[Marxism] 15.1 Million unemployed in US!!,

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 3 20:56:00 MDT 2009


You raise a good question.  The problem is twofold: 1) the U.S. Left is
largely petit-bourgeois and divorced from the working class (and its rising
unemployment) and therefore gravitates to the Democratic Party as its
natural political home, because 2) there is no independent - or even
D.P.-dependent - mass working class movement in response to the economic
crisis as of yet, and therefore no alternative force for middle class
leftists to gravitate towards.  The two conditions dialectically reinforce
one another.

Glum comparisons with conditions in the 1930's are in order, but don't
overlook a positive flip-side of the absence of a substantial working
class-oriented Left:  the absence also of an organization such as the C.P.
that was positioned to steer the working class movement back into the D.P.,
as well as the absence of the shining example of a bold bourgeois reformer
to steer them towards: just compare the courageous FDR to the pathetically
weak Obama.  BTW, this latter difference is _not_ the product of an FDR
urgently moving to head off the threat of an independent working class
movement, whereas Obama does not face such an urgency; rather, it reflects
the profound change in the resources (and subsequently historical
character)  of the U.S. ruling class that granted FDR tremendous room for
maneuver - the U.S. ruling class "had  a lot of reserves" as the stalinist
line went in the old days.  Indeed the U.S. bourgeoisie was the _only_ major
ruling class capable of what we'd call "progressive reform" in what was
otherwise a deeply reactionary decade everywhere else, including in Stalin's
Soviet Union.  OTOH Obama is incapable of enacting even reforms that would
clearly benefit large sectors of the U.S. bourgeoisie such as lowering
health care costs, for current example, a reform that would advance the
competitive position of U.S. capital in the world market.  FDR smashed the
J.P. Morgan interest;  Obama further strengthens Goldman Sachs and indeed
the whole finance cartel.  This is not because Obama does not face the
threat of an independent working class movement, but because the finance
cartel is absolutely essential to the maintenance of the outsized U.S.
military apparatus and therefore the global geopolitical position of the
U.S.  The U.S. relies on this, rather than a mighty industrial base as it
did in FDR's time.

So do not expect a move towards reform even in the face of the emergence of
the working class threat.  Instead, expect just the opposite: intensified
reaction.
-Matt



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