Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eat Pray Love Obama: Carl Davidson defends anti-Republican wing of U.S. bourgeois politics




Recently Carl Davidson's undying efforts as a Pinkerton policing the petty bourgeois left in the interests of the imperialist Democratic Party in the United States have led him to interventions even on my paltry blog.  They came as responses to my "walk-through" of that acme of opportunism, the Fletcher-Davidson statement The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama's Record: Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him.


Carl Davidson August 25, 2012

The underlying problem is that none of us here, on any side of the argument, who would like to speak for the working class has any ability to do so with any force and reach. That's what we meant by politics as 'cafe chatter' and strategy as 'self-expression.'

The task, then, is to start with the working class we have, organize the best of them, and find a path forward. Most progressive-minded workers understand that the danger from the far right is quite real, even if some on the left would like to convince themselves that it's only a 'bogey man.' They'll do what they can to thwart it, and the best of them will do so by also building organizations of their own to wage the wider battles of politics as strategy.

As for OWS, the current conjuncture has brought it to an impasse as well, a crisis of anarcho-syndicalist one-sided reliance on fanning the flames of mass movements to bring pressure 'from below', largely a kind of militant liberalism. I've supported OWS, visited many of them and won over allies for them. But mass movements ebb and flow, and one has to have the ability to know how and when to cast the net out, and draw it back in. As much as I love mass insurgency, I'm not one who worships spontaneity. In my book, organization-building trumps movement-building, even as they are intertwined.

Keep in mind that we are not asking anyone to support Obama or his platform or the Democrats. We are simply asking people to vote for him to defeat the alternative. If you don't think this matters, you are seriously out of touch with those sectors of the masses you think most important for more radical change. At the very least, you could get in the streets to oppose the GOP's efforts to deny the ballot with their new VoterID 'poll tax.' That's just a matter of consistent democracy with a small 'd.'

My reply:

Carl Davidson writes:

"Keep in mind that we are not asking anyone to support Obama or his platform or the Democrats. We are simply asking people to vote for him to defeat the alternative. If you don't think this matters, you are seriously out of touch with those sectors of the masses you think most important for more radical change."

I cannot imagine a more dismissive or contemptuous attitude toward the working class at an international level. What must workers in other countries, under the gun of a bipartisan war by the Wall Street parties, think of Fletcher-Davidson's rationalization for voting for drone death lists, invasions, and unconditional preemptive war.

Are we really to believe, after all the decades of Browder-cum-Fletcher/Davidson, that a vote for Obama is NOT a vote for Wall Street's platform, or all the other millionaire and billionaire Democrats who [like their Republican opposite numbers] have conducted in the last thirty-five years an undifferentiated capitalist assault on life and limb at home and abroad?

In the comment above, Davidson seeks to bait us by saying, "At the very least, you could get in the streets to oppose the GOP's efforts to deny the ballot with their new VoterID 'poll tax.' That's just a matter of consistent democracy with a small 'd.'"

When Obama is re-elected and emboldened on his current course; when missiles strike in Syria and Iran; when Homeland Security rounds up another autumn's protestors; when all this happens because we voted against Romneyism, the Fletcher-Davidson's in the US will have much to answer for, as they do already for their anti-worker actions in 2008. They will have sold US workers on another four years of voting against their interests, defeating their own independence.

"Vote against the ultra-right." This is a decades' old cats-paw for supporting the Democrats, and it has pushed US workers further away from the class political independence we need so badly today. It is time to stop the lesser evilism. Republican and Democratic imperialist agendas and their ideological rationalizations will be stopped only when this process reaches fruition. Better to start now than delay another four years.

--

Carl Davidson August 26, 2012 10:16 AM

Thinking the ultra-right these days is an imaginary 'cat's paw' is a huge illusion held by the far left, which likes to lecture others on 'illusions.'

As for internationalism, who do you think Palestinian-Americans and Iranian-Americans, in good measure, will be voting for this round? An anti-imperialist isn't on the ballot, but someone who criticizes Obama for not invading Iran now, and who thinks the West Bank is poor because of 'Palestinian culture,' is running. Voting to keep him out doesn't mean you 'endorse' Obama. Workers often vote for those they think will do them the least harm without endorsing any of them. The larger task is to create a socialist organization with 100,000+ members--which might be done, if we could cut the number of circular firing squads in half or better.

My reply:

Carl Davidson writes:

"The larger task is to create a socialist organization with 100,000+ members--which might be done, if we could cut the number of circular firing squads in half or better."

What can one make of such thinking? The greatest circular firing squad facing the US working class is the every-four-year squad telling them they need to put off their political independence, even the germinal stage of it, for another four years, [then another, then another] because things are too urgent now.

Urgent how? Because of the horror stories Obama shills tell us, citing Fox news.

Is their really any equal sign between the Republican who says "West Bank is poor because of 'Palestinian culture,'" and the president who leads an international bombing campaign on the population of Somalia and Libya, and every day promotes doing the same against Syria and Iran?

"An anti-imperialist isn't on the ballot"? Hmmm... could be because Fletcher-Davidson and their ilk scare us every four years into voting for actual imperialist war-makers, and denigrate anti-imperialism as a sideshow distraction from defeating the Republican Party at the polls?

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