MORE ON THE MEANING OF THE OBAMA VICTORY:
The debate about what the Obama victory means has begun amongst the left and its anarchist subsections. One caveat here, the emperor has been acclaimed, but he hasn't yet been crowned, whatever the cartoon from Latuff above may imply. Yes, the outgoing emperor is trying to bask in reflected glory by being as accommodating as he can. One can only imagine what his true feelings are. I'm inclined to give John McCain the benefit of the doubt when he silences his ill tempered supporters on election night as he concedes defeat, but Bush's entire history leads one to suppose that pure hypocrisy is behind his recent good graces. McCain has at least a smidgen of honour, and one can excuse him by saying that he fell into bad company and is now reverting to his better self. I have to doubt that George Bush has a better side. The United States of America, however, has more nuts per square foot than any other piece of real estate on Earth, and one hopes that Obama won't come to a tragic end before his coronation.
Speaking of nuts, as I predicted the shady side of American anarchism is beginning to spout their nonsense, peppered with laudatory reports of silly vandalism done around the elections. Then it shades into such whoppers as claiming that "popular movements can't influence government". This, of course, is silly and very much self defeating as it leaves little to be done besides proclaiming one's superiority. But that is what such people are interested in anyways. The majority of the American movement, however, are realistically struggling to come to terms with what the recent electoral events mean, and the nuts are a minor current. Molly has recently been reading a very interesting back and forth over at the Anarchist Black Cat discussion board on 'President Obama', and she can recommend it highly for intelligent presentation of different views.
A couple of commentators on this board, amongst them Larry Gambone of the Porkupine Blog, have mentioned the "emotional" implications of the Obama victory. Yes, indeed he will "govern from the right" and "speak from the left", but his victory does indeed open up an optimistic time that has opportunities available for those capable of seizing them. One of my favourite observations was made by Mr Beer N' Hockey over at his blog. Beer's blog is a wonderful, playful antidote to those sickened by political correctness, and it is one of the few that Molly always finds worth reading for the sheer entertainment value. What Beer observed was that the "party" is front of the White House was a spontaneous outpouring, very unlike the setup event in Chicago where they "sold tickets" for God's sake. Media reports described the crowd calling/yelling for the immediate eviction of the present denizen of the White House. This is a mass movement unlike any seen in the past few decades in the USA, and it is indeed spontaneous, uncreated by the plotters of the left or the social democrats of the Democratic Party. There are a lot of IOUs out there, and there is a possibility of collecting on at least some of them. Once more, as I have expressed here before "revolutions are not created by revolutionists". They happen, and the proper course is not to try and create them but to understand and influence them.
But, as I said, I intend to present some intelligent libertarian comment on the recent election. Here from Z Communications are three such essays. If you want the full nitty gritty subscribe to their news service.
Doubtful about Presidents; Optimistic about Us:
By Peters, Cynthia
Writing for Time Magazine on November 5th, Joe Klein called Barack Obama's victory a sign that our country is a "younger, more optimistic, less cynical" place. "It is a country that retains its ability to startle the world -- and in a good way, with our freedom." The Boston Globe editorialized that the new president will usher in "a decisively different direction" for the United States.
What is it that liberal elites are celebrating exactly? I suspect they are more or less happy with the core values of the U.S. political and economic system, and they are just relieved that it's dressed in nicer clothes, comes in a multicultural wrapping, and will continue its forward march in a more congenial, multi-lateral manner.
Many of the liberal elite are excited about Obama's victory today because of the more palatable manner in which he will forward the elite's agenda.
But even left-of-liberal Michael Moore writes about crying tears of joy and relief. Progressive friends all over town are waving enthusiastically and giving me the thumbs up. I smile back. It's not that it's hard to muster the smile. I understand people feeling uplifted by Obama's historic election win. For all the reasons that many progressives have recited - the important symbolism of having an African American in the nation's top office, the repudiation of the Bush/Cheney agenda, the populist-leaning domestic agenda, etc. - I agree the outcome of the election is as positive as it could be given the constraints of the current electoral system.
