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Destroying 3 myths: Before The Slave Trade (Videos)

Before The Slave Trade: African World History in Pictures by Robin Walker

About the Book

It is to be expected that for most readers early Black history is a new and unfamiliar subject. Our focus is NOT on the usual topics of discussion, i.e. Mary Seacole, Malcolm X, the man who invented the traffic lights, or the Slave Trade. Our focus is much larger. This book was written to tell a much bigger and far more important story.

We discuss the role of Black men and women in the development of high cultures in Africa before the coming of the Europeans. Chapter 1 presents a series of snapshots of Africa as it was when the kidnapping and mass enslavement of Africans began. The subsequent chapters introduce the role of Black men and women in the origin and evolution of high cultures that have shaped the world.  
We discuss the role of Black people in the early history of Nubia, Ancient Egypt, Carthage and the Moorish Empire. In short, we refute the view that the African was peripheral to the development of civilisation. We further show the role of Black people in the ancient civilisations of the East. We highlight the critical role of Blacks in the early history of Palestine, Arabia, Iraq, Iran, India and Pakistan (i.e. Phoenicia, Arabia Felix, Sumer, Elam, and the Indus Valley). Finally, we show the role of Africans in the ancient and mediæval history of Central America.
Accompanying the text are a series of photographs, many of them rarely used, that are vital in driving home the main point of the book. That is, the history and achievements of the African is something to learn from and be inspired by. It is not a legacy to be ashamed of.

The book contains a Glossary of words used throughout the book, and also a Chronological Table. It is always a good idea to cross check facts and dates against the Table

BeforeThe Slave Trade provides novices to Black History and teachers of Egyptology or African Civilisations with key photographic images as visual proof of the greatness of the Black past. Such visual resources are always necessary and it is important that such resources are readily accessible, especially as teaching material.

The book bridges the immense gap between what scholars know about the early history and achievements of Black people and what the general public knows. This gulf has unfortunately remained constant for over a hundred years.
The book serves as both an introduction and a supplementary volume to our much larger work When We Ruled. There is almost no overlap between the two books but they complement each other well.
The book shows the role of Black men and women in the development of high cultures in Africa before the coming of the Europeans. It also shows the role of Black men and women in the origin and evolution of high cultures that have shaped the world, such as Ancient Nubia, Ancient Egypt, Carthage, and the Moorish Empire. Challenging the view that the African was peripheral to the development of world civilisation, it also shows the critical role of Black people in the ancient civilisations of the East (i.e. Phoenicia, Judah, Arabia Felix, Sumer, Elam, and the Indus Valley). Finally, the book discusses the role of Africans in the ancient and medieval history of Central America.
Before The Slave Trade is an essential resource for the teacher, researcher or student of Black History, African World Studies or Egyptology.
Book Details:
Paperback: 200 pages 
Publisher: Black History Studies Publications (1 Sep 2008) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 0955969506 
ISBN-13: 978-0955969508 
Product Dimensions: 152mm x 227mm

Before The Slave Trade Book Trailer- Part 1
Destroying 2 myths: Before The Slave Trade: 
African World History in Pictures: Part 2
Before The Slave Trade Book Trailer- Part 3
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
1
Foreword
3
Introduction
6
The Select Committee on the Slave Trade
6
About The Book
7
Chapter 1
Before the Era of the Slave Traders
9
Chapter 2
Africa and the Origin of the Human Race
24
Chapter 3
The African in Ancient History: An Introduction
29
Chapter 4
The African in Ancient Egypt
34
Chapter 5
The African in Ancient Carthage
76
Chapter 6
Blacks in the Ancient History of Asia: An Introduction
89
Chapter 7
Blacks in the Ancient History of Palestine
96
Chapter 8
Blacks in the Ancient History of Arabia
100
Chapter 9
Blacks in the Ancient History of Iraq
105
Chapter 10
Blacks in the Ancient History of Iran
110
Chapter 11
Blacks in the Ancient History of India and Pakistan
115
Chapter 12
Africans in the Early History of Central America
121
Appendices
Pictorial Supplement
127
Summary of Pictorial Resources contained in Before the Slave Trade and When We Ruled
159
Glossary
170
Chronological Table
174
Bibliography
184
Special Bibliography for Additional Pictorial Resources
189
Index
192
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Walker, or ‘The Black History Man,’ is a noted scholar of Medieval African History. Growing up in the 70’s, Walker believed that “the only thing black people contributed to world culture was to be slaves.” It was during the 90’s, after obtaining an economics degree from LSE Walker gained deeper understanding of Ancient African Civilisations having been inspired by Chancellor Williams’ book The Destruction of Black Civilization.
Since then Walker has worked tirelesslyto disseminate knowledge, lecturing in African World Studies, Egyptology and Black History at universities and conferences across the UK and authoring 16 books. In 1999 he wrote Classical Splendour: Roots of Black History and Sword, The Seal and Koran in 2000. But arguably, Walker is best known for his 2006 textbook When We Ruled, heralded as an update to the Chancellor Williams text that inspired him. An incredible text shattering the myth that high civilisation only existed in Egypt. In 2008 he authored Before the Slave Trade, a pictorial companion to When We Ruled. In 2011 and 2012, he wrote a series of e-book lecture-essays on a wide variety of topics ranging from The Black Musical Tradition to the Equinox. Walker’s latest piece Everyday Life in an Early West African Empire (with Siaf Millar and Saran Keita) is available on Amazon. Walker’s collection of writings are invaluable insights into Ancient civilisations for Africans worldwide.

INTERVIEW 
When and why did you begin writing Before the Slave Trade?
In Summer 2006 a colleague invited me to help in teaching a course on Ancient Egypt entitled African Perspectives on Egypt. While planning the programme and reading material for the course, I realised what was missing. I realised that someone needed to write a book that contained the photographic evidence that proved that Ancient Egypt belonged to Africa – a book that contained the authentic portraits of the different pharaohs. Professors Cheikh Anta Diop and Ivan Van Sertima made much headway in their respective books, but they did not publish all the evidence in one place. I began Before the Slave Trade to fulfil this need.
To continue Reading click on the link below.

