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Thursday, November 04, 2004 


Yesterday morning I woke up feeling a surreal sort of déjà vu. When I turned on my TV and stepped into the morning after, it was as if I had woke up the morning after Hitler was named Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. I am not trying to be overly dramatic here, let me be clear on that point. True the contradictions, both objectively and in the subjective minds of the American popular classes, are not nearly as sharp as they were in Germany, 1933. Obviously, the current power and influence enjoyed by the anti-capitalist left in this country pales in comparison to our eminence of the early 20th century, in that country or in this one. And yeah, John Kerry wasn’t some bright and shining start. But it is essential that the left not kid itself any further, what we saw on Tuesday was as serious and ought to be as frightening as any and every victory enjoyed by the Nazi party between 1932 and 1933.

This year we saw more people go to the polls than at any other point in the history of this “low-intensity democracy.” Not only did this more reactionary segment of the ruling class come out on top, it did so with an across the board endorsement. These gangsters energized millions of ordinary people to turn out and vote for them. Their mandate stretches into the Congress as well, which further consolidates this clique’s dictatorship. So, despite the fuzzy ways in which leftists employ the word “fascist,” there is no denying that we have entered an age of extreme right-wing populism in this country and I know of no other name for that than fascism.

To quote an elder comrade out of context, nothing can stop the course of history. This week provides yet another example of of one of the American right’s best employed, long term lines of attack coming to furition. The past 40 years have certainly bore witness to the ever increasing influence of Nixon’s southern strategy, and in this context many are pointing out that the question of the color line is clearly still at the heart of the matter. On this point, I couldn’t agree more. This southern strategy is predicated upon the right’s ability to mobilize poor whites through a mixture of fundamentalist Christianity, white supremacist populism and fear which is so central to both of these ideologies. Based upon preliminary reports of voter turnout, it’s pretty safe to say that the Religious Right, perhaps the most odious manifestation of this “strategic alliance,” did not disappoint in any way, shape or form this time around. We should expect for this base to be well taken care of.

Pundits have also been quick to point out that if current trends in population growth hold (and there is ample evidence to suggest that they will), the right’s vice grip on the American electoral system will only tighten. This emphasis on the South and race surely comes as no surprise to many of us who have long pushed for a boarder focus by left forces on the South and Southwest. At this point our perspective is critically important. We know that for our movements to be successful the region that gave rise to this next wave of capitalist dictatorship must also provide the seeds for its destruction. The ever growing concentration of people of color in the South only highlights this possibility, and in doing so, shows the correctness of our southern focus as the center piece in any strategy for progressives during this period.

We must remember and remind others that “the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” The course of history cannot simply be changed or stopped; any livable future is dependent upon our ability to help lead and create struggle that empowers ordinary people in every red state from Virginia to Texas. This loss hurts; the deep wounds my youthful optimism is trying to nurse are testament to this. But we all know that this is not a time for mourning, now is a time for boldness. This committment will aid our movements in using this set back as a launch-pad, an oppertunity that must not be wasted in these next few months. This war, now more then ever, will not become the “left’s” war too. This regime’s blunders in Iraq will only continue and the situation there will worsen. The coming collapse of the dollar will be sped-up by the insane and irresponsible conduct of the neo-cons. As fighters with vision that transcends the confines of capitalist possibilities, it is our job to show the very politicized masses that “we must thoroughly clear away all ideas of winning easy victories through good luck, without hard and bitter struggle, without sweat and blood.”

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