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Climate of Austerity

Glenn Beck and the Tea Party's bizarre claim that Obama is somehow "socialist"  should now be seen as the pathetic and ignorant assertion it always was.  And any US leftists who want to imagine that Obama is still some force for social democracy (but never socialism - only day-dreamers would imagine this!) now have to face the fact that he is a willing participant in the pushes for "austerity" amongst the global capitalist class.  Really, Obama's neo-liberal and anti-socialist politics should have been recognized a long time ago when, instead of focusing on the vacuous demands for "hope" and "change", any thinking person could have looked at his party platform and see that it was pitifully reformist at best.  Politics reaffirmed due to his endorsement of imperialism, and now politics realized by the fact that he is pushing through policies that will eliminate what still passes for social security in the US.

Before I found it somewhat amusing that rightists were claiming Obama was a socialist with their oh-so-clever photo-shopped collages (see below).  Now I find it downright insulting that Obama could ever be compared to revolutionary heroes who would have seen him as nothing more than a capitalist stooge.  In my opinion Photo-shopping his face unto a picture of Mao is not an insult to Obama, as the Tea Party faithful would like to believe in their feverish anti-human fantasies, but an insult to Mao.

A clever "pun" that insultingly imagines Obama as a great revolutionary hero.  If only, my poor deluded Tea-bagger, if only...

All of this demonstrates, as I have argued elsewhere, that supporting parliamentary "lesser evils" in today's political climate is to abdicate from revolutionary politics.  Obama, like any leader in the centres of world capitalism, is a representative of the imperial bourgeoisie and it is quite clear that, in the context of this capitalist crisis, the global bourgeoisie is more interested in the agenda of austerity than welfare reform.  That is, the ruling classes as a whole (but also with some dissent) seem to pushing towards a large-scale embracement of more rightist politics and voting in a supposedly "social democratic" party matters little in this climate.  In the context of Canada, therefore, voting in Layton and the NDP would not create a significant change: they have demonstrated their willingness to be pro-imperial and pro-capitalist in the past, and Layton and his lieutenants would also follow the logic of these austerity measures.  Here in Canada, though, we happen have a longer list of welfare rights than our neighbours south of the border––claw-backs are happening but it's just going to take longer to implement austerity.

The argument leftists who in engage in parliamentary politics tend to make, when they're really pushed to make an argument, is that voting in "the lesser evil" will amount in less deaths domestically (they generally don't think about the amount of global deaths they are endorsing), but now even this argument should be seen as a sad joke.  The lesser evil of Obama, after all, is pushing for the removal of social services and this will result in significant domestic deaths: from hunger, from lack of shelter, from preventable disease.

What is truly ironic about the Tea Party hatred of Obama is that, despite their idiot rhetoric, it is becoming clear that his policies are growing closer to the kind of policies their ideologues desire.  Not only has he participated in the bail-out of banks, his anti-social security politics dovetail nicely with the aims of anti-tax Republican scum-bags.  If anything, the continued hatred for Obama espoused by the Tea Party is now unequivocal evidence of patriotic racism: since his politics are becoming what they desire, their only reason for dislike is because he's not white.


  1. Well said, Josh! "Obamao" indeed. IF ONLY!

  2. Yes, if only... Although Mao is a terrifying figure for the right, it's pretty telling that they're terrified of someone whose desired economic policies run parallel to Reaganomics - that is, the politics they themselves argue are quintessentially American. Again: now it's pretty obvious they're racists.


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