Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grace Lee Boggs on why Obama was shellacked

Two years ago, in the fall of 2008, over a million citizen activists of all ethnic groups, mostly young people, often accompanied by middle-aged or elderly independents, went door to door, urging voters to go to the polls and elect Barach Obama to the White House.

We/they did this because we believed and hoped that this charismatic black man could bring about the transformational changes we urgently need at this time on the clock of the world when the U.S. pursuit of unlimited economic growth has reached its social and ecological limits.

In 2010, despite the impassioned appeals of Barack, Michelle and Democratic Party stalwarts, many of us didn't even go to the polls ourselves on November 2, let alone urge others to do so, Ralph Nader estimates there were 28 million NoShows.

We need to probe the lessons of this experience, shared by many millions directly or indirectly.

The main lesson, I believe, is that the tremendous changes we now need and yearn for in our daily lives and in the direction of our country cannot come from those in power or by putting pressure on those in power.

We ourselves have to foreshadow or prefigure them from the ground up.

Civil and Voting rights for blacks didn't come from the White House or from masses demonstrating in front of the White House. They came after the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-6, the Freedom Rides in 1961, the 1963 Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Mississippi Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools, and the 1964 Selma to Montgomery March.

In other words, they came only after hundreds of thousands of black Americans and their white supporters had accepted the challenge and risks of ourselves making or becoming the changes we/they want to see in the world...

Full article here - see also this piece by Charlie Kimber. The struggle against Obama's and Cameron's imperialist war in Afghanistan continues this Saturday with a demonstration in London, Afghanistan: Time to Go

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