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Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Government shut down and its relevance to the revolutionary left

Up until now I haven’t written much on the government shut down that has been in the news daily since it started last week. For many of us, the shutdown hasn’t really affected us yet. But there are many people who have been furloughed or will not get paid until this shut down ends.
For many of us on the revolutionary left this issue has been a difficult one because the Tea Party Republicans have partially shut down a government we want to eventually destroy and replace. But nothing these Republicans have done is helping us out. We don’t support what these Republicans are doing, nor do we want it to appear that we are supporting President Barack Obama.
I have written in support of the Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. It is a reformist program that Obama has carefully crafted to include Insurance companies and continues to allow them to profit off of America’s sick people. It is not socialized medicine and it really isn’t a victory for the left. It will help some people who presently have no access to healthcare at all. Until Obamacare working poor people, those working minimum wage jobs without benefits and those with pre-existing medical conditions are  blocked from getting health care and many of these people die early from preventable diseases.  So it is an improvement over what this country has had.
I have gone into bankrupts myself trying to pay for expensive medicines to cure me of hepatitis C and I have been unable to work full time since I was sick from both the disease and the treatment for more than a year. I had to go through bankruptcy to prevent medical companies from suing me in court and garnishing my wages. Perhaps it is the fear of Obamacare that I have been threatened with five different law suits from four different medical institutions in the last year. Without bankruptcy my entire paycheck would be going to pay off these companies.
I’m sure there are many people with similar stories who will be helped out by this act. I have at least one friend who is on disabilities because he is too sick to work.  Yet with all the red tape and obstacles that our idiot governor, Sam Brownback, has made for poor Kansans and people with disabilities, my friend can’t afford to see a doctor.
Most of the revolutionary left in this country doesn’t respect liberalism as a legitimate left trend. But that really doesn’t matter anymore since there are almost no liberals left in the Democratic Party, at least on the national level such as the US Senate and House. Obama is a centrist and some leftist have actually labeled him “right of center.” We all agree that in the US today, the mainstream press and mainstream politicians go from the political center to the far-right. The US political spectrum today is almost entirely right-wing. Some on the left see this as an opportunity to try and establish a foothold onto the US political culture since the reformist left gets no more attention or respect than the revolutionary left. In terms of left vs. right, most Americans don’t even know that communist or socialist groups exist. With carful work, it may be possible for the Revolutionary left to be able to offer some  US citizens a real alternative to the reckless adventurism of the Tea Party Republicans and the timid do nothing approach of the Democrats.
Right now the Tea Party Republicans have developed a solid following. Many of their supporters act as if they lack any common sense. Yahoo News reported on people from Senator Ted Cruz’s home state of Texas, who support him despite the hardships they are feeling, including a man who lost his job due to the government shut down. These people actually believe that the Democrats and Obamacare represent government intrusions into their private lives. In reality, Cruz and his chumps are turning everything over to corporations who now have more control over our lives than government ever did. While our government can’t punish us for practicing most forms of freedom of speech, corporations can and do fire people who print things on the internet that they disagree with.
Defending the Tea Party Republican’s attempts to kill this health care reform amounts to helping them kill poor people, by keeping them from getting health care. They resemble the southerners who defended the rights of slave owners before the Civil War.

-សតិវ អតុ

 Nat Winn writing for the Kasama Project, has written a good analysis of the radical right’s shut down of the government;
I'm sure that many of us have been asked the question in the past couple of days, “What do you think about the shutdown of the US government?” I've thought hard about the question. What does a communist, a revolutionary who sees the need to smash the capitalist state, say about the current political crisis dominating the mainstream political discourse and media? How do we speak to the shutdown?
There a number of possible answers.
A skeptic can say that this is no big deal, that the government has shutdown before because of partisan disagreements within the ranks of the rulers and they were eventually resolved with no significant change in the political situation.
This argument may have some truth to it but it also ignores the historical and political context of this particular shutdown (it generalizes) and it also fails to look at the subjective responsibility of radicals for failing to influence the political discussion on past shutdowns.

That led to a spirited discussion of this news event. For more click here.

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