Thursday, August 26, 2004

Debate: Chicago Unity Rally vs Bush Agenda

This is a brief exchange on Chicago Indymedia over the slogans and relevance of the Aug 29 Unity Rally in Chicago opposing the Bush agenda and expressing solidarity with the actions at the Republican Convention in NYC:

From CarlD
RE: (a)'s comment on Aug 29 Rally Slogans:

(a) says: "'A Real National Security * Diplomacy, Not War * Genuine Family Values' What the fuck is this shit?"

Carld: It's not so hard to figure out, (a). 'Real national security' is having peaceful and helpful relations with other countries; 'Diplomacy, not war' is the preferable way to handle conflicts between countries; 'genuine family values' is access to health care, education and employment that can sustain couples and their children and elderly parents. Or do you think we should call for greater insecurity for the American people, the war of all against all among states, and smashing the family?

From Bob Schwartz:
"...access to health care, education and employment that can sustain couples and their children and elderly parents."

Does Carl Davidson really believe that these laudable goals will be met by voting for Kerry and Edwards? These goals will be brought closer only by mass organization and protest, as occurred with union rights, black rights, women’s rights.

When the rights won in the streets and on the shop floors were turned over to the damned Democrats for defense, it has resulted in a downward spiral of defeat followed by defeat.

As for the phantom "real national security" and "diplomacy," Carl knows full well that US aggression in the interests [i.e., "security"] of big business will be executed with or without the fig leaf of "diplomacy."

Reply to Bob Schwartz:

CarlD: Once again, Bob is missing the point. I make no promises for the Democrats, nor try to prettify them in any way. As I have said repeatedly from day one, in this election, they simply represent a different faction of imperialism than Bush--multilateralists vs unilateralists, globalist vs hegemonist, however you want to describe them.

They have some tactical differences with Bush and the Neocons on foreign policy and are not a straight up antiwar party, thanks to the DLC and the defeat of Kucinich. But their potential victory would weaken the war policy of Bush and the Neocons, which would be a plus for the antiwar forces everywhere. We would have to fight the DLC/Kerry war policy the next day, but we will be more energized and in a better position to do it if Bush loses.

As for whether social reforms like health care are won, I agree that these are a reflection of the degree of social power and fighting capacity of mass organizations around these issues at the base, as well as their ability to focus that power nationally.

Even so, any reform won this way can be taken back--and often is taken back--if conditions change. As Lenin put it, every reform, however positive, contains a 'police snare'. But that doesn't mean we should not raise demands for them.

If you're looking for an apologist for the Democrats and their leadership, you undoubtedly can find some in the antiwar movement, but you won't find one here, even if I, like many others, vote for a few of their candidates from time to time to defeat a greater danger. I also vote for third parties where appropriate, or refuse to vote for either option. I never voted for Clinton, for instance. I liked Jerry Brown in the primary back then.

As for the range and wording of the demands for the Aug 29 rally, they reflect the combined politics of the various groups making up coalition. Most are just fine; some I would have worded differently. But then I didn't have the final say-so, nor should I have. Overall they aim the main blow at Bush and the Bush Agenda and express solidarity with the protests in NYC, which is why we should all turn out for it and then express our additional or opposing perspectives independently, if we want.

The real question is: Are your tactics helping to build an independent grassroots electoral organization in the communities? One that can challenge the DLC Dems strategically? That's what our Peace and Justice Voters project is working toward, however modestly. How about you?

From: cynical2:

Another rally with the same old phrases, buy the same newspapers. Hurray.

I'll show solidarity by watching the action at home on cnn. This is the Olympics of protesting, lets all watch instead of chant.

From CarlD
Reply to cynical2:

Gee, Cynical, sorry the Bushies got you worn out and demoralized so early. As I recall, the Vietnam War and protests went on for 15 years. At what point would you have given up and stopped to just watch the rest of us on TV? 5 years out? 6? 7? Whatever happed to the spirit of Keep on Keepin' On?

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