Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The dramatic result of the presidential election in the USA has aroused world interest but, an amount of euphoria has obscured the real issues in this election in the middle of the most serious crisis of monopoly capitalism since 1929. Will the new administration stop the wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, and generally stop Washington’s interference in the internal affairs of other countries which has characterised US foreign policy for decades? Will they cooperate with the rest of the world in tackling the urgent issues of climate change? Will they stop financing Zionist Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people? End the blockade of Socialist Cuba? Will they control the excesses of their own financial moguls which has brought about the world financial crisis? Excuse us if we sound a note of scepticism on these matters.

It matters not a tuppenny damn to us whether an African American, Latino or Boston aristocrat is the one ordering the bombers to wipe out villagers in Afghanistan, or the scourging of the Iraqi people who want the end of foreign occupation of their country, or giving unqualified backing to Zionist Israel. We want it to stop; we demand that it stop; that the USA, whomever is its leader, acknowledge that all other countries on this planet are entitled to the same rights and privileges it claims for itself. So far, there has been no indication from the Obama camp, despite the heavy rhetorical emphasis on “Change”, that there will be any real change in the stance of the USA as the leading Capitalist State in any of these areas or in the domestic policies of the administration to address the shocking deficiencies in health care, housing and employment of the mass of the population who have placed their trust in Mr Obama.

The Wall Street Connection

Obama’s principal economic advisers are all from the Wall Street stable. He gave unqualified and immediate support to Treasury Secretary Paulson’s $700 billion dollar bailout of the richest investment banks in the US with taxpayers money. He has not challenged Paulson or the banks over the use of public funds for buyouts and acquisitions instead of loans and credit to producers and homeowners. Obama’s backing of Paulson and the Wall Street bailout is shown by his proposals to suspend mortgage foreclosures for a three-month period, pending re-negotiations of interest payments. Obama wants to increase transfers of government funds to the mismanaged financial institutions and bankrupt capitalist corporations which caused the current crisis, which amounts to no more than efforts to save failed capitalism rather than pursue any new long-term public investment programs which would generate high-wage employment for workers badly needed by the US economy.

Obama’s economic advisers openly declare their adherence to ‘free market’ fetishism and their opposition to any plan to engage in large-scale injections of treasury funds in publicly-owned productive activity and social services in the face of wide-spread private sector failure, massive corruption and collapse. Obama proposes the same failed private sector health plans, run and controlled by billionaire insurance companies, conservative medical and hospital vested interests and Big Pharma which characterized the Buckfush regime. He publicly rejects a universal national health program such as the Federal Medicare program in favour of inefficient, state-subsidised private for profit schemes that are too expensive and beyond the means of more than one third of US families.

We can hope that this election might be the beginning of a process where the American people reclaim their democracy from the Corporate Monopolies and their muppets in the Legislature, but, we know, as those who have carried on this struggle within the US political system for decades do, that the power elite will not voluntarily relinquish their unjustified and corrupt grip on the body politic and that there is no easy road to victory in this or any other struggle for emancipation of the human race from slavery of whatever type or formation.

No doubt, the Obama administration will present a more sober and moderate seeming face to the rest of the world as did Clinton and Carter, the previous Democratic Party incumbents, but they will be judged, ultimately, by their actions rather than their rhetoric.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 05 Samhain/November 2008.

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