[Marxism] Why the ruling class chose Obama

Eli Stephens 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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