Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



After the US election

The US presidential election is further evidence that we are in a new, brutal period of global capitalism where the previously established framework and politics of liberal, representative political democracy count for less and less. Bush was able to win a second term with relative ease because the ideologues of the Republican Party - the so-called neo-conservatives - have grasped this salient fact. They enabled Bush to develop a populist-authoritarian politics that had wide appeal in a country shaken and reshaped by powerful market forces over the last 30 years.

Gary Hart, the former Democratic senator who ran for the presidency on a radical ticket in 1988, has touched on this process. Writing in The Independent (November 4), he described how millions of Americans were voting in opposition to their own economic self-interests. Hart added:

"The multiple revolutions in globalisation, information, immigration, and new forms of violence, together with an increasingly permissive popular culture and the evolution of new forms of family, have seriously loosened cultural roots and caused many Americans to seek simplicity, tradition and a moral core in their leaders."

These often bewildering changes, which started in earnest following the defeat of the US army in Vietnam in 1975, produced among other things an accelerated exodus to the suburbs, the sharp decay and decline of inner-city areas, a mindless consumerism based on the shopping mall and the loss of millions of jobs to cheaper-labour areas. The turn-out for presidential elections went into free-fall as the federal state seemed incapable of dealing with these issues.

As Hart noted: "There are two cultural centres in modern suburban America - the shopping mall, where young people particularly 'hang out' and watch Hollywood's increasingly mindless, sleazy and degrading products, and the community church which offers a sharp contrast in the form of a place of worship, a social centre, and a focal point for family and community life. The mall inhabitants do not vote and the church-goers vote overwhelmingly Republican."

The irresistible rise of the fundamentalist evangelical movement over the past 30 years has produced an estimated 42 million supporters. For a time, they did not vote because it was deemed too secular an activity. They were finally mobilised by a party that offered to halt the alleged moral decay and fight the enemies of Christianity wherever they might appear. Trading on fear and insecurity, the Republicans remade themselves during the Clinton years, when the hopes and illusions of millions of Democratic party supporters were trashed by policies which promoted big business and abandoned promised health care reforms.

The September 11 attacks came at an opportune moment. Ravaged by economic crisis, the Bush regime was rocking. The terror assault enabled the White House to construct in their minds an international terrorist network that was hell bent on destroying the American way of life, including Christian worship. So the "war on terror" was born, leading to the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq.

This then is the new face of the capitalist state in the era of globalisation, a period marked by uncontrollable market forces, the overwhelming power and influence of a handful of global corporations and an international financial system that takes no prisoners. The state has resorted to the only force it controls - force itself - to reclaim some legitimacy. So the American state is war-like from top to bottom - at war with abortion rights, gay marriage, popular culture, Islam, global terror networks, trade union rights, environmentalists, scientists and anyone who is remotely attached to what were known as liberal values.

While opposing fundamentalism, Bush has constructed a fundamentalist regime in Washington itself, with a base of evangelical zealots, ideologues on a mission to cleanse the world and make it "safe for democracy" and a military machine that eats up dollars as fast as they can be printed. The Patriot Act hounds and jails domestic opponents simply on the basis of their thoughts while Guantanamo detains people indefinitely without charge or trial.

Before the election, anti-corporate activists like Naomi Klein and Michael Moore supported Kerry even though the Democratic Party candidate backed the invasion of Iraq, anti-terror laws and most of Bush's other attacks on civil liberties. Klein and Moore argued that "anyone but Bush" had to be better and would get things back to "normal", that is the good old days of capitalism with a human face like Clinton's.

Clearly, those days are gone for good. Just as clearly, the forces of reaction that have gathered around Bush cannot be defeated simply through electoral manoeuvres (for which we presumably have to wait another four years for another go). An estimated $2 billion was spent on the election by the two parties producing a Congress with just one black Senator and a campaign with no real choice. Both major parties are capitalist and represent different interests and sections of big business. The Democrats were supported by the trade union leaderships but had no appeal to the vast majority of workers. Ohio, where the election was finally won and lost, is a state ravaged by globalisation and unemployment yet could not bring itself to vote Democrat.

The Bush regime is an elective dictatorship. Dictatorships have to be brought down and replaced by a mass movement with a leadership that can appeal to the interests of workers, however contradictorily they may be expressed. We should reject the idea of breathing new life into a political system that has degenerated beyond repair. Its decay is an expression of the disintegrating side of capitalist globalisation and we have to address both the political and economic dimensions to establish a path forward.

The Bush regime is inherently weak, driven by fantasists who cannot even understand why many Iraqis justifiably resist the Anglo-American occupation. A financial earthquake awaits Bush because of out-of-control government and trade deficits. In Britain, the authoritarian, capitalist Blair regime is increasingly isolated and hated. Both governments trade on fear to maintain power. That is a dangerous game which will backfire.

The real issue is the creation of alternatives that do not restrict themselves to narrow electoral activity but offer a strategy based on new political and economic approaches and structures. The Movement for a Socialist Future has made a significant contribution to this challenge with the publication of A World to Win. Read it, discuss it and help shape a future based on the independence and power of the working majority.

Movement for a Socialist Future
5 November 2004