It’s time to wake up now! The party never started. Despite all the teary eyes in Chicago last November and the proletarian sing along led by Pete Seeger at the inauguration last January, the working class, minority communities and the oppressed of the world have nothing to celebrate. During the run up to the election we witnessed liberals, progressives and the labor, women’s and civil rights movement pushing the illusion that Obama offered “Change we could believe in.” Progressives covered their tails, qualifying their support for this self affirmed centrist, by alluding to the need to build a mass movement to force the new administration to act in a progressive manner, a mass movement they never launched after the election. Yes it’s time to wake up and fight back but the opportunists, progressives, and labor leaders, like the wicked witch of the west, are showering working people with the same witches dust and soothing manta used on Dorothy, and Toto while they were crossing the field of poppies on their way to the emerald city, “Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!”
After eight year of the “Impeach Bush” liberals and the “Drive out the Bush Regime” Maoists pushing the illusion that all that is needed is a change of chief executive, now we have the change these class collaborationists have been pushing for, for years. Even leaders of the fake Trotskyist Revolutionary Workers League (RWL), now buried in their new civil rights movement, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) pandered to their base’s illusions in Obama in the most opportunistic manner while promoting the Dream Act in Sacramento California http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtUJ64akmxU .
It did not take a year to see that Obama is just another pretty boy for Wall Street, picked because capitalism’s credibility needed a boost after eight years of the criminal Bush league team. But any one paying attention should have noticed the bail-out to Wall Street was pushed by the candidate Obama during the campaign. Nor should it have been a surprise that the revolving door between the financial sector and the new administration’s cabinet puts the biggest players of the capitalist system in the White house. We could honestly ask did Obama pick Larry Summers or was it Larry Summers (read Goldman Sachs) who picked Obama?
After a year we see the torture chambers of Guantanamo are still open (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/us/politics/23gitmo.html?_r=1&th&emc=th) and won't be closed soon, the occupation of Iraq is set to go on for decades, 30,000 new troops are being sent to Afghanistan, drones are killing civilians in Pakistan, the pentagon's SouthCom base in Honduras was used in the preparation for the coup, Africom has been set up to protect Wall Street’s interests in Africa from workers struggles and imperialist competitors. Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, has built an alliance with Bill Gates and sectors of the teacher’s union bureaucracy (among them the California Teachers Association) to push charter schools in an effort to privatize the school system. After chronic under funding and years of the “No Child Left Alive” program they point to the failed pubic schools and sell their market solution to the frustrated public. At Copenhagen Obama put his foot down in defense of big oil, big coal and capitalism’s right to destroy the environment. Concepts like clean coal and cap and trade are pabulum offered up as a green agenda. In the Senate his “friends” finally delivered a health care bill friendly to the right wing and the insurance companies which forces working people into the wasteful for-profit health insurance system and which limits women’s reproductive rights, forcing women to purchase additional insurance for abortions (not even considering that, in fiscal terms, an abortion is less costly in the long run than child birth and child care).
This sorry compendium of Obama’s achievements shows once again (as if we needed a reminder) that the ruling class has the ability to change its puppets as needed to put the frustrated masses back to sleep. Obama, with the help of all the progressives, liberals and opportunist fake socialists, is enforcing the crisis of capitalism on the back of the working class here and abroad. Revolutionary Marxists know that only a socialist revolution led by the workers themselves, building their own forms of democratic control in the workplace, the economy and in turn forging governance structures based in their own rank and file democratic self mobilization can offer any meaningful solutions to the crisis of capitalism. An international revolutionary workers party is needed to provide historic and theoretical leadership otherwise the historic mission of the working class to bury capitalism and build a new world will be defeated. The journal International Trostkyist is launched anew to advance the struggle to forge a revolutionary international. This journal will be available in PDF format at www.humanistsforrevolutionarysocialism.org.