|By Paul Street; November 10, 2007|
Tired of defending their business-friendly and state-capitalist policy proposals against Republicans’ insistent description of them as weapons of radical Leftist “class warfare,” the leading Democratic candidates for the
“Let’s Get Real”
“Listen,” Hillary Clinton told a stunned collection of reporters yesterday in
“You know, it’s like my mother used to say,”
Wearing a red bandana and a Che Guevera T-Shirt autographed by Hugo Chavez,
Eschewing the “limited goal” of “socialism in one country,” Obama proclaimed his determination to link the “new American revolution” with “revolutionary proletarian forces and cadres around the planet” to “overthrow the world capitalist system within the next 20 years.”
“I’m a realist,” Obama said. “Let’s get real about solving poverty, inequality, and environmental collapse and putting meaning back into democracy at home and abroad. Let’s admit a basic truth: none of these problems are going to be fixed – none of these things are going to happen under capitalism.”
“I’m not opposed to all social systems,” Obama added. “What I do oppose are dumb, destructive, oppressive, and exploitive social systems based on class, race, and gender hierarchy and the rule of the privileged few.”
“Expropriate the Expropriators”
Edwards dried a tear from his eyes as he read a passage from Leon Trotsky’s 1905 pamphlet “Results and Prospects.” Embracing Trotsky’s theory of “permanent revolution,” the former North Carolina Senator confirmed suspicion that his “two
Edwards quoted Marx and Engels with approval: “You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already abolished for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths.”
“And that’s exactly what we see in the
“We can do that!,” Obama added.
“I Was Ashamed”
His father’s scorn pushed the future New Mexico Governor into a long struggle to cloak his real ideological identity.
The presidential candidate admitted that he served as “a point man for that reactionary capitalist ‘trade bill’ NAFTA” in the U.S. Congress during the 1990s “to conceal my underlying faith in socialist transformation.” Still, he quietly hoped the bill would help “advance the day when the American working-class understands that it has no country.”
“What can I say?”
“Kissing Bourgeois Ass” to Get Elected
Other Democratic presidential candidates spoke on things they’ve done and said to “pretend [we] aren’t Marxists.” Edwards admitted that he built the largest home ever constructed in North Carolina and joined the board of a parasitic Wall Street hedge fund (the Fortress Group) to disguise “my underlying commitment to permanent proletarian revolution.”
Obama laughed as he read selected passages from his bestselling 2006 campaign book The Audacity of Hope. “Here’s a good one,” Obama said, as he recited the following paragraph:
“Calvin Coolidge once said that ‘the chief business of the American people is business,’ and indeed, it would be hard to find a country on earth that’s been more consistently hospitable to the logic of the marketplace. Our Constitution places the ownership of private property at the very heart of our system of liberty. Our religious traditions celebrate the value of hard work and express the conviction that a virtuous life will result in material rewards. Rather than vilify the rich, we hold them up as role models…As Ted Turner famously said, in
“The result of this business culture has been a prosperity that’s unmatched in human history. It takes a trip overseas to fully appreciate just how good Americans have it; even our poor take for granted goods and services – electricity, clean water, indoor plumbing, telephones, televisions, and household appliances – that are still unattainable for most of the world.
Shaking his head in mock amazement, Obama asked, “is that kissing the ass of the bourgeoisie or what? I wrote all that reactionary nonsense to keep the capitalist thought police off the trail and impress the people with the money and power.”
This comment elicited an understanding pat on the back from Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, who attended the gathering with a little red book containing hundreds of quotations from the former Chinese Communist dictator Mao Tse Tung.
At Biden’s prodding, Obama agreed to read another passage from Audacity, reciting lines in which he wrote that “there are seeds of anarchy in the idea of individual freedom, an intoxicating danger in the idea of equality. For if everybody is truly free, without the constraints of birth or rank and an inherited social order, how can we ever hope to form a society that coheres?”
