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Political Report to the United Front Against Austerity: Page 4 of 9

A Landscape of Failed Movements

Obama has failed. His messianic and utopian rhetoric of 2007-8 stands revealed as a colossal con job, and some of us tried to point this out in useful time. 2008 was potentially the moment to launch the long-awaited second New Deal, but Obama’s job was to make sure that potential was aborted. Obama has functioned as a Wall Street puppet, motivated by a neoliberal ideology which he seems to sincerely believe. Obama has declared himself “eager” to reach a grand bargain for austerity with the reactionary Republicans, at the expense of the American people. The lesson: don’t fall for the demagogy of politicians from either of the two Wall Street parties.

The current phase of mass resistance to austerity started in Wisconsin, but thanks to Obama, the model of statewide labor struggles typified by Wisconsin has also fallen short. The initial Wisconsin upsurge of February 2011 was magnificent, and marked the return of the mass strike to the United States after decades of labor rout. It was truly a general strike shutting down an entire state. But the treacherous Democratic Party immediately dumped all demands on wages and benefits, focusing only on representation – good for trade union bureaucrats, not so good for beleaguered workers. The successive efforts to recall Republican state legislators and the fascist Governor Walker himself were proportionally the greatest petitioning effort in the history of the United States. But all this immense labor was aborted by a failed Democratic Party hack, Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, who refused to campaign for the rights of state workers, and who dragged the entire effort down to defeat. Obama had promised to join the picket line if worker rights were under attack, but he never appeared – nor did Biden, nor Eric Holder, nor Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Obama cares about Obama, not the workers of Wisconsin.

Occupy Wall Street has also failed, as their one year anniversary flop underlined. Occupy Wall Street was pervasively under the influence of some very fishy characters from Adbusters Magazine of Canada, a descendent of NATO’s Situationist International deployed against President Charles de Gaulle of France. The Occupy Wall Street program was to camp in the park, as Bill Maher has pointed out. The apparatus of the general assembly, consensus, facilitators, and mindless repetition was a straitjacket from which Occupy never emerged. It was New York City unions – the Transport Workers, the Communications Workers, and the United Federation of Teachers – which put Occupy on the map, but Occupy never seriously raised any demands whatsoever that would have benefited other groups in society. Occupy never fought for labor, women, blacks, Hispanics, farmers, soldiers, or anyone else, so when the police came there was nobody to fight for Occupy. Most insidious was the mindless doctrine that demands, organization, and leaders were bad in themselves. As Frederick Douglass wisely remarked, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” Demands represent the goals and identity of the movement, and they are simply indispensable, as the debacle of Occupy should have taught us all by now. Without organization, impotence and defeat are certain. Without tested leadership worthy of confidence, the result is a leaderless group, the plaything of media and provocateurs. The defining moment for Occupy came when a creepy facilitator in Atlanta, backed up by his anarchist fund raisers, turned away Congressman John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, who had come to offer the support of the black community. Such criminal stupidity can never be allowed again.

Libertarianism, especially of the Ron Paul variety, has also failed. Libertarianism is frequently based on the Russian fascist author Ayn Rand, who is the idol of vice presidential contender Paul Ryan. Libertarian economics comes from von Hayek and von Mises, both of them financed by David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission. The current libertarian movement starts with the Mount Pelerin Society of 1947, sponsored by the right-wing CIA and European feudal aristocrats. Libertarianism has been spread by ultra-reactionary donors establishing endowed chairs at universities or think tanks – the relation of the Koch brothers to the Cato Institute tells the tale.

Until recently the top libertarian was reactionary Texas congressman Ron Paul, who used the gullibility of the now defunct 9/11 truth movement to build a mailing list and a national organization, even though Paul was always hostile to 9/11 truth. He voted for the Afghanistan war and all the dictatorial measures that has entailed. Ron Paul has proposed the most genocidal austerity of them all – $1 trillion in killer cuts immediately, including a 63% cut in the food stamp program which keeps 50 million Americans alive from day to day. This is nothing short of a demand for massive genocide against the American people – a Nuremberg crime if there ever was one.

The entire Ron Paul campaign was a tentacle of Mitt Romney’s presidential effort. Ron Paul was Romney’s right wing man, ensuring the defeat of Santorum and other creatures, and funded with millions of dollars from an anarcho-capitalist Peter Thiel, a leader of the “young wolf” faction of the Bilderberg Group. Lesson: libertarianism is in operation run by Wall Street. Another lesson: steer clear of the two parties if you have any brains at all.

Thanks to Obama, the peace movement has failed. Many who opposed the Afghan and Iraq wars are now warmongers for Obama, applauding the bombing of Libya, and calling for US military intervention against Syria, which of course means against Iran. The 9/11 truth movement is long gone, and other movements have not fared any better.

If we look abroad, the situation is no better, with one significant exception. The much touted Spanish indignados are still incapable of mounting a political and programmatic challenge to the fascist Rajoy and his Lehman Brothers Finance Minister.

Tragic Void at the Center of US Anti-Establishment Politics

Occupy has collapsed. Ron Paul has collapsed. The peace movement and protest movements of the 00’s have collapsed. The result is a tragic void at the center of American politics – just when the American people are looking for a way to defend themselves against the bipartisan austerity assault. The task of the United Front Against Austerity is to fill that void as rapidly as possible.

Since there exists no single organization that one could simply join and begin to fill the bill, we need to use the time-tested method of the United Front, as it has evolved from over a century of labor struggles. We need not look far afield for examples of what to do. In the last days of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King had a strategic conception calling for the unification of the civil rights movement, the movement against the war in Vietnam, and the labor movement – this is why he attached such importance to the strike of black garbage men in Memphis.

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