America: Your Solidarity with Paris is Embarrassingly Misguided

America: Your Solidarity with Paris is Embarrassingly Misguided



Op-Ed by Claire Bernish
November 14, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) The World, at Large — We are in mourning. Again. Indeed, Paris is in mourning, again.
For the second time in less than a year, we are all de facto Parisians — with Facebook profiles, casinos, and whole buildings draped in the blue, white, and red of the French flag. Solidarity as sympathy, bien sûr — a most poignant message that humanity stands with Paris — and will act decisively to avenge the “carnage” unexpectedly wrought by those whose motives most will never fall victim to, much less comprehend.
Most?
Evidently, despite the accumulated knowledge of the entire planet at our disposal through the computer screen, solidarity has escaped some of us.
And I am weary.
Without question, I mourn for Paris’ recent victims and their families — and I would never claim knowledgeable firsthand experience of the same. But I refuse — despite my partial French heritage — to cloak myself in nationalism of any stripe or star, particularly not now. Because, besides victims in Paris, an incomprehensibly astronomic number of people have been grieving loss of the highest order for some time — in places whose names roll off our tongues as if it’s accepted that violence simply happens there — and a majority likely couldn’t guess the colors on these victims’ flags.
You see, I also mourn for those killed mere hours before Paris crumbled into chaos, in strikingly similar attacks in Beirut.
I mourn the hundreds of thousands displaced or killed in Syria, no matter their pledged allegiance. No matter their professed religion. No matter.
I mourn for the millions killed in ongoing and renewed, illegal United States’ aggression in Iraq — and those facing a torturous demise from exposure to depleted uranium employed in violation of international and humanitarian law — for reasons far closer to ‘American’ and corporate hegemony than compassionate principle.
I mourn the untold number killed in the United States’ insidious — and seemingly permanent — war in Afghanistan. And the countless children there who know nothing of peace, much less the feeling of safety it brings. And patients and staff recently targeted, bombed, and then shot while fleeing the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz — and the irony of that humanitarian organization’s French roots.
I mourn those forced into human slavery or sex trafficking in Malaysia; and curse the scant hope they escape, now that the massive TPP has garnered U.S. government’s tacit approval of the abhorrence that is human trade.
I mourn for Palestinians, whose land was usurped — and whose lives and infrastructure and families and sense of security and HOMES are under siege and occupation by an illegal and actively terrorist State.
I mourn the patients and staff at the over 100 healthcare facilities in Yemen that have been BOMBED since March. And the apparently soulless who found an acceptable target in hospitals.
I mourn for Yemen.
I mourn for the victims of complicit government violence in Mexico, and 43 students and their families who lack answers.
I mourn for Chinese men, women, and children working, quite literally, as slaves, so the West can be rude at dinner and take endless pictures — of its narcissistically apathetic self.
I mourn rampant genocide — past and present — for the sake of manifest destiny. And empire. And imperialism. And inexplicable and unstated reasons.
In fact, I mourn for all victims of terror, whether State or group sponsored, without conditions attached to my grief — no matter location, nor loyalty, nor arbitrary geopolitical happenstance of location of a victim’s birth. And I’m already grieving those soon to be terror’s next victims; since, as French President François Hollande jarringly warned, avenging Paris’ victims just birthed (yet another) “PITILESS” war.
As if gentle were somehow a method to employ in waging war.
Yes, I mourn for Paris. But I do so while weeping in shame at the deplorable supercilious judgment ensconced in Western reaction to it; for countless pitiable xenophobes and their endless vapid justifications; for arrogant commentary from politicians and their media mouthpieces with their embarrassing post-tragedy clamoring to exploit ignorant heartstrings for the appropriate victims; for the endless War of Terror — and the service members who somehow haven’t yet deduced that this would ALL END if they simply refused to fucking fight.
The fact is, grief on this scale is exhausting. And I’m very nearly out of tears.
So keep these victims around the globe in mind — every, single man, woman and child who has, who is, and who will suffer the maiming, horror, torture, and death that’s as necessary to war as those who take up arms — when you next excuse a politician’s stance on war, because the rest of his or her platform seems really promising.
Or, at least, seems the lesser of two evils.
And shake that flag from your social media profile; and your home; and your thoughts. Because as long as you wear just one flag, your attempt to stand with victims of terror is a most embarrassingly hollow solidarity, indeed.

Obama-Mania? Cult of Personality? Politics Or Theater?

Dear Crystal Lucas Perry,

First as 1 artist to another, I appreciate you &all the hard work that went into creating this. HOWEVER, what I strongly disagree with, is making the POTUS into a celebrity.Creating this mythos around a man whose job is to lead the country FORWARD. He’s not a HOLLYWOOD STAR/ACTOR. I think it’s disrespectful.Will he go down in history as a SUPERSTAR or someone who really moved the country forward? Allegiance to a man? American Idol? Exalt & Elevate integrity, peace, love & truth. Poetic License? http://youtu.be/c_d9mntKvGM  My comment on YouTube

 I wish I could find the right words to express how uncomfortable it makes me feel. It’s like some kind of cult or something. “The Cult of Obama” Obama-Mania. People are all frenzied, teary eyed, gushing like they are having orgasms over him. That last campaign with the Obama girl was really over the top. What is that? Why do people need to idolize him? How is that cool for a thinking, educated, civilized nation of people? What if they did that to Bush, whom they clearly did not like. What if the Tea Party wrote songs about John Boehner?

Okay, political parody, satire, or even cartoons, but this romanticizing of the President is a bit much for me. They are so memorized they care not to look at the true picture, the real deal and that means they are dangerous. That Obama Kool Aid is really powerful.

Is this really poetic license or is it opportunism? The number of YouTube videos that are out with people singing to him, and the number of hits these videos are getting begs to question the real motive behind this type of “free advertisement”.

I don’t  particularly agree with all that is presented in this movie, but the song does kind of say it all for me.

It just don’t sit right with me, and this is a very subjective assessment on my part. But idolizing another human being is a sure fired way to trouble. Look at the many other cult personalities that have lead people into serious trouble. Again this is subjective.

Cult of Personality Links

“A personality cult appears whenever an individual uses mass media propaganda to create idealized, quasi-heroic public personae arising from unquestioned flattery and praise.  Personality cults aim to make the leader and the state synonymous, so that it is nearly impossible to make a distinction between them.”   Read more here GeeeeeeZ! OBAMA: Cult of Personality

 

 

Cult of personality

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



A 1950s Chinese propaganda poster showing a happy family of five enjoying life under the image of Mao Zedong. The caption above the picture reads “The happy life Chairman Mao gives us”.

A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and, at times god-like public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as “charismatic authority“. A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda.

Etymology

The term Cult of personality or Personality Cult first appeared in Nikita Khrushchev‘s Secret Speech in 1956[1]. Cult of the individual is a more accurate translation[2].

Background

Throughout history, monarchs and heads of state were almost always held in enormous reverence. Through the principle of the divine right of kings, for example, rulers were said to hold office by the will of God. Imperial China (see Mandate of Heaven), ancient Egypt, Japan, the Inca, the Aztecs, Tibet, Thailand, and the Roman Empire (see imperial cult) are especially noted for redefining monarchs as god-kings.
The spread of democratic and secular ideas in Europe and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries made it increasingly difficult for monarchs to preserve this aura. However, the subsequent development of photography, sound recording, film, and mass production, as well as public education and techniques used in commercial advertising, enabled political leaders to project a positive image like never before. It was from these circumstances in the 20th century that the best-known personality cults arose. Often these cults are a form of political religion.

Purpose

Personality cults were first described in relation to totalitarian regimes that sought to alter or transform society according to radical ideas.[3] Often, a single leader became associated with this revolutionary transformation, and came to be treated as a benevolent “guide” for the nation without whom the transformation to a better future couldn’t occur. This has been generally the justification for personality cults that arose in totalitarian societies of the 20th century, such as those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
Not all dictatorships foster personality cults, not all personality cults are dictatorships (some are nominally democratic), and some leaders may actively seek to minimize their own public adulation. For example, during the Cambodian Khmer Rouge regime, images of dictator Pol Pot (Saloth Sar) were rarely seen in public, and his identity was under dispute abroad until after his fall from power. The same applied to numerous Eastern European Communist regimes following World War II (although not those of Enver Hoxha and Nicolae Ceaușescu, mentioned below).