“You’ve got me, Hill,” Obama said. “No doubt about it. But remember,” the junior senator from
“It’s refreshing to hear this new honesty on the part of my fellow Democratic presidential candidates and my fellow Marxists,” said Dodd
“Working with Capitalist Scumbags”
“‘Managed competition,’ we called it – what a terrible and reactionary joke! Our slogan should have been “All Power to the Big Six Insurance Companies!’”
Fear of “being outed as a radical socialist” has induced
“It makes it tougher for your guys to detect my Marxism,” Hillary told reporters, “when I’m working with capitalist scumbags like
“I know just what Hillary means,” Obama chimed in. “I mean look at my main political advisor and media guy David Axlerod. He’s a complete corporate pig. Talk about you’re ‘running dog lackeys of the ruling class.’ For him, it’s all about making me look like I’m a progressive friend of ordinary working people when I’ve really been working for Exelon and Goldman Sachs – nice big money folks like that. A lot of the reporters here probably know that I was the first presidential candidate to officially support the extension of NAFTA to
More Than “Just Bribery”
Reading Obama’s book reminded Dodd of “something else Marx wrote in 1848”: “the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas.” “It’s just like Marx wrote in The German Ideology,” Dodd argued: “‘the class which is the ruling material force in society, it at the same time its ruling intellectual force. That class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental production.’”
“Marx wasn’t just talking about politicians like us,” Dodd told an astonished press corps. “He was also talking about you folks – the capitalist media.”
“Right on, Chris,” said Biden.
Dodd told reporters not to exaggerate the extent to which the actions and statements of politicians can be reduced simply to bribery – to the power of those with money to purchase the loyalty of candidates and policymakers. He advised journalists to “function as critical thinkers” and “pay attention to the complex, partly autonomous and interesting cultural and ideological processes and dynamics whereby moral and ideological hegemony is attained and maintained by and for dominant classes.”
“The Power of the People”
“Look, theoretical debate is great,” Edwards interjected, “but let’s move on. Here’s the bottom line, people: the big capitalist sell out and the ‘hegemony’ are all over now. We’re sweeping all that into the dustbin of history. We can finally talk about who we really are. Let us proceed to build the new socialist order, starting right here in eye of the damn imperialist hurricane. Power to the people!”
“Right on, John, you steely-eyed son of the proletarian,” said Hillary Clinton. She grabbed a bullhorn and led the Democratic presidential field in a number of chants, including the following:
“Fight the rich, not their wars.”
“Ain’t no power like the power of the people and the power of the people don’t stop.”
“No blood for oil.”
“One, two, three, four, we don’t want this racist war”
Only one of 30 assembled reporters joined in the chanting.
“I am Their Kronstadt Rebellion”
But it wasn’t all just self-congratulation and team-spirit on the high school stage in
Dennis Kucinich arrived late to question “just how much of an ideological change the top Democrats were really making” in announcing their shift “from authoritarian neo-corporate liberalism to authoritarian neo-Marxism-Lenninism.”
Kucinich told reporters that he is “a left-Marxist in the Rosa Luxembourg tradition” and that he is also influenced by “left-anarchist” thinkers like Bakunin, Rudolph Rocker, and
“I’m not sure there’s all that much difference between the old Democrats and their new ‘Marxist’ packaging,” Kucinich said. “I am their one man Krondstadt Rebellion,” Kucinich added, telling reporters to “read your Soviet history.”
“We’ll Deal with It”
The politically influential Wall Street investment house Goldman Sachs, a leading contributor to all of the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls, offered no comment on how the bombshell Marxist disclosure will affect the Democratic Party’s recently attained advantage in raising campaign money from corporate
The nameless Wall Street insider added that “global investors seem happy enough to do business with a giant nation that still sometimes likes to call itself ‘Marxist’ – the so-called ‘people’s republic of
“Maybe it’s time for the
Paul Street is a writer, satirist and activist based in Iowa City, IA and Chicago, IL. He is the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder, CO: Paradigm) and other volumes. Paul can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.