April 23 2007
They will say they need a two-thirds vote to override the president in the House and Senate, but the debate about funding the Iraq War misses the point. The two-thirds is necessary to put through a law against Bush's veto. The two-thirds is not necessary to stop funding troops, in which case Bush would have to bring them home with the money he has left from the previous budget.
This is an important distinction to understand the "power of the purse" held by the House of Representatives. If the House Democrats had the courage, they could just by themselves not vote for new funding and let Bush call them "irresponsible" while he brought the troops home with the funding left at his disposal. The Republican minority of the House would not be able to pass a funding bill either. There would be no Democratic funding bill and no Republican funding bill, so there would be no funding bill for Bush to sign or veto at all--end of that war.
Hillary Clinton handed the public a bunch of posturing bullshit on this question aimed at Obama, but Obama was correct that Congress will vote money for the Iraq War. The reason for this that Obama did not give is that the Democrats are a party of imperialism and war too.
If the anti-war sentiment in the country were serious, the people would hold the Congress responsible for passing funding for troops beyond last year's budget. Although anti-war sentiment is widespread it is not serious and thorough.
Biden, Edwards, Kerry and Clinton all voted for the Iraq War as Senators. If Obama wins the Democratic nomination for president, maybe next time, with the next war, there will be a Democratic Senator willing to vote against the war. Right now the Democratic leaders always lead their labor aristocracy voters for war and assume they would lose elections without that assumption. It's partly a reflection on the Amerikan voters that neither party can afford to have any senators opposing the war that turn around and run for president.
OK, but what if instead of the MIM line we took the solid core of oppressed nationalities and still competed for white support as if whites were exploited.
This political line has a name--Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton is not even running against anyone right now, but 50% of whites still say they are glad he is gone from office. We can imagine that number would be higher in an election context where he actually faced opposition. Only 2% of Blacks are glad Clinton is gone, while 96% report missing him.
MIM is not saying Blacks are revolutionary on the whole. In the 1960s, a plurality of Blacks was revolutionary, as the Black Panthers proved. It's not in the realm of fantasy the way white revolution is except for fascist revolution. Nonetheless, MIM is not about calling Asian ethnicity, Black, Latino or indigenous people solid revolutionary core: they simply are not. It is only that we have a chance with these groups, but only if we do not vacillate with confusions about a "white proletariat." There will be quite a bit of vacillation even among our oppressed nationality groups, because super-profits have made their way into these groups as well.
We will make a prediction at this point. Right now Hillary Clinton has higher support among Blacks than Obama does. That looks like Blacks as "solid core" for imperialism. That's how much Blacks love Clinton. Yet we will concede that it is likely Blacks will swing into the Obama camp as they get to know him. That could be big trouble for Hillary Clinton given that Obama has shown that he can raise money so far. As time goes on, we will discover that Obama is a wily imperialist.
It is pragmatism to reason from strategy to theory. Those with the ideological but perhaps unconscious presumption that we "have to have" a majority of Amerikans are reasoning from strategy to theory. Our strategy need only match our theory at the global level. Theory has to play the directing role to strategy.
In Mao's military writings, he talked about working behind enemy lines, as a minority. That is what we need. The United $tates is a case of working behind enemy lines. We do not "have to have" a majority of Amerikans to have a revolution inside U.$. borders. 1945 proved forever that imperialism can lose at the hands of a joint army of the proletariat. We can make proletarian contributions instead of feeding into exploiter politics.
Here is an example of what Mao said about working behind enemy lines:
During this stage the Japanese bandits ceased their frontal attacks and concentrated on the liberated areas behind their lines. The Kuomintang rulers were superficial in their resistance war effort but extremely active in resisting the communists and the people. Therefore, the soldiers and civilians in the liberated areas behind enemy lines were placed in an extremely difficult situation, burdened with the entire responsibility of persevering in the resistance war on China's battlefront. During this period of 5-odd years it was commonplace for the cities and villages in the liberated areas behind enemy lines to undergo more than 10 burnings and massacres by the enemy bandits; the outlying areas suffered such burnings and massacres 60 or 70 times. Under such unheard-of severe destruction, the people's savings were completely wiped out, yet, as a result of the 10 great policies of the Chinese Communist Central, their unity became even more consolidated, and they became even more tenacious in fighting.It goes to show that the "people" are those suffering behind enemy lines, not couch-sitting with the six-pack. Mao does not say anything about those being the "people." The "people" are facing burnings and massacres and become "even more tenacious in fighting." Thus it goes without saying there are not many "people" or "masses" to speak of in the U.$. case.
