Thursday, November 6, 2008

can you feel the bass?

And obviously it is a major change that the U.S. has elected a Black man. I don’t believe it will represent a change of this system, or a lifting of oppression, or even a significant change of policies (though we will see, of course) — but it is a change at a level of symbolism for the U.S., in exactly the ways that politics often captures the norms and expectations of society. The repudiation of Bush has combined with a repudiation of raw white racism. Of a Republican attempt to speak of “our America” — as an America defined by white christian people in conservative rural towns. Those days are gone, even if those forces are still virulent. And this defeat was palpable to those who they target.

The struggle for radical change now unfolds in a new context, among a new generation — and we should be taking all that in with great energy — to understand, and then to act, on a remade political stage.

Marx wrote “after the debauchery comes the blues.” After the honeymoon with Obama, will come stark conflicts over actual policy and actual outcomes. One of the deepest divides in American life is the class divide within the Democratic Party — between the imperialist nature of their establishment and the interests of their base. The dogs of the far right will now bite at Obama’s every step, and at the same time, the reactionary actions of this new government will collide with the expectations and hopes of its supporters.

The people are going to need fearless revolutionary politics — sharp, even shocking exposure, analysis, a sweeping internationalist view, a daring to uncover imperialism beneath the coming rhetoric and regroupment of empire.


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