But I wonder: is there something wrong with me? Must I insist on seeing the massive structural injustices in Obama's agenda? Must I focus on his hawkish foreign policy? Must I go around reminding everyone that his victory will only be as meaningful as we make it? That it's unlikely he'll enter office as a centrist reformer and emerge as a leader who is willing to address structural injustice?
Many people I talk to are impatient with this line of thinking. They think it is pessimistic.
They think I'll die young if I keep thinking such negative thoughts. They think I should un-furrow my brow and revel in this great American moment. They think it's okay to believe in Obama. One person said something exactly like that: "Oh let me feel happy about this. It feels so good to have someone to believe in."
But wait. It's not that I don't have someone to believe in. I do. I believe in the power of movements. I believe in all of us.
When I was in Brazil in 2002, and Lula of the Workers Party, was on the brink of winning the presidency, I had the privilege of talking with members of the Landless Workers Movement. They said they would be happy if Lula won, but they had no illusions that it would change the essential nature of their work. On the contrary, Lula would be pressured by the banks and by international financial institutions to carry out their agenda. Only a sustained grassroots movement would keep him from succumbing to those pressures. They were hopeful that the Workers Party would win, but they wouldn't put their faith in what Lula would do once he was in office. (NB!!!!!-Molly)Instead, they were investing their hope and energy in movement building, knowing that strong movements would be the only way to ensure what Lula would do once he was in office.
I remember seeing Howard Zinn speak to an audience in Cambridge some months before the Iraq war started. An audience member asked, "What do we do if Bush invades Iraq?" "That's not the question to ask," Zinn pointed out. "The question to ask is: what are we going to do to make sure he doesn't invade Iraq?"
That's ultimately an optimistic stance. It sees grassroots power as a match against corporate and imperial power. It's a harder row to hoe. It takes longer than an election cycle. It involves mobilizing a truly democratic base to become powerful enough to actually determine what institutions look like. Most importantly, it's a stance that projects the possibility of real change over the long term and does not settle for nicer versions of rotten institutions. To the person who is desperate for something to feel good about: Why do you need Obama for that? History shows over and over again that reform happens when people at the grassroots organize together, take risks, and refuse to obey. You could have been feeling good about that all along. You could have been believing in yourself. I do.Cynthia Peters is the editor of The Change Agent.
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By Albert, Michael
Some things are obvious. Electing a first African American President is world historic. The electorate bending toward sanity, eloquence, and dignity, rather than a death spiral into moronic depravity is positive, too, even if mostly because the alternative is a condition of abject horror.
Realignment of various voting sectors and undercutting market mania are very positive, too.The fact that Obama's campaign was unprecedentedly efficient and effective is certainly worth learning from. An electoral facility is not, however, a progressive credential - more or less like being a prisoner of war for bombing defenseless peasants isn't a credential for wisdom or civility.The fact that Obama's support, particularly among young people, creates an incredibly hopeful opportunity to be boldly progressive, or even radical, is also good, but not conclusive. Put differently, the potential in Obama's victory does not imply there will be great actualization in its aftermath. We will almost certainly see reforms reflecting the catastrophic need to escape economic woes by regulating markets and dealing with health care, but that could be the end rather than beginning of Obama's positive agenda.
If we rely on Obama to actualize the larger hopes of the election, most likely he will not. Indeed, the only positive signs that he will are that he has the competence, confidence, and chutzpah, as well as a sufficiently large organized base of support. In contrast, the negative indicators that he won't are that nothing beyond vague rhetorical flourishes indicates that Obama has seriously progressive views, commitments, connections, or inclinations, and that the systemic pressures on him and aggressive channeling of his time and thought will be enormous.My guess is, sadly, that within one week, literally one week, Obama's staff and cabinet choices will make decisively evident that without mass activism forcing new outcomes, change will stop at the surface.
I fervently hope I am wrong.Our task is in any event to press Obama mightily, starting immediately. For the moment, when folks who support him are interviewed and connect Obama to the civil rights heritage and even let their rhetoric expand in their understandable glee establishing expectations that would require a serious left shift and struggle, it pushes prospects well. But I don't think that will be remotely enough if Obama appoints traditionally oriented folks to his staff, revealing not boldness in pursuit of change, but aloof disregard for the passions he has aroused in pursuit of business as usual, thereby quickly undercutting euphoria.