Mao also says there is no reason to worship the idea of having large numbers: "it is precisely because the guerrilla units are small that they can mysteriously appear and disappear in their operations behind enemy lines, without the enemy's being able to do anything about them, and thus enjoy a freedom of action such as massive regular armies never can," Mao said. Unlike MIM's critics, Mao did not spread pessimism and liquidationism in tight situations. There are a wide variety of fighting strategies for different situations and Mao sees all of them going on, not a reason for taking up the bourgeois line when the proletariat is in a tight squeeze.
In a bourgeois political system, the leaders become leaders by bringing about class collaboration, fuzzing over the difference between the proletariat and bourgeoisie. Speaking vaguely is the most useful way of fuzzing things in a bourgeois way. Today we even have bourgeois political correctness, so that it is possible to talk about "minorities," wimmin and workers and still be talking bourgeois politics. People saying we need a majority of Amerikans are saying we need the bourgeoisie for the proletarian revolution and that is untrue.
MIM offers leadership for proletarian revolution, not exploiter revolution. We do not need leaders calling themselves scientific communists who would say the same things as the Democrats.
A case in point would be all the watering down by the "drive out the Bush regime" movement. By working as a wing of the Democrats, the "world can't wait" organization still only mobilized a few thousand people in their last major set of rallies. From this, these "leaders" did not learn anything. Even with their massive watering down, they did not achieve "masses," just a wing of the labor aristocracy threatened by Republicans.
This is an example where people are again reasoning from the enemy to the enemy, starting from strategy and then inventing theory. The incapable members of a certain organization said they could not mobilize a few thousand, never mind a majority without adopting Democratic Party sloganeering. So with the dogma that we "have to have" a majority, the organization in question started organizing for exploiter demands through imperialist channels. This is the destiny for all organizations claiming to follow Lenin and Mao who do not concretely enter the proletarian camp with MIM.
It took 20 years, but "world can't wait"'s parent organization learned the MIM style of organizing, that is with postering, speakers and organizational endorsements. But the organization in question used the MIM style to build a Democratic Party line for impeachment. We wish them well, but we wish they would do their work as Democratic Party grassroots organizations, not supposed followers of Lenin and Mao.
For "world can't wait"'s trouble, an alliance with the National Lawyers Guild and Cindy Sheehan was forthcoming in December 2006 events in New York. Yet active liberal Democrats could have accomplished the same thing and this cuts to the concept of leadership. When MIM seeks endorsements for an event, we seek to build an event that Democrats would not build. A rally for Ward Churchill is a case in point. The National Lawyers Guild obstructed endorsements for that but endorsed a drive to impeach Bush. It could not be clearer what is imperialism and what is proletarian leadership.
Leadership is not taking incapable people, listening to them in their desire to serve the enemy and then taking that out to make the enemy happy. If people cannot build rallies for Ward Churchill or any number of topics that the imperialists won't pick up, we can also be sure we cannot manage rallies within the imperialist agenda. Swimming in imperialist waters may seem easier to incapable labor aristocrats trying to imitate proletarians, but actually building a proletarian pole within imperialist waters is harder than being able to manage independent proletarian events.
The strategy behind the movement to impeach Bush has a name--Bill Clinton.
Here is what Mao said about how hard it was to work behind enemy lines in China, so we can imagine what he would say about the united $tates:
"Each comrade should understand that he is shouldering an extremely great responsibility. Starting from this sense of responsibility, he should manifest the creativity of a Communist Party member. We are in a difficult national liberation war. The Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army are fighting an extremely strong foe behind enemy lines. We are in a very difficult situation, and the war will last a long time. But this long-term hard struggle Is a good opportunity to train ourselves. Let us think carefully and not say that we are always right after only a casual reflection. Let us earnestly rid ourselves of subjectivism, sectarianism and the old stereotyped party writing style, and let us assume a completely responsible attitude and show a high degree of creative ability."We don't think parroting liberal Democrats would count as "creativity" for Mao. The revolutionaries are in the position of doing something for the first time in countries like the united $tates. People expecting to get by with something less than that are not revolutionary.