This week a Democratic Party exit, the role of Democratic Party sheepdogs, and the racial fallout of the pandemic in Chicago were on your minds. We share your letters for “Leftists Jump the Corporate Democratic Ship, Leaving Sanders Behind,” “The Sheepdog Caucus and So-Called ‘Democratic’ Socialists,” and “Chicago Mayor Lightfoot’s Coronavirus Threats and Government Incapacity to Handle a Pandemic.”
“Leftists Jump the Corporate Democratic Ship, Leaving Sanders Behind” by Glen Ford points to the exit from the Democratic Party by prominent activists of the Sanders presidential campaign as marking a process of disintegration for the political duopoly.
Jeff Armstrong writes:
“I was never a lamb, but rather viewed the Sanders campaign since 2015 as a vehicle for a new party. I had hoped he would lead the charge in 2016, but I think it turned out for the best that he dropped out early enough this time to prepare a response. I support the Movement for a People's Party, as well as the Green Party, and I hope they can form an electoral alliance or at least a constructive relationship. I believe your publication would be very helpful in this regard.”
Reg Callaway writes:
“Your post is spot on. I lived in lots of majority-white countries and in each one of them, Black lives are always marginalized. They are always the lowest paid, live in the most austere conditions, and subject to the most brutal state-sponsored enforcement.
“Even in countries where US white elites hold up as aspiring socialist models, such as Denmark or Sweden, Blacks there are treated with old fashion deliberate inequality. The problem is elites never want to acknowledge white supremacy. Here in New Zealand, the indigenous Maori are the ‘Blacks’ and experience the same kind of demeaning denigration found elsewhere. European colonizers nearly always prefer the status quo even while acknowledging the discrepancies. Transforming is just not in the cards. It's because the alternative could mean less material wealth in their reflexive thinking.
“One thing is for certain, which you argue in your post, is real transformation can only come from African-Americans. Since I've had a lot of time to observe the situation from outside, I argue the marginalized conditions for the people of the world rest heavily on the efforts of Black Americans carrying the ball to a better place. Things are near impossible to change locally (overseas). The US government holds a virtual gun to the heads of world governments. If they don't fully comply to the letter, they are told they will suffer the worst possible economic outcomes. The implied threats are not covered in the US media.
“I would tell the white US-based anti-war organizations they must fully engage in addressing homegrown problems in the Black (poor) community as a top priority, but I am not holding my breath. It is only then can we tackle the war on the poor elsewhere, such as for the Maori. There are lots of do-gooder US anti-war, tax-exempt organizations (White Savior Class), and yet there are no signs the empire is relenting in any way. What they need is a ‘Control-Alt-Delete’ to their business model.”
Paul Billings writes:
“Terrific piece. It is impressive that the Movement for a People’s Party (MPP) clearly recognizes that the Democratic Party is ‘irredeemably’ tied to corporate power and money and is directly connecting Military spending and war with the ‘lethal and merciless enemies that have invaded our shores: poverty, hunger and ill health. ’
“As you are well aware, the ‘Empire’ has no solution to the systemic problems plaguing American capitalism- excess capacity and slack demand. As Dr. Anthony Monteiro points out, the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in ‘a total crisis of the system.’ Not surprisingly, the ruling elite are apoplectic about accelerating US economic decline and the continuing rise of China, labeled a ‘strategic competitor’ by the Pentagon. It appears that China ‘bashing’ will be a major part of Trump’s campaign for reelection.
“Your concluding remarks sum things up well: ‘Not a bad beginning for a new crop of U.S. ‘social’ democrats, whose greatest obligation to the rest of humanity is to dismantle U.S. imperialism -- the ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world today’ (MLK) -- root and branch.’ I would add - and spare humanity a nuclear war between global powers.”
Martin Zehr writes:
“Accepting the premise that we are, in fact, at the starting line, what will the first step be? The article seems to point to a Movement for a People’s Party. My question would be: Would this be more than a Progressive Democrats of America Stout or a DSA Gold? Would other organizations and constituencies be included in the process of ‘party-building?’ Say the new Black Panther Party or the New Afrikan Independence Party. Or swing it around and ask what unions can be included: the IAM, the ILWU, the California Nurses Association, the IWW, Change to Win or the SEIU? It's a big first step, but one that needs to set the stage for the next step.”
“The Sheepdog Caucus and So-Called ‘Democratic’ Socialists” by Quetzal Cáceres argues that politicians such as Bernie Sanders or “the Squad” have a pro-imperialist conception of socialism and play a role in shoring up the Democratic Party base.
Mary Diamond writes:
“I was a sheepdog until Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and then Barack Obama gave 7 trillion dollars to Wall Street because that's who elected him. Now I guess you call me independent. For a while I was a Social Democrat. Then I tried a Democratic Socialist on for size and it didn't fit. Now I'm just really pissed off. I used the only vote they said I had to vote for Bernie Sanders because it was the only chance we had.
“The United States was started as a business. Pure and simple it was designed to make more money for British landowners. How about a follow-up article and who profited from the formation of the United States. Collect names, roundup the usual suspects.
“I read that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted against the stimulus package for the very reasons you indicated in this article. But somehow Wall Street still got their money. They always do. And as long as they always will will always be what we are a corporation. Where money is speech and people don't mean shit. And my vote is a joke because there's nobody running for president in this country that truly wants to do anything near the revolution needed to sell the problems you wrote about and your sheepdog article.
“Thank you for writing it. I really needed my friends and my family for how left my politics are. But I'm probably still to the right of you.”
In “Chicago Mayor Lightfoot’s Coronavirus Threats and Government Incapacity to Handle a Pandemic” Stansfield Smith points to the bias in the Chicago mayor’s aggressive policing of black communities as well as the US state’s overall failure to properly take care of the population during the pandemic.
Jupiter Hammon writes:
“Lightfoot must first and foremost serve the interest of capital. Blacks in elected or appointed positions in the SOWS particularly in heads of state, county/parish, or city positions are nothing more than pharaoh in blackface. They are limited by the capitalists in what they can do for oppressed groups be they descendants of European peasants, enslaved Africans, or Latinos most of who have indigenous roots. That’s the case from a small town of 1,000 to a state with 30 million to POTUS. The few exceptions are where there is a divestment of capital. And as we see with gentrification, that non-white control is only temporary. They can take back Gary, IN or Camden, NJ or Roosevelt, NY anytime they choose to do so just like they are slowly taking back Detroit. Capital can move slow and strategic before dropping the hammer.”
Indeed we are seeing capital’s strategic response to this pandemic. The immiseration of the masses is going to make them seriously rethink their role in this society. We anticipate that your comments will be even more important in developing a vision for the future in this time.
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