Part of the Way with BHO? Maybe we can have that much, at best. But ironically, if that slogan does against the odds make some sense in coming weeks and months, there will still be a strong analogy to the "Part of the Way with LBJ" formulation of decades back. It was LBJ's populist inclinations around civil rights and modest redistribution that engendered the slogan in the first place. It was LBJ's pursuit of annihilation in Indochina, however, that blew the slogan's sentiment to shreds. Imagine Obama expanding war in Afghanistan or reneging on getting out of Iraq, even assuming he is, personally, truly inclined to populist domestic change, and you can see a road to repression and resistance.
But, one other thing about our response to Obama and the election seems pretty clear, and I think quite important to note, even if my worst fears about the limits of Obama come true. Leftists of all kinds need to avoid acting as though this election was run of the mill, or especially that those who voted for Obama were deceived or naive, or that those who are elated by seeing him in office are fools. This election was not run of the mill. This election was, in fact, historic as no other election I have ever encountered, regarding black people's and other minority's hopes and aspirations, regarding the electoral map, regarding escaping Republican nightmares that could have gotten infinitely worse, regarding the possible emergence of young people as an active political and social force, and regarding the coming struggle over whether cynicism will continue to drain activist prospects, or, instead, inspired by rhetoric and excitement and then angered by rejection, masses of people ironically intoning "yes we can" will persevere even against Obama Administration opposition to win what we had hoped to more easily gain.
The election isn't, however, as best I can now see, a new society or even remotely a road to one - instead, we will have to work for that likely without Oval Office aid - but the fact that this election wasn't everything, or even what some people hoped, doesn't mean it was nothing. And now comes the truly hard question - racism. What does having a Black President mean about racism? Again, some things seem relatively obvious. The impact on young people's self image, hopes, and images of others, will be enormous and even taken all alone this one gain is worthy of the joyful tears many are shedding. To not understand that fact, or to deny that fact out of some odd inability to acknowledge progress, is blockheaded and extremely callous.
Barack Obama is a very unusual and inspiring orator/candidate - but he is not Martin Luther King Jr. Yet the idea of King running for President forty years ago was absolutely unthinkable. So we have progressed. And that is no small thing. Jesse Jackson wasn't modestly standing in the park in Chicago and weeping for no reason or because he is deluded. Denying progress is utterly ridiculous both in its divorce from reality and in that it shoots ourselves in the head - after all, where did the progress come from if not social movements? Does that mean there is no racism anymore? No. But it does mean that the ideological trappings of racism and many of the structural supports, as well, have been over years and years, seriously undermined and in some instances even obliterated.
What mainly remains are three things. First, residual largely material deprivations that owe their origin to the past but that are reproduced simply due to their existing, even without any racist sentiment or laws coercing the outcome. Second, I suspect there remain some basic underlying institutional features which tend to regenerate racial hierarchies still. And third, and now, at last, least consequential and likely to further decline, admittedly, still many people who retain racist personal inclinations, particularly in the South, but not alone there by any means.
Look at the maps showing the change in vote level for the Democrat between 2004 and 2008, virtually all over the country, and the trend is pretty clear.What has happened, in other words, is that the massive courageous and intense efforts of Blacks in struggle, plus their allies, have undermined many people's racist beliefs to a very considerable extent - though not completely.
Those struggles have also eliminated at least a considerable part of the laws and other structures, overt and covert, that daily reinforced horrible racist hierarchies. Those struggles have, however, not gotten, I suspect, to the deepest institutional heart of racial hierarchy, nor have they eliminated all the bad views and habits from all people's personalities, either, of course, nor eliminated all the residual disparities in income, wealth, and position.
But, still, the change that has occurred is enormous and if efforts persist, calmly but steadfastly, and if they go from past logics built on symptoms to finally addressing the deepest underlying structures and relations, whether in families, community definitions, or whatever else, the scourge of racism may be all but eliminated as a powerful drag on people's lives in the years ahead. I would never have said anything like the above forty, thirty, or even just twenty years ago, nothing like that, short of seeing revolution on the horizon - but the simple fact is, you can't have a society that has a black president who polled better among whites than his opponent in most states and better then any white Democrat in decades in virtually all states, and still claim it is the days of fiercest virulent racism.