Che Obama: the new cult of personality
“It is doubtful that anyone ever thought to wear a t-shirt with George Bush’s image splashed across it, except to deride him. Now, wearing the image of the president is not only popular, it has become almost obligatory in some circles.

An Obama T-Shirt

Obama’s image is not just appearing on t-shirts. There are Obama hats, Obama pencil cases, Obama hoodies, Obama screen savers, Obama jewellery, Obama coffee cups and Obama street murals. And Obamamania has gone mainstream. Today in DC we can buy metro tickets sporting Obama’s image. Numerous buildings are decorated with huge banners welcoming the new president. Even the National Portrait Galley has got in on the act, snapping up Shepard Fairey’s original collage for the gallery walls long before the new president’s official portrait will be commissioned.

Such is the strength of the cult surrounding Obama’s image that vendors at the inauguration were hard pushed to find new ways to commemorate the day. Many tried, of course. On my own walk into the city I saw Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, a local landmark, displaying a huge red, white and blue ice sculpture of the letters OBAMA. A church on 16th Street offered hot cocoa and a chance to be photographed with a life-sized Obama cut-out. On the Mall itself everything from Obama special inauguration bandanas to Obama dollar bills (with President Lincoln’s image replaced with President Obama’s) to my own personal favourite, Obama water, was on offer.”

The media’s new Messiah is a mania and fad like the hula hoop  
 “Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.”
…Barack Obama just seems to get cooler and cooler. He’s the most popular topic on the New York Times topics page…Internet widgets allow you to see what great thing Barack Obama has done for you…on the New York subway Friday morning, one of our copy editors…heard one woman joke to another: “Obama, will you pick me up after my noninvasive minor surgical procedure?” To which the other replied: “Obama, will you hold my hair back when I puke?”…
Many spiritually advanced people I know…identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul…
John Lewis, the venerable civil rights hero and congressman, put words to this feeling recently. “In recent days, there is a sense of movement and a sense of spirit,” he said, suggesting that he might switch his superdelegate vote from Hillary Clinton to Obama. “Something is happening in America and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap.”…On Facebook, people write about dreams featuring Obama. There is only one correct reaction to the will.i.am “Yes We Can” video and that is to start chanting along…
There was the woman in New Hampshire who compared him with Christ. There was Maria Shriver’s comparison of the candidate with the state of California, with the rhetorical fervor usually seen only after a preacher shouts, “You are healed!”
“Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of Chicago a Savior, who is Barack the Democrat.”

The Obama cult
“Recently I have noticed an interesting but disturbing phenomenon in New York City. On the streets, subways and buses, you can see people still wearing Barack Obama buttons even though the election is long over. I wonder to myself whether these buttons express an inchoate political/psychological yearning. In some ways it reminds me of how people wore pictures of the fifteen year old guru Maharaj-ji, who counted former 60s radical Rennie Davis as one of his main followers.
When I spoke to a fellow radical in my department at Columbia University about my concerns, his eyes lit up and he said:

I know exactly what you mean. There’s this guy in my health club who wears an ‘Obama Knows’ t-shirt. The other day I went up to him and asked him, “Knows what?” He really couldn’t answer me.

At some point I will ask one of these Obama button wearers the same kind of question. What’s up with the Obama button? What are you trying to say? I once asked someone wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt the same kind of question. Trust me; they did not decide to wear the t-shirt after reading “Socialism and Man in Cuba”.

“Obama’s popularity is clear evidence of a brand strategy that has succeeded beyond any strategists wildest dream and further proof that once you build a compelling saga and unleash it to the world, there is no telling how far and wide it will go. From a branding perspective, Obama may have become too hot too fast and now one of his biggest challenges might be dealing with the inevitable backlash created by the frenzied admiration from the millions of kool-aid drinking Barackolytes:”
 More from Dorothy:“I honestly don’t know whether to put this in religion or politics. I honestly feel the passion for Senator Obama expressed by most of his followers has equal elements of both – even if they deny it. But I suspect the moderators would move it here to politics if I put it in religion, so here it is in politics. I know this will make many people angry (primarily Obama followers), but I am not looking to debate. I just wanted to display some of the images of Obama because I find the whole media’s marketing – in this case, just the visual elements- behind the man so fascinating.
“CNN’s Carol Costello said that audience response at a Barack Obama rally is “a scene some increasingly find not inspirational, but ‘creepy,’ ” quoting columnists who have likened Obama supporters to members of a cult or described their enthusiasm as “creepy.” On-screen text during Costello’s report read: “OBAMA-MANIA BACKLASH” and “PASSION ‘CULT-LIKE’ TO SOME.” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer similarly cited other writers to make the same assertion: “ABC’s Jake Tapper notes the ‘Helter-Skelter cult-ish qualities’ of ‘Obama worshipers,’ what Joel Stein of the Los Angeles Times calls ‘the Cult of Obama.’ ”

US Elections: The Empty Politics of Duopoly

Friday, November 9, 2012
US Elections: The Empty Politics of Duopoly
Nile Bowie, Contributor
Activist Post

After months of rhetoric and political campaigning, the smoke has finally cleared on the media frenzy that is the US Presidential Election. Once the winner of the race was announced, supporters at the Obama Campaign headquarters in Chicago jubilantly celebrated.

The haze of American flags, pop music, and confetti worked wonders to mask the absence of any real political substance throughout the election process.

Cheering supporters shouted “four more years” as President Obama took to the stage to deliver his victory speech – complete with highly emotional grandiloquence, two mentions of the US military being the strongest in the world, and of course – a joke about the family dog.

After an exorbitant $6 billion spent by campaigns and outside groups in the primary, congressional and presidential races, Americans have reelected a president better suited for Hollywood than Washington. A 2010 ruling by the US Supreme Court that swept away limits on corporate contributions to political campaigns has paved the way for the most expensive election in American history, in the midst of an economic crisis nonetheless. [1]

In the nation that gave birth to the marketing concept of branding, it is to be assumed that politicians would eventually adopt the same techniques used to promote consumer products – enter Obama.

After eight years under the Bush administration, America desperately needed change. Instead of any meaningful structural reform, America ushered in a global superstar whose charm and charisma not only resuscitated American prestige, but also masked the continued dominance of deregulators, financiers, and war-profiteers.

Obama’s most valuable asset is his brand, and his ability to channel the nostalgia of transformative social movements of the past, while serving as a tabula rasa of sorts to his supporters – an icon of hope who is capable of inspiring the masses and coaxing them into action – despite the Obama administration expanding the disturbing militaristic and domestic surveillance policies so characteristic of the Bush years, and channeling never before seen authority to the executive branch.

