Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog has moved to

redirecting you there now

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Obama File 62 Obama "Understands What Socialism Is", Works With "Socialists With Backgrounds in the Communist Party"

Obama file 61 here

A leading US Marxist claims that president elect Barack Obama has read some of his books and "understands what socialism is."

Columbia University professor of African American Studies, Manning Marable, writing in the December Issue of British Trotskyist journal Socialist Review, also alleges that Obama works with socialists "with backgrounds in the Communist Party"

According to Dr Marable;

Obama represents a generation of what might be called post-racial black politicians-by which I mean they espouse a politics that minimises matters of race. They do not like to talk about race and subsume it under the rubric of poverty and class. So they are generally left of centre, or liberal, on social and economic policy. Obama is a progressive liberal.

What makes Obama different is that he has also been a community organiser. He has read left literature, including my works, and he understands what socialism is. A lot of the people working with him are, indeed, socialists with backgrounds in the Communist Party or as independent Marxists. There are a lot of people like that in Chicago who have worked with him for years...

Manning Marable is certainly in a position to know about Obama's views and reading habits. Whether Dr Marable and Barack Obama have ever met I'm usure, but they have been "close" for many years.

Since the 1980s Dr Marable has been a regular speaker at DSA's annual Socialist Scholars Conference, usually at held Cooper Union in New York. In the early 80s, Obama "went to socialist conferences at Cooper Union and African cultural fairs in Brooklyn".

Perhaps Dr Marable inspired Obama then, just as Obama inspires Dr Marable today?

In the mid 1990s Dr Marable was a key founder of the New Party, which Obama joined in 1995 to help him with his successful Illinois State Senate.

Several key New Party people knew Obama personally, including Carl Davidson , Obama's friend and neighbour Quentin Young and long time colleague Congressman Danny K Davis.

Incidentally, when Dr Marable voted for Barack Obama, he voted for him not as a Democrat, but on the New York Working Families Party (WFP) line. Manning Marable is a member of the WFP which is a direct descendant of the now defunct New Party.

New York WFP rally

Says Dr Marable;

"Why vote for Obama on a Working Families ticket? You are counted independently of the Democrats and it shows there is a left constituency in the state of New York. It gives us some leverage on decision-making and policy and we run our own candidates at local level".

Dr Marable has been for at least 20 years a leading member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)and as such would probably know most of the many DSA connected types in Obama's orbit, including Quentin Young, Lou Pardo, Danny K Davis, Jan Schakowsky, Cornel West, David Bonior, Major Owens,the late Rabbi Arnold Wolf, Jackie Grimshaw, William McNary, Jose LaLuz and Hilda Solis.

Since 1992 Dr Marable has held leadership roles in the Communist Party offshoot, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). As such, he would certainly know well fellow CCDS leaders Carl Davidson and long time Obama friend and supporter Timuel Black.

In 1998, Manning Marable helped found the Black Radical Congress (BRC), a coalition of black socialists including many members of the Communist Party, DSA and CCDS. In BRC Marable worked with two DSA leaders, Cornel West, who went on to become half of Obama's 2008 Black Advisory Council and Bill Fletcher jnr, who founded Progressives for Obama with DSA member Barbara Ehrenreich and the ubiquitous Carl Davidson.

Obama's long time pastor, the Rev Jeremiah Wright was also involved in BRC.

Since January 2007, Manning Marable has been chair of Movement for A Democratic Society, a radical alliance of Communist Party, DSA an CCDS activists and former leaders of the radical Students for a Democratic Society and its terrorist splinter, the Weather Underground Organisation (WUO).

Marable centre, black shirt MDS conference New York January 2007

In MDS Dr Marable worked with several more Obama friends or colleagues including former WUO terrorists Bill Ayers and Dernardine Dohrn and former SDS leaders Mike Klonsky aaaaaa-a-a-nd CARL DAVIDSON!

Dr Marable has also been involved in the radical Washington based think thank Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). through IPS Marable may have gotten to know several other Obama friends, colleagues or supporters, including David Bonior, Congressman John Conyers, Obama mentor Abner Mikva, Bill Fletcher jnr, Barbara Ehrenreich, Quentin Young or even Obama's choice for CIA boss, Leon Panetta.

Dr Marable may never have met Obama but...

Manning Marable goes on to say;

Among the post-racial black leadership, Deval Patrick is the governor of Massachusetts, David Paterson is the governor of New York, Cory Booker is the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and Harold Ford Jr is head of the Democratic Leadership Council - the right wing of the Democratic Party. Obama is a part of that cohort. He is more liberal than most of that group, but he is in it. The group is pragmatic and centrist. It cooperates with Republicans and tries to present a non-partisan or post-partisan appeal, the way Obama does. So you will see Republicans in some key positions in Obama's administration.

This does not trouble Dr Marable, as a Marxist tactician, he understands that to win elections and promote his policies Obama has to be subtle. He must bring his opponents on board and be careful not to scare centrist voters.

