The Obama Administration: A Government of the Corporations
The fight for the social needs of the working class, the defense of democratic rights, and an end to war raises at every point the necessity for the independent political organization of the working class. It is impossible for the working class to advance its interests within the framework of the Democratic Party and the capitalist two-party system in the US.
Millions of working people voted for Barack Obama in the hope that his administration would reverse the reactionary policies of George W. Bush. These hopes have been refuted by experience. Under the fraudulent banner of the “war on terror,” the Obama administration continues to pursue the global imperialist agenda of the American ruling class. He has waged a new war against Libya, and now Syria and Iran are in the crosshairs. The use of drone missiles has made the “targeted killing” of Afghan and Pakistani civilians a daily occurrence. At the same time, the Obama administration steadily intensifies pressure against Iran, preparing the grounds, on one or another pretext, for a military attack that would have catastrophic consequences. In the final analysis, Obama, like his predecessors, believes that American military power can be used to offset the consequences of the decline in the global economic position of the United States.
In the United States, the Obama administration has bailed out the banks, carried out a relentless attack on the working class and led the calls for cutting social programs. To the extent that differences exist between the two parties, they are of a tactical character—over how best to defend profits and prevent the development of an independent opposition in the working class.
The fight for the political independence of the working class means a struggle against all those middle-class organizations, including nominally “socialist” groups, which claim that the Democratic Party can be pushed to the left through mass pressure. This position is aimed at preventing the working class from establishing its own independent political party.
In fact, the Democratic Party long ago abandoned even a nominal commitment to social reform. The rightward movement of the Democratic Party has been accompanied by attempts on the part of its middle-class supporters to promote all manner of lifestyle issues and identity politics as a means of obscuring the question of class and social equality.
Both parties, the Democrats as much as the Republicans, represent American imperialism, the most reactionary force on the planet. The working class must establish its political independence from big business by breaking with the Democrats and the Republicans and building its own political party.
For a Workers Government
The experience of the Obama administration testifies to the supreme reality of political life in the United States: the total control maintained by the multi-billion-dollar corporations and the super-rich over all branches of government and the two-party system. The executive branch, Congress, the judiciary and state and local governments are subservient to corporate interests. No legislation can be enacted and no measure can be taken that is perceived by the capitalist class as a threat to its interests and wealth. American democracy is ever more nakedly a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.
New organizations of working class struggle must be instruments for the revolutionary mobilization of the working class to take political power into its own hands, breaking the dictatorship of Wall Street and the corporate elite over political, economic and social life. This can be realized only through the establishment of a workers’ government—that is, a government of the working class, by the working class and for the working class, which will implement the socialist policies that are required to meet the needs of working people.
Socialism cannot be achieved simply through the election of socialist candidates to the existing state institutions. The state and its institutions are democratic only in the most formal sense. In reality, they are instruments of corporate domination created by capitalism, in which the Democratic and Republican parties, the twin parties of the ruling class, exercise a monopoly.
A workers’ state must be based on new forms and structures of participatory democracy—arising in the course of revolutionary mass struggles and representative of the working class majority of the population. This will ensure that such a government is truly popular and democratic, based on bodies elected directly from the factories, offices and other workplaces as well as the working class neighborhoods.