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(en) US, Bring the Ruckus*, Voting for Malcolm X - by Joel Olson

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:44:27 +0100 (CET)

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Does it matter whether Bush or Kerry are president? Will Bush
make things worse on ordinary people than Kerry would have?
These are debates that many radicals have had before and after
the election. Anarchists dogmatically insist that voting changes
nothing and that voting for Kerry is voting for the system. Most of
the rest of the left, however, turns social democratic every four
years, stumping for the Democratic Party as the “best hope” for
working people and to provide “space” for radicals to organize in.
(As if the problem with radical organizing today is the lack of

Having lost, most of the anti-Bush left now predicts a coming
fascism. (The rest are packing their bags for Canada, muttering
how “stupid” Americans are. Leaving the U.S. is fine if
you want to live in a social democratic state, but if you want to
struggle for a truly free society, this is the place to be.)

Are they right? Will the next four years be significantly worse than
a Democratic administration would have been? Bush will certainly
take the country in different directions than a Kerry administration
would go. The war in Iraq will continue, the Supreme Court will
likely overturn Roe v. Wade in the next twenty years, and gay
marriage will be set back for years.

But seriously, people, would Kerry have ended the war on Iraq
any sooner? His Iraq strategy was basically indistinguishable from
Bush’s, except he thought he could persuade the French and
the Germans to send troops to get kidnapped and killed
execution-style, too! He would have pursued the war with as
much gusto as Bush, and his retreat would have been as hasty
and destructive as Bush’s will be. You could argue that Kerry
wouldn’t have gotten us into further wars and that Bush
might. I doubt it. The military is already stretched way too thin.
Bush can’t attack Iran or North Korea even if he wanted to.
And I dare them to institute a draft.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is likely whether a Republican
wins this election or the next one, given the current political
climate and the legal strategies of the pro-choice lobby, which is
perpetually defensive rather than on the attack. Abortion and
reproductive freedom will be ultimately settled in one place: the
streets. Let’s bring this battle on now rather than later. I love
wearing heavy boots and stomping over anti-choicers barricading
clinic doors.

The gay marriage issue is ultimately going to be settled by
amending state constitutions rather than the U.S. Constitution.
The gay marriage lobby will wind selective lawsuits through the
courts, most of them will fail, and then they will have to decide
whether to take to the streets or wait a few more years for the
political winds to shift. (Right now it seems like they’re going
to sit and wait a while.) Bush is relevant in this only in that a more
conservative Supreme Court will undoubtedly uphold the anti-gay
marriage amendments, but even if Kerry could have appointed
some liberals to the Court there’s no guarantee that
they’d act differently—or that Democrats would suddenly
become pro-gay marriage (which they’re not).

The economy is a non-issue. Both are free--trading peddlers in
exploitation and alienation.

So I did what any person who just can’t put political principles
aside to vote for the lesser of two evils would do. Like I’ve
done for every election since I started voting, I cast my ballot for
the only person I’d truly support for president, Malcolm X.

Hey, someday he might win.

Joel Olson is a member of Bring the Ruckus. His new book, The
Abolition of White Democracy, has just been published by the
University of Minnesota Press. You can reach him at
* Ed.: The "Bring the Ruckus" is: (http://www.agitatorindex.org)
a revolutionary organization that rejects the loose
network model of the anarchists and the vanguard model
of the Leninists. We seek to build a revolutionary
organization of organizers, committed to an anti-statist,
revolutionary feminist, and anti-capitalist vision of a
new society. We place a strategic focus on combating racial
oppression. We believe that separate deal the white
working-class has struck with capital has prevented the
full participation of white workers in the struggle for
liberation. Only combating racial oppression and attacking
institutionalized white privilege and white supremacy can
break that separate deal. Only a directly democratic,
revolutionary movement led by the working class will can
truly remake society.

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