It just isn't...though yes, until we eliminate the most basic underlying causes, those horrible days could return.Am I in fantasy land either regarding my doubts (despite my hopes) about short term presidential agenda or my hopes about longer term electoral and racial implications?
I don't think so. Here is a letter a friend of mine received from a public school teacher in Boston...
I know I can get down in the dumps about my job, but not today.
Today was a great day to be a teacher.After staying up into the deepest hours of the night, agonizing, waiting and celebrating, I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. My early morning drive to school today was a little fuzzier than usual... so fuzzy that I decided to stop on the way for a cup of coffee and ditch my usual green tea start to the day(ICH says Molly, what an unwitting confession of one's class and cultural position).
Little did I know that I would need no amount of caffeine to get me through the day.The excitement started as soon as I entered my building.� It turns out that a small group of students were in the building before school even started to decorate our hallways with Obama posters. They had made photo copies of Barack Obama's face under which they wrote one word: "President".
By the time the rest of the student body had arrived our whole school had been plastered with these signs. At 7:14 am, the hallways at my school looked very familiar: crowded, hectic and loud. Only this morning, students weren't ignoring their teacher's requests to get to their homerooms because they were too busy gossiping about shoes or TV last night or each other. Instead, students were simply too busy to get to class on time because they were all talking politics with their friends.
It was stunning to overhear conversations between 8th graders that included words like: electoral votes, democracy and ballot. And it wasn't just a few kids - it was all of them.
Felix, the loudest, tallest and coolest 8th grade boy in homeroom 8F came into our room with 6 Obama buttons on his sweatshirt. And as if this wasn't enough, he set the school trend for wearing the Obama posters that were once hanging all over the hallways. One minute he was asking to borrow some tape and the next minute the Obama print outs are all over his (and then all the other boys') torsos.
Meanwhile I looked around my homeroom and had a shocking realization: this is a room filled with 13 year olds and all of them are in a good mood. But knowing how much their moods fluctuate during the course of a day, I was sure that by last block the excitement would have subsided.
I was wrong.I picked up 8C from lunch and on the way back to class I had to remind Lexxi that it wasn't appropriate hallway behavior to chant, "Obama, Obama, Obama" as loudly as she could. Now I knew my lesson on chemical formulas would be a hard sell for such an over-stimulated and over-tired afternoon crew so I decided to make them a deal.
"If we get all our work done this afternoon, we will spend the last 20 minutes of the day watching Obama's victory speech. However, if we don't work efficiently we won't have enough time."
When else would this be a successful incentive for adolescent children: if you work hard, i'll let you listen silently to a grown-up give a long speech about our political process. I couldn't believe it worked, but it did. The class only got off track a couple of times and I was easily able to re-focus them by providing one simple reminder: "President Obama would want us to get our work done." (OH MY GOD-Molly)
As promised, at the end of the period we closed our chemistry books and tuned in to hear our next President give his victory speech. It didn't seem to matter that it was the last 15 minutes of the day ... the first bell even rang and no one even packed up their things. Not only did they listen to Obama's speech intently, but a few times they began cheering so loud I had to pause the speech and remind them that a class was taking place next door.
You remember this part of Obama's speech last night: "This victory is not my victory. It's your's." To this, Vianca (one of my most chatty and challenging girls) said out loud: "Yeah, it's my victory!" I looked around at the room of my 28 students - all of whom are people of color - and I saw the future teachers, doctors, artists and Presidents of this country. I almost started crying all over again.�
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Looking Under the Hood of an Obama Administration :
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Looking Under the Hood of an Obama Administration :
By Joshua Frank
Tuesday's celebration hangovers have finally started to wear off, and the pieces are beginning to fall into place. Change will be coming to Washington in January, but it is difficult to decipher what form it will take.
Early clues, however, suggest that Barack Obama's administration will prove unlikely to alter the fundamental political machinery that has led us into war and economic turmoil. Below is a brief summary of Obama's potential choices for a few key roles in his administration.