The American public at large is captivated by Barack’s contrived media personality and the grandeur of his political poetry and performance, and is therefore reluctant to acknowledge his enthusiastic continuation of the deeply unethical policies of his predecessor. Obama is indeed a leader suited for a new age, one of post-intellectualism and televised spectacle – a time when huge demographics of voters are more influenced by Jay-Z and Katy Perry’s endorsement of Obama over anything of political substance he preaches. [2]

While the US has historically exported “democracy promotion” through institutions like the National Endowment for Democracy (trends that have accelerated under the Obama administration), so few see the American electoral process for what it is – unacceptably expensive, filled with contrived debates, and subject to the kind of meticulous controls that America’s foreign adversaries are accused of presiding over.

Patriot Game – OBAMA VS ROMNEY VIDEO GAME!

A leaked ‘Memorandum of Understanding,’ signed by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, provides unique insight into the nature of the three televised debates, and the extent to which organizers went to prevent the occurrence of any form of unplanned spontaneity. [3] The document outlines how no members of the audience would be allowed to ask follow-up questions to the candidates, how microphones will be cut off right after questions were asked, and how any opportunities for follow-up questions from the crowd would be disregarded. In what was billed as a series of town-hall style debates where members of the community can come together and ask questions that reflect their concerns – in actuality, the two candidates dished out pre-planned responses to pre-approved questions, asked by pre-selected individuals.

The political domination of the Republican and Democratic parties over the debates is nowhere more apparent than in the arrest of Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, as the two attempted to enter the site of the second presidential debate. [4] 

Despite the obscurity and almost non-existent media presence of third party candidates, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party received 1% of the popular vote in the general election, amounting to over 1.1 million votes, the best in the history of the Libertarian Party. [5]

In contrast to the choreographed exchanges offered by the televised debates between Obama and Romney, Moscow’s state-funded Russia Today news service offered third-party candidates an opportunity to voice their political programs in two debates aired on the channel. [6] Throughout these debates, third-party candidates spoke of repealing Obama’s authorization of indefinite detention through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the need for coherent environmental legislation, the gross misdirection of American foreign policy, the necessity of deep economic restructuring, and the illogicality of marijuana prohibition. In her closing statement at the debate, Green Party candidate Jill Stein brought up a significant point:

They’re 90 million voters who are not coming out to vote in this election, that’s one out of every two voters – that’s twice as many as those who will come out for Barack Obama, and twice the number that will come out for Mitt Romney. Those are voters who are saying ‘No’ to politics as usual, and ‘No’ to the Democratic and Republican parties. Imagine if we got out word to those 90 millions voters, that they actually have a variety of choices and voices in this election.

American presidential politics are not devoid of progressive voices; but, in reality, America doesn’t need a third-party – it needs a second party. The overwhelming lack of choice offered by this election can only be attributable to the political duopoly of the Republican and Democratic parties.

 As President Obama begins his second and final term, some feel that this could be a chance for the White House to pursue more progressive ends – an opportunity for Obama to act on his own campaign rhetoric and roll back militarism and the influence of Wall St. financiers.

Barack Obama now prepares for his second term as the President of the United States. Though the race was tight, especially in states like Florida and Virginia, Obama won by more than 2 million popular votes at last count, and had at least 303 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206. (Florida was still too close to call as of midday Wednesday.)

While such optimism may prevail in the minds of many, the fact that President Obama issued a drone strike that killed three people in Yemen just hours after being reelected is a telling sign of things to come from the Obama administration. [7]

As the United States continues to project itself around the world as the definitive model of “freedom and democracy,” it is apparent that the central bankers, corporate financiers, and crony capitalists who control America’s electoral system did indeed learn and thing or two from Communism:


The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves. – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Notes:



[3] Obama and Romney agree to cowardly debates, Russia Today, October 16, 2012


[5] Gary Johnson Pulls One Million Votes, One Percent, Reason Foundation, November 7, 2012

[6] RT presents third-party presidential debate, Russia Today, October 19, 2012

[7] Yemen drone strike kills ‘al-Qaeda members’, Al-Jazeera, November 09, 2012

Nile Bowie is a Kuala Lumpur-based American writer and photographer for the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal, Canada. He explores issues of terrorism, economics and geopolitics.

To Obama Supporters

 

It is a very sad day. the handwriting on the wall is obscured by ludicrousity, insanity and blatant denial. The masses travail in the muck and mire of an ill-fated illusion. Their deluded hope and belief in a denigrated system, sold out to the power elite. Nothing has changed save a momentary dream awakening to nightmarish proportions. I don’t care who thinks I am a vile voice in the wilderness. 

I am a truth warrior, and the truth is the truth. The first time around, no one would listen, so with silent knowing, it came to pass, what could not be spoken aloud. The second time around, courage must speak its truth and open itself to frontal attack from those who cry “naysayer, kill joy, party buster, etc.” 

Wake up, people, before it is too late! We live on a prison planet and have just witnessed, the changing of the guards. Same system, different guards. Same system, different keys to the cells. Same system and it will not be changed by the guards or their handlers. NB 

President Obama’s second term in the White House was largely secured by record numbers of votes from ethnic minorities, while his popularity among whites plummeted, exit polls have revealed.

Hispanics, the fa

stest-growing demographic in the United States, accounted for ten per cent of all voters in the election, an increase on last year’s record of nine per cent, the polls suggested.

Of these, 7
1 per cent voted for Obama, up from 67 per cent in 2008. In a sign Republicans are failing to win over this increasingly influential group, Romney won just 27 per cent.

A record number of Asian voters – three per cent of the electorate – also turned out, with nearly three-quarters backing Obama. He also won a staggering 93 per cent of African-American votes.

Yet while his popularity among ethnic minorities swelled, he received just 39 per cent of the white votes, down by four per cent on the last election, a drop his campaign had anticipated.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2229225/Presidential-election-2012-Record-number-Hispanic-voters-head-polls.html#ixzz2BasNEPwr

Considering the 1.5 million deportations, and the incarceration of so many others, it begs to question, why the Hispanics came out so strongly for him. Not to mention the fact that his address to African Americans was stop complaining, take your slippers off and get to work on change. And the closest he came to digging in with the Black masses was hanging out with Jay-Z (a one per center) and Beyonce’,(I won’t get into what I think about her as a role model for young girls). And writing in on the Census report that he was African American. Not to mention the removal of a towering figure for Black unity and African unity, Muamar Qaddaffi. Hmm, me thinks I sense a hint of cognitive dissonance. NB


“we cling to voting like its our greatest & only chance for change; our one and only lifeboat. we misrepresent ancestors & claim we must participate in the process becuz of their past suffering, while ignoring the fact that their analysis was rooted in their times. since then, we’ve been brutally uprooted & though we can identify the hour, we never seem to kno what time it is. we swear voting is the answer, and when it doesn’t work, we still think it’s the answer, and when it’s proven to us that it doesn’t work, we still think it’s the answer, with a birth defect.”

Laini Mataka
excerpt from “there’s paralysis in our analysis”, from THE PRINCE OF KOKOMO by laini (don’t tread on me) mataka


THEY(OBAMA AND HIS WALL STREET TRIBE ) WON’T SAVE KONGO.
Congolese people who turn to become the “lovers-of-America” and who live in America or in Congo or elsewhere and still believing that Obama or Romney or any western groups(civil “rights”, NGOs,etc).Any of those vampires,reptiles,looters,criminals will come save you and your country.In contrary,they are plotting to destroy you,remove you from
your land so they can easily get access to your forests,mines,oil,etc.You are the ONLY one to save your country.Then,wake up,team up with your Congolese and others African sisters and brothers to fight against the invaders/aliens,looters.You and your African brothers and sisters together will build a strong Congo and the rest of Africa.

