This week you discussed the multilayer crisis facing American people. We share your letters for “Nightmare Years Will Repeat Themselves – Until the People Kick Out the Cabal,” in which Glen Ford argues that only a Black led movement with ideological clarity can end the capitalist disaster the U.S. population is living through.
Paul Billings writes:
“‘The most massive popular mobilization in U.S. history put tens of millions in the streets in June under the Black Lives Matter banner, proof that much more than a critical mass of the public is willing to mobilize for social justice. A Harris and Just Capital poll taken the previous month showed that only 25 percent of the public believed our current form of capitalism ensures the greater good of society – a belief gruesomely confirmed when the pandemic death toll approached half a million at year’s end.’
“On a related note, I attended multiple massive rallies- in Washington, NYC and Philadelphia opposing Bush II’s 2003 war on Iraq. As you are aware, these protests were completely impotent at challenging US imperial lust for Iraqi energy reserves. Indeed, US taxpayers have shelled out circa $5 trillion on the continuing strategic debacle in Iraq.
Obviously, ‘demonstrations and protests’ while potentially garnering a spot on the evening news do not fundamentally confront the actions of the State. If anything, they are exploited to reinforce the image of ‘freedom of expression’ and the tolerance of US ‘democracy’, which is complete BS. This made me realize that the only way to confront the Empires crimes is via working class solidarity and the ability to completely shut down economic activity by massive strike action.
“Unfortunately, this has been made increasingly difficult by our corporate/consumer-driven economy, as working people are increasingly surviving on credit cards and debt to maintain their standard of living. Obviously by going on strike, paychecks stop, while rent/mortgage, cell phone, cable and utilities, medical insurance and car payments continue. Thus, how many working people will risk going on strike when the potential economic consequences are so dire? Further, will other unions, such as the Teamsters recognize/respect your picket line? “[Remember there was virtually no support for PATCO strikers by organized labor]. Bottom line- class relations are a lot more than bourgeois politics.”
Ron Campbell writes:
“U.S. imperialism is a fact, which the U.S. Government always denies. However, U.S. President Barack Obama implicitly ‘justified’ it when he told graduating students at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, on 28 May, 2014, ‘The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.’ That means: every other nation is ‘dispensable;’ only the U.S. is not. He then went into a tirade against Russia and China, and even added: ‘From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums… It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.’ He was telling these West Point cadets (ever so tactfully) that they would be waging war for the benefit of America’s international corporations, and against ‘rising middle classes [which] compete with us, and governments [which] seek a greater say in global forums’ — and that these graduating cadets would be serving in the U.S. military forces in order to crush such ‘competitors,’ if and when America’s diplomatic corps and CIA are turning out to be insufficient to do the job. U.S. military muscle, he was telling them, is against ‘rising middle classes [which] compete with us, and governments [which] seek a greater say in global forums’ — to block such ‘rise,’ and to prevent those other nations from having ‘a greater say in global forums.’ How much more clearly — though only by way of logical inference from what he was explicitly asserting — could he have admitted that America’s military is for global conquest, against all other nations (the world’s ‘dispensable’ nations), and is NOT for national defense? And how much more hostile could he possibly have been to ‘rising middle classes’ abroad, than to say they ‘compete with us,’ and to tell — to America’s future generals, no less — that it will be their ‘task to respond,’ to them, and to that?”
Ideological clarity on questions of war and peace, identity politics, and the meaning of socialism are needed among progressive forces in this time. It will take a great struggle.
Jahan Choudhry is Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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