***Chief of Staff
Obama's key White House position will go to Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois. While Emanuel knows his way around the corridors of Washington, qualifying him in the traditional sense, this alone doesn't mean he's the guy you want drawing up Obama's policy papers day after day. For starters, Emanuel is a shameless neoliberal with close ties to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), even co-authoring a strategy book with DLC president Bruce Reed. Without Emanuel, Bill Clinton would not have been able to thrust NAFTA down the throats of environmentalists and labor in the mid-1990s. Over the course of his career, Emanuel's made it a point to cozy up to big business, making him one of the most effective corporate fundraisers in the Democratic Party. He's also a staunch advocate of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. Emanuel's shinning moment came in 2006 as he helped funnel money and poured ground support into the offices of dozens of conservative Democrats, expanding his party's control of the House of Representatives.
Emanuel, who supports the War on Terror, and expanding our presence in Afghanistan, worked hard to ensure that a Democratic House majority would not alter the course of US military objectives in the Middle East.In short, Rahm Emanuel is not only a poor choice for Obama's Chief of Staff; he's one of the least progressive picks he could have made. While he may have decent views on abortion, tax policy, and social security, Emanuel's broader vision is more of the same: war and corporate dominance.
For arguably the most important position Obama will be appointing, the President-Elect may pick well-regarded economist Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Volker is one of Obama's closest economic advisors and is thought to be the top-choice for the position of Treasury Secretary.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Volker, in an attempt to cut inflation, dramatically raised interest rates, which helped the elite maintain value in their assets but strangled the working class as credit dried up. In his book, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, David Harvey writes that Volker personified one of the key facets of the neoliberal era.
"[Volker] engineered a draconian shift in U.S. monetary policy. The long-standing commitment in the U.S. liberal democratic state to the principles of the New Deal, which meant broadly Keynesian fiscal and monetary policies with full employment as a key objective, was abandoned in favour of a policy designed to quell inflation no matter what the consequences might be for employment. The real rate of interest, which had often been negative during the double-digit inflationary surge of the 1970s, was rendered positive by fiat of the Federal Reserve. The nominal rate of interest was raised overnight ... Thus began 'a long deep recession that would empty factories and break unions in the U.S. and drive detour countries to the brink of insolvency, beginning a long-era of structural insolvency'. The Volker shock, as it has since come to be known, has to be interpreted as a necessary but not sufficient condition of neoliberalism."
In supporting Henry Paulson's bailout package, Volker would not re-regulate the banks nor provide more power to shareholders, he's simply carry on one facet of neoliberalism:
* tightening federal budgets which inevitably will put great budgetary pressure on federal agencies.
Another potential pick for the post is Robert Rubin, who served under Clinton in the same position and is currently Director and Senior Counselor of Citigroup. Rubin played a key role in abetting another neoliberal objective: deregulation. Where Volker was hung up on economic austerity, Rubin pushed for more deregulatory policies that ended up shifting jobs, and entire industries, overseas. Rubin even pushed for Clinton's dismantling of Glass-Steagall, testifying that deregulating the banking industry would be good for capital gains, as well as Main Street.
"[The] banking industry is fundamentally different from what it was two decades ago, let alone in 1933," Rubin testified before the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services in May of 1995.
"[Glass-Steagall could] conceivably impede safety and soundness by limiting revenue diversification," Rubin argued.
While the industry saw much deregulation over the years preceding these events, the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act of 1999, which eliminated Glass-Steagall, extended and ratified changes that had been enacted with previous legislation. Ultimately, the repeal of the New Deal era protection allowed commercial lenders like Rubin's Citigroup to underwrite and trade instruments like mortgage backed securities along with collateralized debt and established structured investment vehicles (SIVs), which purchased these securities.
In short, as the lines were blurred among investment banks, commercial banks and insurance companies, when one industry fell, others could too. Robert Rubin is in part responsible for supporting the policies that pushed us to the brink of a great recession. When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, instability and collapse spread across numerous industries.
Another name that is in the hunt for the top spot is Lawrence Summers, who served during the last 18 months of the Clinton administration. Summers is greatly responsible for expanding Rubinomics and is credited by many for the collapse in the derivatives market, which later imploded the housing market.