Victory! – for the Non-Resistance

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The More Effective Evil has trounced those Republicans with evil intentions. Folks who never made a single demand of the corporate, war mongering Democrat think they are some kind of victors. “The non-resisters have won a non-victory against an unimpressive enemy,” while Obama plots new atrocities.
 
Victory! – for the Non-Resistance
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Obama is the more effective austerity president – if the Republicans will just let him work his show.”
Get Away Sandy – God and Obama Will Save Us” read the graffiti, scrawled man-high on a cinderblock wall in the majority Black town of Plainfield, New Jersey. It is an apt articulation of African American politics as we descend into the First Black President’s second term.
Black folks may or may not have a prayer, but they certainly don’t have any earthly influence on the direction of the nation or on a president for whom they gave near-unanimous support, while asking nothing in return.
Wait a minute! I’m hearing echoes of…a familiar voice:
We have learned that Black politicians and activist-poseurs have an infinite capacity to celebrate not having engaged in struggle with Power, and that the Black masses can be made drunk by the prospect of vicariously (through Obama) coming to power.” – Black Agenda Report, “The Obama ’08 Phenomenon: What Have We Learned?” November 4, 2008.
As Marx said, history repeats itself, “first as tragedy, then as farce.” Independent Black politics, rooted in the historical African American consensus on social justice, racial equality and peace, definitively collapsed, after a long illness, with the first Obama presidential campaign. The tragedy was compounded, exponentially, by the timing, coinciding with capitalism’s greatest crisis since the Great Depression. The autumn of 2008 was an historical juncture for the nation and the world. Either the people would erect structures to protect themselves from being crushed under the dead weight of a system in terminal decay, or the Lords of Capital would swallow the State whole, and buy themselves some time.
African Americans, the most politically volatile and left-oriented U.S. constituency – a people specifically targeted by Wall Street’s machinations – had an historical role to play. “The man STRUCK,” said Frederick Douglass, “is the man to cry out.” But Black folks had already been struck silly with Obama’Laid.
Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect.”
The rulers had, at long last, found our Achilles Heel, the weakest spot in African Americans’ political armor. Our reflexive racial solidarity (actually, an aspect of Black nationalism), which had served us so well, for so long, short-circuited our progressive political instincts. We became fodder for Obama, the slicker-than-Slick-Willie corporate guy with the brown face.
Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect. There would be no penalty. Black folks had convinced themselves that Obama needed our protection; it never occurred to most of us that we needed protection from him – not during the primaries, when he praised Ronald Reagan’s reaction to the “excesses” of the Sixties, or when he refused to endorse even a voluntary halt to home foreclosures (while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards endorsed “voluntary” and mandatory moratoriums, respectively); not in the last weeks before his inauguration, when Obama announced that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all “entitlements” would be “on the table” for chopping under his administration.
Instead, a million Black folks gathered on the National Mall for what we at BAR called “The Great Black Hajj of 2009,” a pilgrimage, as if to Mecca, in celebration of Obama’s ascension. There, he proclaimed to the multitudes: “In the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.”
Dutifully, Black folks set aside the last vestiges of their vaunted distrust of Power. Henceforth, African Americans would consider themselves as a Palace Guard – the antithesis of independent political actors. Thus was Obama empowered to become the “More Effective Evil.”
With little resistance on the Left, and virtually none from organized Black America, Obama has worked miracles for the resuscitation of the Lords of Capital and their imperial apparatus – feats that only a Black corporate Democrat could accomplish. After saving George Bush’s bank bailout in October of 2008 (it passed only after candidate Obama’s intervention), Obama undertook the historic mission of placing the U.S. State at the total disposal of finance capital. Under Obama’s watch, the Treasury Department and, especially, the Federal Reserve have funneled at least $16 trillion to Wall Street and its foreign annexes – a sum greater than the national GDP. The “free money” window at the Federal Reserve has become a permanent fixture of the global financial order, permanently blurring the lines between the U.S. state and international finance capital. Obama has embedded the state into the banks, and vice versa, in ways that cannot be undone without causing the system to collapse. In a very real sense, the “good faith and credit” of the United States has become a collective corporate asset of the Lords of Capital – an outcome that fits the classic structural description of fascism. No Republican could have delivered the state apparatus so effectively to the banks – there would have been fierce resistance from within the Democratic base, as well as libertarian Right. But Obama has proven to be the more effective facilitator of the bankers’ state.
Obama has embedded the state into the banks, and vice versa, in ways that cannot be undone without causing the system to collapse.”
Social Security was untouchable – until Obama laid his hands on it. Beginning with his pre-inauguration pronouncements on entitlements, Obama has been the guiding hand of an austerity offensive that did not exist on Election Day, 2008. Instead, Obama made deficit reduction his own priority, at a time when pundits were saying obituaries over the GOP. (Much as they are, today.) The Black Democrat appointed the Right-weighted Deficit Reduction Commission to promulgate a $4 trillion blueprint for austerity, a formula that matched Republic proposals in 2011. The blueprint would have been the basis for Obama’s cherished Grand Bargain had the GOP not balked at “modest” taxes on the rich – levies that are irrelevant to those who will lose their programs under the axe. Obama is the more effective austerity president – if the Republicans will just let him work his show.
Imperial aggression has never fared better than under the opposition-less Obama. At one point, he was bombing five countries simultaneously, pretty good work for a Nobel Peace Prize winner – or did the prize help empower him to such heights of bellicosity? His ever-evolving “Kill List” includes not only individuals of all nationalities (including our own) but also any country whose government is inconvenient to the United States. With “humanitarian” jargon as his only justification, President Obama has attempted to render international law a dead letter. No nation has any rights that he feels bound to respect. Obama, with his drone armadas and multiplying Special Forces troops, represents a far greater threat to global civilization – which must be rooted in law! – than the failed conquerer George Bush (who actually negotiated the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq). Unlike Bush, Obama has promulgated his own, novel doctrine of war, which declares that wars only exist when sufficient numbers of Americans become casualties. Under this construct, Libya was not a war, and the possibilities for U.S. non-war depredations are endless.
Preventive detention is the crown jewel of Obama’s presidential exceptionalism. Statutory authority to imprison Americans without charge or trial was beyond Bush’s reach, and he knew it. But Obama guided a bill through the Congress with very little Democratic opposition. He is the more effective secret police warden.
Now Obama has won another “mandate,” which he will use to finish the projects he started: wider wars, a more profound government subservience to finance capital, and that “new legal architecture” on national security that he warned about on the Daily Show, a few weeks ago. He looks forward to fulfilling his austerity dreams early in his new term: “I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time.”
The non-resisters have won a non-victory against an unimpressive enemy, while the more effective evil plots new atrocities.
You will note that I have not specifically mentioned Black folks since the beginning of this article; that’s because African Americans have made themselves irrelevant – not just for the second Obama presidency, but possibly deep into the future. “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” and Black folks have failed to demand even elementary respect from this president, much less concrete programs, or peace. Obama isn’t the only one who has noted Black ineffectuality. Until an independent African American politics and political movement can be rebuilt, there is no reason for a president or Congress to pay “the Blacks” any more attention than Obama did.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

BARACK OBAMA: THE MORE EFFECTIVE EVIL


In his second term, Obama will continue attacking the working class.
Editor’s Comment:

    Please see the links below the article on Barack Obama, election fraud, non-voting as revolutionary resistance and faux democracy in America. Listen to this warning to America from Spain which accurately describes the police state America has become under the Bush-Obama administrations. (See The Coup Of 2012) Regardless of which candidate is “elected”, The Deep State and The Doomsday Project/Operation Endgame as described by Peter Dale Scott, will advance its agenda of establishing a totalitarian dictatorship dedicated to global destruction and perpetual war unless the American people rise up and stop it.

