Inauguration 2001, Resistance 2001
Revolutionary Worker #1087, January 21, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
One close look at George W. Bush, that puffed-up, smirking, frat-rat executioner standing at the threshold of global power--and it is enough to make you sick.
Look beyond Bush, at his gang of oil men, generals and corporate cutthroats, and it is obvious that there is nothing here for the vast majority of people--just hard hearts and ruthless plans.
Look beyond Bush and his crew, to the larger political and economic system that created these ugly creatures and now puts them in power over us--and one thought comes to mind: Nothing other than REVOLUTION--radical, fundamental, all-the-way change--can possibly sweep away this rot and injustice, and create a new liberated future!
After a year of political circus and crisis, "the process" selected that ruling class brat, George W. Bush, as the next leader for this empire. Hundreds of millions were spent beaming political bullshit at us 24 hours a day. Virtual martial law was declared for the conventions of Philadelphia and Los Angeles. And then, after an election night tie, the political power structure was gripped by its bizarre combination of panic attack and high-level dog-fight.
"Your vote counts," we were all told. "Choose or lose," was the message to a new generation. But in the days after November 7, the whole world saw how the key decisions of power are really made--and who makes them. We all saw how votes were suppressed, denied, discarded, discounted, lost and overruled. Each party appealed to those institutions that they influenced. The ruling class turned to their courts, legislatures, and backroom negotiations to resolve their internal fight over power. They wondered out loud what the slave-trading "Founding Fathers" would have wanted, while they stumbled toward their final decision and (with top-level court approval) ignored the vote.
What could be more appropriate than to have the Presidential oath of office on January 20 administered by Justice William Rehnquist, that hateful hack who grabbed the role of king-maker this year?
A Cold Wind
A hard cold wind is blowing from the headquarters of this system. The outrages of the Clinton-Gore years--the cutting of welfare, the destruction of public housing, the stepped-up executions and imprisonment, the preparations for Star Wars, the military aggressions and deepening intervention in Colombia, the growing unavailability of abortions--all of that will now form the foundation from which this new crew launches their plans.
This new government thinks America has no time for "bleeding hearts." And they have no time for anything but profits and unchallenged U.S. supremacy. Not a moment for promises of equality, or minimum wages, or public schools, or even respecting existing arms control treaties. And they can't wait to wreck the Alaska wilderness to suck up energy profits.
In the housing projects, ghettos and barrios, from the sweatshops to the women's clinics to the college campuses to the prisons--it is time to get ready to take on a new, ruthless offensive in the politics of cruelty.
A Disgusting New Leadership for the System
On January 20, the ruling class of the United States will empower their new president. They will want to unite in public--if only for that one day--so that they can, together, proclaim the legitimacy of their presidency and the stability of their system. They will want to give President Dubya the spotlight. Police and media hacks are preparing to smother any challenge to the Day of Presidential Legitimacy--and they cannot be allowed to succeed.
Here, in the belly of the beast, there are millions who hate the official politics and economics of this system--who can't stand what it does to oppressed people here and around the world. Their spirit of resistance and desire for change needs to be manifested--strong--in the streets of Washington DC.
On January 20, the streets of Washington will be alive with protest of many kinds. The whole world will be watching. And we, the Maoist revolutionaries of the RCP and RCYB, are looking forward to taking our stand together with others against this system and its disgusting new leadership.
A Question of Class
It has been educational to watch the top Democrats proclaim loyalty to the new President, while continuing the bitter infighting of the election.
On TV, before Christmas, Al Gore pledged his support to Bush and ordered any court challenges on his behalf to stop. He presided over the joint session of Congress that approved the final vote of the Electoral College (that elitist constitutional creation from slavery times). When members of the Black Congressional Caucus rose, one by one, to protest the denial of Black votes, the suppression of the vote counting in Florida, and the illegitimacy of Bush's election--it was Vice President Gore himself, in his role as Senate President, who gaveled them down and then carried through with the ritualized legitimization of Bush's election and his presidency.
Later, former President Jimmy Carter got on TV to make two contradictory points: First, that this last election would never have gotten certification from his famous Carter team of "election observers." And then, second, that everyone should accept and support Bush as the new president, wish him well, prepare to work with him etc. etc.
And now, those with an iron stomach can watch the Democratic senators welcome General Colin Powell (the architect of the Gulf War) into his new post as Secretary of State. Democrats are getting chummy with Cold Warrior Donald Rumsfeld, the soon-to-be Defense Secretary.
The top Democrats offer a creepy mantra of passivity and loyalty: "Rally round the new president, wish him success" --when it is obvious that his "success" can only mean intensified culture wars, privatization, and suffering for people all over the planet.
Inside the ruling class the infighting continues and will break out again and again. Clinton has already sniped that Gore really won the election. The Miami Herald (with Democratic approval) is conducting an unofficial recount in Florida (to document that Gore really won the vote.) A few Democrats are taking potshots at the Christian fascist John Ashcroft (Bush's proposed Attorney General from Hell).
So what does it mean that Democrats are, at the same time, calling for acceptance of Bush and offering cooperation? It means that they are not deeply or fundamentally opposed to him and his policies.
This is a class thing. The political and economic elite of the U.S. and its empire --a ruling class of monopoly capitalist bankers and corporate heads--need this political system to be stable. It is their system. The top leadership of the Democratic Party (ultimately and fundamentally) represent this class and serve the same class interests as Bush and the Republicans. These two parties have their disagreements--even bitter ones--but on a fundamental level, they share common goals and a deep need to uphold their system. Representatives of the ruling class--of both parties--want to repair the disillusionment that this election mess caused. And they want to make sure that people seek future solutions within the framework of official politics and elections.
This whole system of laws, traditions, parties, police, courts, armies and elections is designed to keep people in their place--to enforce and legitimize the robbery of people over the planet. This system uses elections to legitimize its rulers--but ultimately its key decisions of power and policy are made (and have always been made) by the ruling class, in their interests.
While the Democrats want to weaken the new president (to force him into compromises and ultimately take his place)--they do not want anyone weakening their institutions or questioning the fundamental ways this society is organized. But that is exactly what is needed: fundamental revolutionary change that overthrows their system, and creates a new society on the ashes of their capitalist/imperialist "way of life."
The Democratic Party have their liberal program of lame reforms and continuing oppression. But oppressed people need to carve out a totally different path, and a revolutionary programme to light the way forward to liberation. Our problems won't be solved by campaign finance reform, an open presidential debate, or by abolishing the Electoral College. It will not work to "democratize" the political system--because this is a society based on capitalist property, exploitation of human labor and vast concentrations of wealth in the hands of an exploiting minority. And until the masses of people rise up in revolution and overthrow the system and its enforcers, we will never be able to do away with poverty and oppression and unleash the creativity of the masses.
Let this ruling class start their new Bush Era. But, as for the rest of us, the shock and outrage over the election of 2000 needs to fuel intensified, determined resistance to all the madness they now plan to unleash on us.
Mao Tsetung once said "Our enemy is sharpening his sword, we must sharpen ours too."
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