorate from within the electoral arena, and
in the streets, the mass movements against unemployment and for workers’ rights,
for immigrant rights, against the war, and to strengthen all small community
struggles being waged across the country.
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