    (See State Crimes Against Democracy & The NDAA)

    Alexandra Valiente
    Editor of Ephemeris 360°

    I’ve called on readers of this blog to abstain from voting in order to delegitimize the current political system. In this regard, I align myself with Muammar Gaddafi, who wrote:

    “It is an indisputable fact that direct democracy is the only ideal form that is practical.”

    I do not believe that anything in this article contradicts that perspective.

    – Nina Westbury, Editor of Crimson Satellite

Jim Creegan Via Crimson Satellite
Barack Obama hardly represents a rampart against Republican extremism, as some on the left still maintain.

When in March a reporter asked an advisor of Mitt Romney if the Republican presidential candidate was not tacking too far to the right in the primaries to win the presidential election, Eric Fehrnstrom replied that the post-primary campaign would be “like Etch a Sketch – you can shake it up and we start all over again”.

Fehrnstrom spoke on behalf of a candidate whose political career has depended heavily on the use of the above-named drawing toy with an erasable screen. To capture the Republican nomination, he had already morphed from the ‘moderate’ Republican governor of liberal Massachusetts into the self-described “severe conservative” playing for the allegiance of the party’s far-right base.

Now, for the three televised presidential debates held in October, the nominee shape-shifted yet again. Gone was the Tea Party firebrand, for whom refusing to rescind Bush’s tax cuts for the rich was a matter of rock-bottom principle; in his place on the platform stood a Romney anxious to assure a viewing audience of nearly 70 million (in language vague enough to avoid reneging on his earlier pledge) that the top 5% will continue as now to pay 60% of federal income taxes under his plan.

In place of the man who had praised as a model for the nation Arizona’s ‘stop and frisk’ law, permitting police to detain anyone suspected of being an illegal alien and demand proof of citizenship, stood a candidate who emphasised that he had no wish to round up aliens, and even thought that the more worthy among them should have a way to become citizens. The candidate who had earlier spoken of a possible unilateral nuclear strike against Iran now affirmed his commitment to “peaceful and diplomatic means”, at least to begin with. And, instead of repeating his original criticism of Obama for setting a withdrawal date from Afghanistan, Romney now affirmed his intention, if elected, to abide firmly by the scheduled 2014 departure deadline.

The newly unveiled moderate Mitt put himself forward as the saviour of a middle class, “crushed during the last four years” of the Obama administration, which, he said, offers nothing but more of the same in a second term. He reiterated his commitment to reducing the federal deficit and promised to create 12 million new jobs. Apart from getting tough on Chinese “currency manipulation” and drilling for more oil on federal lands, he was vague on specific means to these ends. But he asked the American people to trust that his decades as a successful CEO have given him the know-how to get the job done.

Taken aback by the new Romney, and perhaps a little groggy from the mountain altitude of the first debate venue of Denver, Colorado, Obama turned in a semi-comatose performance, which cost him dearly in the opinion polls. By the second debate, however, he seemed to have regained his composure (though not his wide polling-number lead). There, he sounded the note that he has struck repeatedly on the campaign trail ever since, and hopes will carry him through to the election: pointing out the yawning discrepancies between Romney’s currently proclaimed softer positions and his ‘radical’ utterances of just a few months, or even weeks, before. Obama has given a name to his opponent’s condition. He calls it “Romnesia”.

To shore up the crucial women’s vote, Obama never ceases to remind audiences of Romney’s earlier statement that he would be happy to sign any bill outlawing abortion, or that he favours (or until recently favoured) leaving the decision about whether to cover contraceptive care in the hands of the private employers who pay health-benefit premiums for their employees. Nor does he cease to remind Latino voters of Romney’s support for the Arizona ‘Show me your papers’ anti-immigrant law.

And, given Romney’s role as finance capitalist and political spokesmen for his class, Obama can hardly avoid a few jabs at his view that the main answer to the country’s economic woes is to help the wealthy and the corporations even more. But the mild class content that has forced its way into Obama’s stump speech – “The rich should pay their fair share of taxes” – is usually accompanied by declarations of fealty to free enterprise.
Matter of degree

Moreover, there is a bleakness at the heart of Obama’s election effort. The slogans of “hope” and “change” that electrified his followers in 2008 after four years under Bush would be absurdly out of place in 2012. During his first four years in office, the president has shown himself to be not the crusading reformer most of his supporters imagined (contrary to the evidence) that they were voting for, but a right-centrist bourgeois politician.

His multi-billion-dollar bailout of the banks at public expense can hardly be forgotten easily. His signature reform initiative, the health insurance scheme now known as Obamacare, actually consolidated the grip of private-insurance profiteers on the medical industry. The exceptions, loopholes and ambiguities of his party’s attempt to rein in financial speculation, the Dodd-Frank Bill, greatly weaken the restrictions it places on Wall Street swindlers. This record makes it amply clear that any reform efforts to come out of a second Obama term will, like those of the first, strain to stay within the limits of acceptability laid down by corporate power, even though Wall Street will denounce such reforms as steps toward socialism anyway. Obama’s attempts to undo some of the grosser inequities of the tax code have been abandoned time and again to achieve a legislative compromise with Congressional Republicans.

Thus Obama stands before the electorate with little in the way of inspiration. The ‘progressive’ achievements he touts – the Lily Ledbetter ‘fair pay’ act, making it easier for women to sue over pay inequities in the workplace; his decision to allow gays to serve openly in the military; and his personal acceptance of gay marriage – seem inadequate in relation to the mass joblessness, underemployment and low wages that are foremost in the mind of the electorate. To these deep worries, Obama offers answers that ring hollow. He promises no new government stimulus of any kind, and his emphasis on expanded training for “the skilled jobs of tomorrow” ignores what everyone knows: that there are not, nor will there be, enough of these jobs to absorb even the university-educated young now entering the job market under mountains of debt.

So, as Romney argues that a second Obama term will mean that the next four years will be as bad as the last four, the incumbent, bereft of any big ideas or arresting slogans for the future, and unable to argue that he will implement any major changes after having failed to do so when he had the chance, can only reply that things were not so bad as all that during his first term – and will get even worse under Romney.

