Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hope is Still Very Much Alive

by Norman Markowitz

My first thoughts on Super Tuesday, which are very similar to the fine article that Joel Wendland posted on PA's online editon:

Obama, always very much the underdog, had a remarkable day. He won throughout the Middle West and also won decisively in many Western right to work states, Republican states where the Democratic voters are overwhelmingly white and people suffer at the state level with the practical effects of Republican rule, lower quality of social services and often more repressive local laws.

Clinton also won a number of impressive victories, but that was really to be expected, regardless of mass media sports metaphors about Obama's "momentum" (building him up for a fall, maybe). I confess that that got to me also here in New Jersey. Initially, with the powerful state and county Democratic organizations overwhelmingly for Clinton, I thought that Obama would be much more solidly defeated than he was. Then as I saw the mass movement development and the Meadowlands rally on Monday (Robert DeNiro's powerful introductory speech for Obama) I hoped he would pull it out. He didn't off course, but the big story in New Jersey and everywhere else was turnout. The huge turnout is evidence that that, as Governor Jon Corzine, a Clinton supporter said yesterday in New Jersey, the people want to get rid of the Bush administration and get the Republican Party out of power in Washington.

A few final words on our not so friendly friends in the media. When I got up this morning, MSNBC was going on and on about John McCain and Romney and especially Huckabee. McCain still wasn't "perceived" as conservative enough. Last night on CNN, Gloria Borger, an analyst for CNN, mentioned in the midst of the pundit chatter that she had asked her friend, Bill Bennett, (now a regular establishment guest "conservative" in mass media) about a McCain-Huckabee ticket only to be told Huckabee wasn't conservative enough for many Republican conservatives.

Borger and Bennett should remember that the Axis lost World War II. The colonial empires collapsed after the war. Bennett particularly might remember that the free school movement of the 19th century with a dangerous radical liberal named Horace Mann as its most influential leader established public education in the U.S. however he and the administrations he has worked for have sought to undermine public education with confidence tricks like vouchers for private schools.

Who would be conservative enough for Bennett's friends? If they could would they resurrect a guy who would keep all foreigners out of the country, fight the culture war (Kultur Kampf he would call it) to total victory by establishing a department of popular enlightenment to keep all non "conservative' themes out of the media, annex Canada (he would call it Anchluss) on the grounds that it had always been part of the U.S., and triple the military budget from what it is today. That Vice Presidential candidate would of course be Dolph Schickelgruber aka Adolf Hitler, the ultimate "conservative" candidate for the rightwing Republicans. He might even ban all foreign cars along with immigrants, use prison labor (the U.S. prison population, already the biggest per capita in the developed world would of course increase by millions) for the highways, and develop a new mass car, the Ronnie.

But lets forget about that Munich aka Manchurian Republican candidate and continue the process of defeating the Republican Right, which took a step forward yesterday.


Anonymous said...

"Borger and Bennett should remember that the Axis lost World War II. "

That's what you think. Hitler wanted the Axis [Germany, Japan & Italy] towards the end, to team up with the US, UK and France and destroy the real enemy-- the USSR and the world communist movement. Then they could dominate the world together. Well, Hitler was passe but not his plan, and today the US, UK, France, Germany Japan and Italy are running the show and the USSR is gone, the world communist movement is fragmented, & only China remains as a real threat. I'd say the Axis powers came off a lot better than you think.

normanmarkowitz said...

Hey anon, World War II and the cold war are different things. The Soviet Union was destroyed, but not by Hitler's legions, who planted the Swastika over Europe, Africa, and North America, and instituted a genocidal capitalist dictatorship, while the Japanese imperialist military dictatorship turned China into a colony and treated Chinese and other East Asians the way the Belgians treated the Congolese at the turn of the twentieth century.
The victory over fascism in WWII cannot be forgotten because of subsequent defeats, just as the dangers of fascism today can't be ignored because of the victories

Anonymous said...

You are mixing up the difference between surface history and deep history. On the surface we get WWII and a big fight against nasty Nazis and their allies against the freedom loving people. But beneath the surface the deep struggle was for finacial capital to get rid of the Soviet Union. War is diplomacy by other means. Hitler was meant to be a cat's paw to destroy the USSR, he got out of control and had to be put down, but there was never any doubt in the minds of the representatives of financial capital who the greater threat and the real enemy was. The cold war was an extension of WW2 with the Axis powers domesticated and put into service of the Americans. From 1941 to 1991 the USSR was constantly pounded by the Axis powers, first openly by them, then in their new incarnation as NATO-- first by military means, then by economic.
If you swim around on the surface the world looks quite different than if you plunge into the depths.
And don't think the USSR wasn't destroyed by Hitler's legions. It never recovered from the blows it suffered in WWII-- it never got its elan vitale back-- it lingered, lost its way, and slowly died.

curiousgeorge said...

Europe, Africa and North America??? Where in North America was the Nazi flag planted?

norman markowitz said...

This isn't deep history but conspiratorial history that leads to withdrawal and sectarianism. It sees all capitalist states as essentially fascist and ignores the differences between them. World War II was both an inter-imperialist war and a war between the fascist and non-fascist states. Joseph Stalin in 1945 said it to Franklin Roosevelt when he said at the Yalta conference that there were two kinds of states left in the world, the fascist states and the "democratic states" of different class characters. If you lump all your enemies and everyone in the middle together, you can't act politically.
World War II wasn't primarily a capitalist plot to destroy the Soviet Union although all of the ruling classes of all of the capitalist states had that as a prime objective. That is not "deep history but an extreme example of reductionism.
Also, the U.S.was in terms of direct attack and devastation untouched by the war. The only Nazi flags that were around were probably in the basements of various American fascists.