Time to fight back together

(10:30AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

Original article, an open letter, via socialistworker.org.uk:

Here’s the letter, and some thoughts after:

Gordon Brown’s government is in meltdown after the MPs’ expenses scandal and the disastrous Labour vote in last week’s elections.

Labour trailed in behind the Tories and UKIP, with just 15 percent of the overall vote.

This is a shocking result for a party in power, but one that is wholly understandable. Labour’s vote has haemorrhaged during its time in office.

The party has abandoned ordinary people and gone on the offensive against them.

It has handed over billions to the rich and the bankers, yet we are expected to put up with cuts in pensions, services, pay and jobs.

All of this has opened the door to the right.

The Tories, the fascist British National Party and UKIP didn’t do well in last week’s elections because millions of people suddenly decided to vote for them.

They made gains because Labour’s vote collapsed.

We have to come together to fight the Nazis, and to stop the government and the bosses making us pay for the crisis.

But we need something more too.

None of the mainstream parties reflect the views of millions of people in Britain. Most people want to see higher spending on health and education, an end to privatisation, a better deal for pensioners and an end to war.

But who speaks for them in parliament?

There is a desperate need for an alternative. The absence of a credible left group to vote for means that people remain without a choice when it comes to elections.

Many people wonder why the left can’t unite together to provide a stronger, more credible alternative to the pro-war and neoliberal policies of the major parties.

There is real potential for a united left group to make a real impact-not just by winning votes but also in helping to pull people together to build resistance on the ground.

We need to fight to make that potential a reality.

Note:  © Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

Mind you, this came from the Socialist Worker Party in the UK.  It has not been known to play nice with the other socialist groups in the UK over the years.  So, what does it have to do with us?

Many people wonder why the left can’t unite together to provide a stronger, more credible alternative to the pro-war and neoliberal policies of the major parties.

Gosh, if that couldn’t have been written about the US.  Look at what the pseudo-left in the US is reasonably happy about.  We’ve gotten Obama.  Yay!  Well, not really.  Let’s say that the Republicans are all thanking their lucky stars that he was the one the Dems finally won the Presidency again with.

Then there’s the ‘more and better’ Democrat controlled Congress.  Yay!  Well, again, not really.  They continue their pathetic cowering toward the right on the major issues of the day.

I really can’t imagine that anybody who’s left of center is still being taken in by this crowd.  Hence, why the letter from the SWP (UK) has some meaning for us.  There is no real left opposition to the duoparty in this country.

Ultimately, we’ll hang together or we’ll hang separately.  Franklin was right.  Right now, we’re hanging separately.

The sad point, of course, was that ‘hope’ and ‘change’ was fed to us as progressive by the Democratic establishment and it’s enablers, and we bought it.  We didn’t buy the continuation of neoliberal policies.  We didn’t buy the continuation of neoconservative policies.  We bought, mind you it was a pig-in-a-poke, that there would be progressive change.  We got what we deserved, which is the donkey riding us instead of the elephant.

We shouldn’t paper over the fact that there is a vast difference amongst the ideologies on the left.  The revolutionaries and the reformists are always going to be at odds on how fast to go about things.  And, as others have pointed out on blogs where this letter has been talked about, don’t get started on who’s the true carrier of Marx’s torch.  What the letter is suggesting is, in terms we Americans use, a big tent approach (although I think that the SWP (UK) is probably thinking along the lines of all of the socialists banding together).

We have good people on the left in the US.  If I am reading several of the blogs right, alot of people are suddenly fans of Kucinich who didn’t give him the time of day during the primaries.  The Progressive Caucus seems like they’re holding together pretty well.  And those to the left of Dennis seem to be the ones who are doing the best analysis, and making the best suggestions, in the political sphere.

Can there be a united Left in the US?  We know that it won’t get huge sums of money from the backers of the duoparty.  Organized labor, in this case meaning the workers as opposed to some of the unions, should be in such a grouping.  It’s a good base to work from.  Only time will tell if we will join together before we’re too late.

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    • Viet71 on June 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    over the war.  Some wanted to work within the Democratic party to end the war.  A relatively small number took direct action in the streets, on the campuses, and in apartments where bombs were assembled and criminal revolutionary conspiracies were hatched.  The different factions of the Left loathed each other.

    Ultimately, none of these factions did anything to bring the war to an end.  They just shaped the post-war debate.

    What brought the war to an end were chiefly some photos from Viet Nam and the Watergate scandal — all of which convinced the American people that the best course of action was to pull out of Viet Nam and leave the people in the South to their fate.

    Times and places have changed, but not much else when it comes to the effectiveness of the Left.

    • dkmich on June 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Many people wonder why the left can’t unite together to provide a stronger, more credible alternative to the pro-war and neoliberal policies of the major parties.

    It is so time to dump the Democrats on their asses.  If control of the WH, Congress and 60 seats in the Senate is producing the utter bull shit coming out of DC, it is time for Democrats and Republicans to go.  

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