But, for the mass of people, things will get worse under Obama too. It is only a matter of degree. The first major crisis of a second Obama term would take place at the end of November, when Congress must once again consider voting to raise the government debt ceiling. The stand-off between the two parties that occurred when Congress last took up this matter in the summer of 2011 resulted in a compromise by which a bipartisan committee of lawmakers must either come up with a plan for deficit reduction or face automatic cuts (‘sequestration’) in January, including reductions in military spending, which neither party really wants. To avoid going over the ‘fiscal cliff’, as the automatic cuts are called, Obama is already talking once again about a “grand bargain” with the Republicans, which would include “entitlement reform” – most likely decreases in social security and/or Medicare.

A foretaste of what labour can look forward to in a second Obama term was provided in Chicago. The city’s recently elected mayor, Rahm Emanuel, previously served in the White House as the president’s chief of staff. In Chicago, he intensified the war against teachers’ unions being carried out by the ruling class throughout the country with the support of Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan. In contract negotiations, Emanuel sought to lengthen the school day, replace teachers’ automatic pay increases by ‘merit pay’, based largely on student performance on standardised tests, and make teachers redundant without regard to seniority from the many schools he plans to close. The teachers, however, had earlier replaced the Democrat-loyal, concession-prone leadership of their union with a more militant reform group (the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, or Core). In contrast to the bureaucratic methods of most union officials, Core mobilised the rank and file of the union and reached out to parents and community organisations in preparation for the seven-day strike that closed the schools and made national headlines in September. Public opinion in Chicago favoured the strikers.

The result was a concessionary contract (the school day was lengthened, school closures were not stopped, and seniority in redundancies remained unprotected) that in a period of greater labour strength would have been considered a defeat. But perhaps the most significant aspect of the strike was that – unlike the outcome of many recent union struggles – defeat was less than total. The union forced the withdrawal of certain give-back demands (for a merit pay system) and the dilution of others (only 30% of teacher evaluations, as opposed to the 45% originally demanded, will be based on standardised student tests), thus demonstrating to its members, and workers throughout the country, that striking is not futile. But, however one judges the outcome, there could be no doubt in the minds of the strikers concerning the commitment of the Obama administration to the bipartisan ruling class policies of deepening austerity and assaults on workers.
‘National security state’

If austerity is one pillar of the ruling class programme being pursued by both parties, the other is the retrenchment of the American empire around the world. Both these objectives require the strengthening of the ‘national security state’. And, in this area, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has made the considerable efforts of George W Bush seem modest by comparison.

Figuring prominently in the final presidential debate on foreign policy was the prospect of military intervention against Iran following the elections – either by the US directly or by Israel with US approval. Both candidates sought to outdo each other in proclaiming their support for the Zionist state. Regarding Iran, Obama pointedly pledged to “keep all options on the table”. Despite Romney’s effort to appear more decisive and belligerent than Obama, it soon became apparent to most commentators that little divided the two candidates where foreign policy is concerned. As Obama quipped to his opponent, “Governor, you’re saying the same things as us, but you’d say them louder.”

As a result of the failure of US military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama seeks to place greater emphasis on remote, high-tech warfare. His sixfold expansion of US drone strikes in the Pakistan tribal areas since taking over from Bush, with a corresponding fivefold increase in (mostly civilian) deaths, are well known, along with the private ‘kill list’ from which the president personally orders the lethal strikes. So too is his government’s vindictiveness toward Bradley Manning and Julian Assange for piercing the veil behind which the empire conducts its military and diplomatic operations.

But subtending these more visible actions is a vast expansion in secrecy, surveillance and repression, abroad and at home. In 2011, 70 million government documents were ordered classified, 40% more than in the previous year. The government now hires 30,000 people to listen in on the private telephone conversations of Americans, and has built a $2 billion facility in Bluffdale, Utah for storing the data thus gathered. The Obama administration pushed through Congress the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which permits the government to imprison anyone, including US citizens, for an indeterminate length of time on suspicion of terrorism, in blatant violation of the right of habeas corpus guaranteed in the fifth amendment to the constitution.

The administration has also authorised the assassination of anyone living abroad said to be participating in terrorist activities, again including US citizens, even though they are not directly involved in armed combat. The most famous target of this policy was Anwar al-Awlaki, a self-exiled American citizen who made propaganda videos for al Qa’eda, and was accused, without public proof, of participating in plotting the 9/11 attack. Al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen by a US drone strike. His 16-year-old son was also killed in another drone strike two weeks later. No one alleged that the Denver-born high-school student was involved in terrorist activity.

Although Obama failed to keep his election promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, and is proceeding with military trials of those held there, he seems inclined to replace the whole cumbersome process of detention, ‘secret rendition’ and military tribunals with the simpler expedient of assassination. Quoting theWashington Post, left-liberal columnist Glenn Greenwald reports that a government agency called the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has developed what it calls a “disposition matrix”. According to Greenwald, “One of its purposes is ‘to augment’ the ‘separate but overlapping kill lists’ maintained by the CIA and the Pentagon: to serve, in other words, as the centralised clearing house for determining who will be executed without due process, based upon how one fits into the executive branch’s ‘matrix’.” He adds: “… the NCTC operates a gigantic data-mining operation, in which all sorts of information about innocent Americans is systematically monitored, stored and analysed. This includes ‘records from law enforcement investigations, health information, employment history, travel and student records …’ In other words, the NCTC – now vested with the power to determine the proper ‘disposition’ of terrorist suspects – is the same agency that is at the centre of the ubiquitous, unaccountable surveillance state aimed at American citizens” (Common Dreams October 24).

No Republican or Tea Party supporter, for all their talk about the encroachments of “big government”, has to our knowledge uttered a peep of protest about these developments. And no-one who has been on the receiving end of nationally coordinated efforts to remove Occupy encampments from public squares, or stepped-up police harassment of leftwing protestors, will believe that the government will limit itself, in a period of imperial decline and mass austerity, to deploying this repressive apparatus against Islamic terrorists.
Zyklon C

Hopes that disappointment in Obama would lead to a leftward break with the Democratic Party have thus far been unrealised. The Occupy movement had little sympathy for Obama. But its stalwarts consider themselves above not only Democratic politics, but politics in general. This abstentionism left Occupy unprotected against the inevitable efforts to channel the energies it had released into electoral support for the party of the ‘lesser evil’. Few among Occupy’s quasi-anarchist core will vote for the Democrats, but almost none were able to conduct the active anti-Democratic propaganda effort that any shift to the left would require.

Hence, on a left spectrum bounded on one end by liberalism and on the other by populist radicalism and socialism, with many indistinct hues in between, little has changed since 2008. The two principal candidates running to the left of the Democrats, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, are local politicians virtually unknown outside their states (Massachusetts and Utah respectively).The anti-Obama minority clustered around the webzine, Counterpunch, has stuck to its guns. The other two left media mainstays – Amy Goodman’s syndicated television and radio programme, ‘Democracy Now!’ and the Pacifica radio network – remain, as before, non-committal.

On the rest of what calls itself the left, lesser-evilism is rampant. In the 2000 presidential elections, the pages of the country’s leading left-liberal magazine, The Nation, hosted a lively debate between the supporters of the Democratic candidate, Al Gore, and partisans of the Green Party’s Ralph Nader. But all the then-Naderites have since been purged, and, with the death in July of the last columnist to advocate an independent politics of the left, Alexander Cockburn, the magazine is drably homogeneous.

