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IW 02

USA

The left in the US elections

 

Most of the left of the United States divided its position in the last elections between support for the Democrat Kerry and for others more to the left, like Ralph Nader or Leonard Peltier. Absent was even the trace of a class struggle candidate or propaganda campaign, that is, that centered on the need for an independent workers party. Although it could be alleged that the fact reflects the objective political backwardness of the working class masses themselves, it is necessary to bear in mind that at the start of the election campaign not even the bourgeois opposition though it had a chance to rival Bush toe to toe. But when the Democrat politician Howard Dean dared to question the established criteria, even that of the most left-wing, with a campaign against Bush, it was clear for the whole country to see that opposition to the government was not only massive, but 'surprisingly' radicalized. In the United States, all the established political currents are characterized by lagging behind the masses, especially the masses of the youth.

Those favoring the vote for Kerry could not wield a single fact that distinguished Kerry on the policy in course in Iraq. Kerry appealed, not to the anti-war criticism but to the offense against morals dished out by official fakery. A recognized exponent of the left, the magazine The Nation , however, very clearly revealed the reactionary basis for this support of Kerry. In an editorial on October 21, 2004 it wrote: "On the other hand, if Bush is defeated, his entire presidency will acquire the aspect of an aberration, a mistake that has been corrected...". The concern, it is clear, is to absolve imperialist democracy and the dominating bourgeoisie of its sins and, above all, recover the lost equilibrium. Precisely for this reason, the candidacy of Kerry was doubly reactionary, since on top of the continuation of the imperialist war it would add the illusion, the fiction and the demagoguery of pacifism. In short, for the pacifists of the imperialist countries, the question is not the war but rather losing its character of exceptional recourse or alternative in the short term. The petty bourgeois, in short, is only worried about maintaining moderation... until he himself loses that moderation in conditions of revolutions and counterrevolutions, of wars and fascisms.

The other sectors of the left supported candidates who were opposed to Bush's war, but not to the imperialist war as such, since they called for the occupation of Iraq to be placed under the leadership of the UN. This is what is exactly taking place in Haiti (which shows that Bush does not ignore his critics, even the most 'extreme'), where the occupation, precisely for that reason, is supported by almost all the Latin American left.

Because for the US pacifists also on the agenda is the "struggle against terrorism", as occurs with Italian Bertinottism. The skill lies in finding the just measure and in avoiding 'excesses'. The imperialist societies, these people seem to be saying, and they themselves, of course, tolerate violence up to a point.

If in the United States the task of building a workers party confronts enormous obstacles, it becomes more important here than in any other country to prevent the energies or even the mere attention of the workers from being distracted by vulgar pacifist positions or currents, that is to say, hostile to the class struggle. The class struggle is the starting point for the construction of a workers party.

 

VINCENT KLINE