While Obama's choice for this important role is speculative, quite a few fingers are pointing to Richard Holbrooke. After Gerald Ford's loss and Jimmy Carter's ascendance into the White House in 1976, Indonesia, which invaded East Timor and slaughtered 200,000 indigenous Timorese years earlier, requested additional arms to continue its brutal occupation, even though there was a supposed ban on arms trades to Suharto's government. It was Carter's appointee to the Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Richard Holbrooke, who authorized additional arms shipments to Indonesia during this supposed blockade.
Many scholars have noted that this was the period when the Indonesian suppression of the Timorese reached genocidal levels.During his testimony before Congress in February 1978, Benedict Anderson of Cornell University cited a report that proved there never was a United States arms ban, and that during the period of the alleged ban; the US initiated new offers of military weaponry to the Indonesians at Holbrooke's request.
Over the years Holbrooke, who is philosophically aligned with Paul Wolfowitz and other neoconservatives, has worked vigorously to keep his bloody campaign silent. Holbrooke described the motivations behind his support of Indonesia's genocidal actions:
"The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer -- which plays a moderate role within OPEC -- and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans ... We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia."
Other foreign policy advisors may also include the likes of Madeline Albright, the great supporter of Iraq sanctions, which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Madeline Albright, when asked by Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes about the deaths caused by U.N. sanctions, infamously condoned the deaths.
"I think this is a very hard choice," she said. "But the price--we think the price is worth it."
Samantha Power, that great cheerleader for humanitarian intervention, also has Obama's ear and may even entice him to put U.S. forces in Darfur.
"With very few exceptions, the Save Darfur campaign has drawn a single lesson from Rwanda: the problem was the US failure to intervene to stop the genocide. Rwanda is the guilt that America must expiate, and to do so it must be ready to intervene, for good and against evil, even globally. That lesson is inscribed at the heart of Samantha of Power's book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
But it is the wrong lesson," writes author Mahmood Mamdani in the London Review of Books. As Mamdani continues:
"What the humanitarian intervention lobby fails to see is that the US did intervene in Rwanda, through a proxy ... Instead of using its resources and influence to bring about a political solution to the civil war, and then strengthen it, the US signalled to one of the parties that it could pursue victory with impunity. This unilateralism was part of what led to the disaster, and that is the real lesson of Rwanda ... Applied to Darfur and Sudan, it is sobering. It means recognising that Darfur is not yet another Rwanda. Nurturing hopes of an external military intervention among those in the insurgency who aspire to victory and reinforcing the fears of those in the counter-insurgency who see it as a prelude to defeat are precisely the ways to ensure that it becomes a Rwanda."
Other names in the running include John Kerry, who as many know, ran an antiwar campaign for president in 2004. A full supporter of the War on Terror, with a hard-line on Iran, will certainly not alter the U.S. relationship in the Middle East. Regarding the Department of Defense, it looks as if Robert Gates will still control the top spot, with no alterations made to the DoD or its inflated budget.
***The Next Step
While the election of Barack Obama is a blow to George W. Bush-Republicanism and a gain for racial equality in this country, it is in many ways only a symbolic victory. The future of the U.S.'s foreign and economic agenda will continue to be saturated with ideologies and individuals that are directly responsible for our current predicament, both in the Middle East and domestically. Celebrating the end of the ugly Bush era is one thing. Celebrating the continuation of their policies with a different administration in the White House is quite another.
With these prospective appointments, Obama seems to be moving backwards to Clinton time. This may be sufficient change for some, but it far from a progressive push toward social, economic, and environmental justice.For significant change to happen, the kind that is needed in order to mend the wounds of the Bush years, we have to put down our Obama signs and force Congress and the new administration to end the wars in the Middle East, and push for regulating the financial industry while providing true universal health-care and economic safety-nets for all Americans.
Given the make up of his potential advisors, we're in for a long uphill battle. So let's drop our illusions and start organizing, beginning with a discussion of what "organizing" even means in today's political climate.
Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the brand new book Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press in July 2008. He can be reached at:
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