A special election issue, titled ‘Why Obama?’ (October 22), contains contributions from 10 writers, all of whom advocate critical support for the president, arguing only about just how critical one should be. The authors can hardly make their case on the basis of the naive hopes of 2008, so completely disappointed in the four years since. They can only argue on the basis of fear of Romney and the Republicans, heightened by the party’s right-extremist dérivé. They provide a pristine example of what Cockburn dubbed the “Zyklon C” approach to politics: resisting the use of Zyklon B (the gas used by the Nazis in the death chamber of Auschwitz) will only result in the deployment of an even more lethal gas called Zyklon C.

Perhaps the most comprehensive Zyklon C manifesto was issued over the summer by a long-time social democrat, Bill Fletcher, and a former Students for a Democratic Society leader and Maoist, Carl Davidson, who is now with the National Committees of Correspondence, a rightward split from the Communist Party. The article is entitled, ‘The 2012 elections have little to do with Obama’s record … which is why we are voting for him’. The best thing about the article is its acknowledgement that the position of the left represents a “Groundhog Day” scenario – alluding to the movie in which the protagonist, played by Bill Murray, finds himself trapped in a perpetual February 2. What they forget to add is that lesser-evilists like themselves are a predictable part of the scenario.

Fletcher and Davidson state that the 2012 elections are “unlike anything that any of us can remember”, and will be “one of the most … critical elections in recent history”. The authors were, however, saying similar things during the elections of 2004 and 2008, in which both also urged support for the Democrats.

The arguments of Fletcher and Davidson boil down to alarmism over the Republican Party, which they claim has been captured by the forces of “revenge-seeking white supremacy”, bent upon resisting the political influence of the country’s soon-to-be non-white majority, even to the point of severely curtailing electoral democracy. They argue further that Barack Obama, regardless of his political record, has become a hate symbol for these forces. His re-election would therefore represent a defeat for white revanchism, which would give “progressive forces” a “breathing space” in which to build their strength.

The problem with this line of argument is its tendency to view the racial question in isolation from the class dynamics with which it is interwoven and to which, in the end, it is subordinate. The ugly racist undercurrent in the Tea Party is certainly real enough. But so also is the fact that the racial (and misogynist) insults that regularly arise from the movement’s depths are a source of embarrassment to its leaders, who routinely apologise and have made a conscious attempt to appropriate the symbols and rhetoric of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Open, vulgar racism may still be alive and well in the south and beyond, but, despite the temptation to pander to these sentiments at election time, there is a recognition amongst national Republican political operatives that the programme of white revanchism, given an eventual non-white majority, could only mean the construction of a neo-apartheid state, which cannot be sold to the electorate, and therefore ultimately not to the ruling class, as the preferred way of pursuing their principal agenda of austerity.
No rampart

And this agenda is one in which the Democratic leadership shares. It is true that the Republicans, because their base includes far fewer of the victims of austerity, are less constrained than the Democrats about pushing it. But the Democrats are hardly a rampart against Republican reaction. A victory for Obama and Democratic Congressional candidates will not be the electoral equivalent of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk, affording the working class and unemployed “breathing space”, as Fletcher and Davidson think. It is rather more akin to the Munich Pact, opening the way for a new round of retreats before the Republicans, and Democratic-sponsored measures to weaken social programmes and worker rights, encouraging even bolder rightwing thrusts.

It may be true, as Fletcher and Davidson aver, that merely not voting for the Democrats, or voting for a protest candidate, is hardly a political strategy. Voting for them, however is not a strategy either, but a resigned acceptance of the status quo. Refusing to vote for the lesser evil is at least the beginning of the wisdom required to exit Groundhog Day.

Obama’s lacklustre performance in the first presidential debate was not only the result of the mountain altitudes in which it took place. What the country perhaps glimpsed was the real Obama, lacking the will to do battle with the Republicans, and profoundly bored with the whole adversarial charade (he even went so far as to say that he and Romney had the same essential views on social security). That performance cost the president what was till then a commanding lead in the opinion polls, and the contest has become much closer. Some opinion samplings even show Romney with a slight advantage.

The president is not elected by direct popular suffrage, but the Electoral College, whose delegates are apportioned according to the population of the state, and in which the candidate with the majority in each state gets all of its delegate votes. The popular vote in solidly Republican or Democratic states is therefore irrelevant, having been figured into electoral calculations from the start. The outcome therefore hinges on a few ‘swing states’, the most important in this election being Ohio, where both contenders are campaigning heavily. Despite the evening out of opinion polls, the arithmetic of the Electoral College still favours Obama only a few days before November 6.

An Obama victory will surely cause great consternation in Republican ranks, and a ripple or two in the ruling class. Certain factions will be driven even further to the right. But perhaps others will become convinced that racial innuendo and open contempt for the majority are no way to run a country or an empire. It would be wrong to be too confident in the rationality of the bourgeoisie, but we shall see. And perhaps the inevitable rightward trajectory of a second Obama presidency may yet convince the enemies of the ruling class that Obama is, in the words of Black Agenda Report editor, Glen Ford, not so much the lesser evil as the more effective one.

BOYCOTT THE 2012 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! ABSTINENCE IS THE ONLY VOTE THAT COUNTS.
HACKING DEMOCRACY
COINTELPRO 101 AND COINTELPRO DOCUMENTARY
NON-VOTING – PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY LINKS:
ENDING OLIGARCHY: DON’T VOTE FOR EVIL
IN CUBA, VOTERS SELECT CANDIDATES
NEW YORK TIMES CAN’T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEIR SIDE LOST IN VENEZUELA
VOTING FOR DEATH
YOU HAVE GOT TO STOP VOTING!
NON-VOTING AND BRINGING DOWN THE IMPERIAL OLD WORLD ORDER
THE LAST WORD ON VOTING
ELECTION FRAUD AMERICAN STYLE: CINDY SHEEHAN INTERVIEWS CYNTHIA MCKINNEY
AMERICAN BLACKOUT
WHAT IF THEY STAGED AN ELECTION AND NOBODY CAME?
DIRECT PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY LINKS
BEYOND ELECTIONS – PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY
GLOBAL BASIC INCOME
THE GREEN BOOK BY MUAMMAR GADDAFI
FURTHER READING ON BARACK OBAMA:
THE MEN BEHIND OBAMA
PART I
PART II
OBAMA AND THE POSTMODERN COUP – THE MAKING OF A MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
BARAK H. OBAMA: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY
OBAMA AND THE CIA: ALL IN THE COMPANY
THE OBAMA FILES
ALLAN NAIRN – OBAMA IS A WAR CRIMINAL (PART I)
ALLAN NAIRN – OBAMA IS A WAR CRIMINAL (PART II)
ALLAN NAIRN – OBAMA IS A WAR CRIMINAL (PART III)
ALLAN NAIRN – OBAMA IS A WAR CRIMINAL (PART IV)
OBAMA LEADS NO WAR ON TERROR
OBAMA’S MILITARY TRIBUNALS AND TARGETED ASSASSINATIONS

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