Chavez Demo

Letter: Revolutionary Masses in the Americas

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Across the Americas, from Canada to Argentina, a growing revolutionary mood is developing. Americans are yearning for change. They seek to replace the old with the new.

This shift in consciousness is reflected in the recent elections in Latin America, and even in the U.S., where many of those who voted for Obama did so believing he would in fact bring real change.

But the main problem is the leadership. We have mostly elected center-left, reformists who are ultimately defenders of capitalism into office, when the people of the Americas need more.

The United States of America is in many ways the best example of such revolutionary masses with the wrong leadership. With the conditions presented to them, Americans are beginning to become more class conscious. Class consciousness is knowing what class you are in and how to make things better for yourself and your peers. The seeds of class consciousness are being sown though, which is unusual in the U.S.A., at least in recent years, but great sign. People are beginning to see that electing officials that are in bed with the corporations of America is a bad idea.

Although they have elected Obama (he is very much in the same bed with the bosses), his election is a necessary stage in the development of the coming American revolution. It shows that Americans are ready for a change and want this change very much. But it is his rhetoric, not Obama’s actions that have the American people with him. He seems to promise a new America, an America that is not for the bosses but rather for the great masses. But is this really the case?

For example, Obama promised that lobbyists would have no influence in the decisions he makes, but then what does he go and do? Appoint a lobbyist for a major defense company as the undersecretary of the Department of Defense! He also critiqued President Bush’s foreign policy but then keeps Robert Gates as his Defense Secretary! He has also promised an end to the Bush tax cuts and almost immediately after his election he says he will not repeal them. This isn’t quite a candidate that is for the working class! Obama’s actions must be our focus, not his rhetoric. It is as if he was stabbing someone in the back while telling them “I love you.” Supporting Obama seems to have become the new smoking: it looks so cool to do, but it is harmful to your health.

The youth and workers of America are in some ways turning back to their traditions during the Great Depression. Many similarities can be drawn between Barack Obama and Franklin Roosevelt. Both are calming characters that seem to give a sense of comfort to America amid crisis. But neither are actually revolutionary. Both appeal to the workers of America without actually challenging the corporate-dominated status quo. They keep the capitalists in power yet feign a modest criticism of some of the most glaring problems workers face.

We need fundamental change in the U.S. and across the Americas. This means breaking with the capitalist system altogether. We need to have a party that offers real change, not just the appearance of it. America’s workers needs candidates who are not afraid to take their side, who are not afraid to challenge the corporations. We need a mass party of labor, by and for the working class, that will stick with what it says and follow through with it. This party would run on a platform for the workers.

Our candidates can be neither Democrat nor Republican because both are so entwined with their respective counterpart. Our candidates must have the interests of the majority in their minds and in their hearts. Our candidates must be  direct representatives of the working class and everything the working class stands for.  Our candidates must be directly accountable to those that elect them. Our candidates must have a truly new way forward, a break with the horrific capitalist past and present of America. We need Labor candidates for working people. We need candidates that fight for socialist ideas.

– Kevin Nance, Philadelphia, PA

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