By 史蒂夫 奥托
The inauguration is over and Barack Obama is now our president. It’s great to be rid of George Bush, with his murder, torture and war waged on Arab people. But what lies ahead?
To most people I know, this is a time of optimism and hope. Obama is a hero to the Afro-American community, much as John F Kennedy was to the Catholics. Even if he can straighten out the economy, what happens to the revolutionary left in this country?
Nothing will change in most of the third word. The
Revolutionary movements building up in parts of
There are three organized Maoist groups here in the
MIM is easy to dismiss because of their dogmatic approach, divisive attacks on the Revolutionary International Movement and all its supporters and their ridiculous theory of a “labour aristocracy.” Yes they believe that the American worker is not a victim of capitalism, but a modern form of aristocracy. After all, they have a higher standard of living and it is made possible by the work of third world workers, who live in squalor so our workers can live in luxury.
The problem is that the American Worker has no political power. Leftist theoretician Herbert Marcuse correctly analyzed modern industrialized society in two books, One Dimensional Man and Counter Revolution and Revolt. In these, he explained that the bourgeoisie has made servitude palatable, even unnoticeable. But he never said it had disappeared. As Marcuse pointed out, Industrial society uses elections as a placebo. The mainstream media, religion and the educational system’s focus on anti-communist hysteria, has created a work force which has affluence, but no political power at all. In the
These conditions are unique to industrialized nations as the
As for the RCP and Kasama, neither has a sizable following at this time. Countries in Europe have had more tradition of being forced to tolerate large communist parties in
So what does a communist do for now? It is more important to defend what we are, than it is to promote what we are at this particular time. We don’t know what will really come of the Obama presidency. It may fail. It may be another JFK cult or Franklin D. Roosevelt cult. Either way, we must prevent the return of rabid anti-communism that has crippled us before. Even today I have to disguise my name when I publish these articles so I don’t lose employment over them. But the McCarthyism attacks have not been as bad, these last few years, as they were in the 1950s or even the early 1960s. We can be communist today, mainly because the ruling class is preoccupied with radical Islamic factions. We need to be ready to defend ourselves before we can promote our ideas.
The next few years will tell whether we will find converts looking for a way out of the capitalist mess we are now in, or whether a successful Obama presidency will put us on the defensive. We may have to settle for supporting revolutions where they are being successfully staged and won for the immediate future. We always work to lay the foundations of change if and when the time is right. We must also carve out a niche in this society and defend our right just to exist.