Obama regularly sends text messages to millions of people. He just sent a message saying, "Don't go away, now I need you to help govern." There is a debate right now within the Obama campaign about whether to move fast or go more slowly. The argument is that there have been 10 elections for president between 1968 and 2004and Republicans have won seven of them. Obama is looking at the history and so are progressives who worked with him or critically endorsed him, like myself.

Again Dr Marable is emphasing that a slow but sure pace is more likely to be successful. Marable then goes on to lay out the left's agenda for Obama, in order of priorities;

My argument is simple. The left must force him to carry out the agenda he promised, and that includes a national healthcare system...That is the number-three priority. The main priority is ending the war in Iraq. The second is the economic crisis. We need a robust Keynesian approach to employment and investment in infrastructure - a lot of the bridges built by the works projects administration of Franklin D Roosevelt 75 years ago need to be rebuilt and the roads are crumbling.

We also need a solution to the foreclosures, to keep families in their homes. The fourth issue is green energy - a national challenge to be independent of foreign oil in 10 years. And a fifth priority is immigration - essential to Latinos. There are 12-14 million undocumented Americans living in this country as so-called illegal aliens and there has to be a pathway to citizenship for them.

Dr Marable then gives the standard "Obama is not a socialist" disclaimer. One that I have seen many times before in Communist Party and DSA literature;

Obama is not a Marxist or a socialist - he is a progressive liberal with a kind of centre-left strategy. He will be Keynesian on economic policy. He is an astute politician who is trying to construct a coalition that has striking parallels to the New Deal, built on these core constituencies I have identified - working women, Hispanics and blacks, who are overwhelmingly working class. But he is going to put forward policy that is centrist or "moderate".

In some ways he is a reverse of Reagan, in that Reagan ran a hardline right campaign but appealed to moderates through certain initiatives. He unified people - the so-called Reagan Democrats - around positions that transcended the Republican Party. Barack is doing the same in reverse. He is anchored to the progressives in the Democratic Party, but reaching to the centre on policy and through certain values, for example on faith-based initiatives.

Dr Marable goes on to explain the role of the left-that is the Communist Party, DSA, CCDS, MDS, Progressives for Obama and the countless unions and "community organisations" under their control.

All these key organisations continually push the line that they must create a mass movement to push Obama to the left-just as the communists and socialists did in the 1930s when they forced Roosevelt to adopt their (sometimes justified) policies.

Most of us on the left have taken a position of critical support toward Obama. We have to press him to carry out his own agenda.

US Socialist Party leader A Phillip Randolph with Eleanor Roosevelt

The analogy of FDR is appropriate. But someone has to play the role of A Philip Randolph, the black socialist leader who attacked FDR from the left and in 1941 forced him to sign an executive order outlawing racial discrimination in factories producing for the war effort that refused to hire black people. Randolph threatened to bring 100,000 black workers to surround the White House. Roosevelt capitulated and signed an order that was the foundation of affirmative action.

We need a network that can do it. That is the challenge for socialists in the US.

Manning Marable is in a far better position than most American voters to know Barack Obama's true thoughts and goals.

As a life long Marxist, Dr Marable believes that Obama is on the right track and wants his comrades to show understanding and offer support.

Someone has been fooled here. Is it the American voter-or is it Manning Marable?

Obama file 63 here


Blogger Carl Davidson said...

Not bad, now you're finally close to writing an accurate piece. You're still way overblown an the 'countless' unions and community organizations we supposedly control. Out of all of them in the country, I'd say it's less than five cent.

Yes, the Working Families Party is what's left of the old New Party. But you left out the reason. Only New York state allows fusion voting, to its credit. In the others, reactionary laws, mainly passed in the 1900-1920 period, wouldn't permit it. It works against the third parties of the right, too.

As for the three point program--ending the war in Iraq, finding some Keynesian solutions to the economic crisis, and health care, that's not bad either. There a progressive majority for all that. I'm not sure what health care you have in New Zealand, but we can only dream of having one as decent as your neighbors in Australia. Obama's, unfortunately, to the right of that.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever your hopes and expectations are, you can have some fun with the gear at this link. Check out the "Has Barack Let You Down Yet?" range.....Yes, it's starting already!

5:07 AM  
Blogger Danishova said...

You're still way overblown an the 'countless' unions and community organizations we supposedly control. Out of all of them in the country, I'd say it's less than five cent.

Okay, Carl, why don't you tell us exactly which unions and community organizations you admit you control?

5:43 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Carl, I'm more confident in your movement then you seem to be.

If by "we" you mean Committees of Correspondence, then maybe you do only control 5%.

If we means CoC/CCDS, DSA and CPUSA, then its more like 70 or 80%

As you well know Carl those groups lead United for Peace& Justice, AFL-CIO, big influence in Change to Win, Jobs With Justice, USAction etc etc etc.

Congratulations Carl, your team is doing well.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see Carl Disinformationson trolling on another continent for a change.

8:06 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home