Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Who are the "phony leftists" I refer to?

Sam Webb, is one of these phony leftists.

Below you will find an article he wrote.

Obama and the Wall Street Democrats can always count on Sam Webb to defend them and make up excuses for them from a "left" point of view.

Note some things when reading Webb's article attacking grassroots and rank-and-file activists who have become impatient with corrupt and incompetent union leaders--- most of whom have never been democratically elected to their offices by the rank-and-file:

First; Gus Hall, the former head of the Communist Party U.S.A., called Sam Webb and his band "a bunch of traitors."

Second; Webb spent over one-million dollars remodeling the CPUSA's offices while refusing to spend one single penny to develop an alternative to Obama's Wall Street agenda. In fact, in this article below, Webb fails to even mention that Obama is Wall Street's president.

Third; Webb declares the corrupt, incompetent millionaire union leaders and their foundation-funded associates backing Obama to be the leaders of the democratic movements. These "leaders" Webb refers to from the labor unions spend more time making up excuses for Obama and the Democrats then they spend time or allotting resources to solving the problems of workers in their places of employment.

In fact, Webb identifies with these corrupt labor leaders because, like them, he is corrupt. Webb has become a millionaire himself through pilfering the funds of the Communist Party. For over 40 years, Webb has been on the CPUSA payroll and what is there to show for this? A Communist Party USA that has dwindled from thousands to less than 200 members nation-wide with many of these "members" still members only because Webb has them on the payroll for being his loyal kiss-asses.

Webb refuses to recognize that Obama is Wall Street's president but then goes on--- with his silence--- to defend Obama's criminal acts and dirty deeds in service to imperialism with his bloated increased military budgets simultaneously cutting social programs as he increases spending for nuclear weapons and continues to expand the dirty imperialist wars begun by Bush. Obama has started new wars of his own.

No mention of drones. Hit lists. Killing, murder and mayhem. Barbarity defying everything humanity and civilization is supposed to be supposed to.

For Webb, Obama's Wall Street agenda, a big part of which is militarism and wars, amounts to victory after victory for working people and he urges us to be patient in inching our way forward when, in fact, Obama is responsible for massive attacks on our rights and our standard of living.

Where are the progressive victories Webb alludes to? He doesn't provide a single detail out of fear his words might be subject to debate. This is sheer intellectual cowardice on Webb's part; it is nothing short of working class betrayal.

Webb is to the Communist movement what Richard Trumka is to the trade unions--- he splits and divides the working class with his words of praise for Wall Street's President, Barack Obama.

It must be noted that Webb joined with these crooked and corrupt millionaire labor leaders to shove Obama down our throats as some kind of "progressive" and a "leader of the people's movements" of which none is true.

Obama promised single-payer universal health care to get the nomination and once elected silenced the voices of the proponents of single-payer--- going so far as to have some of these proponents of single-payer arrested; many of whom were stupid enough to support Obama in the first place--- and some are even still so stupid they still do support Obama and now voice their support for Hillary Clinton.

Isn't it interesting Sam Webb has made no observations concerning Hillary Clinton's drive to become president? Come on Sam, tell us what you think about Hillary Clinton--- should she be supported for president, too, because the Republicans will be so much worse?

Isn't it interesting that Sam Webb has never joined us in voicing OUTRAGE when it comes to Obama's dirty Wall Street imperialist wars that are making us all poor?

If Sam Webb didn't steal the Communist Party's funds, where did the millions of dollars go?

Notice, also, Webb has never written in defense of what working people require in the way of reforms in order to live more decent lives free from poverty.

Notice, also, Webb has never supported one single resolution articulating any needed reform to be brought before the Democratic Party which he supports.

The American people are outraged and angered with Obama's dirty wars and the austerity measures being shoved down our throats to pay for these dirty imperialist wars.

The American people are outraged and angered about this "cost-of-living crisis" we are being forced to endure.

Perhaps Webb, the recently new millionaire, doesn't understand why the American people, rank-and-file workers in the first place, are outraged and angered because he has no need nor inclination towards urgency in solving the many pressing problems working class families are being forced to endure?

Webb is one more millionaire urging us to be patient in "inching" our way to reforms as they laugh all the way to their banks.

Isn't it just a bit strange this moron, Sam Webb, who claims to be the leader of the Communist Party U.S.A.--- a position he wasn't even elected to by the membership--- writes more about the need to defend Obama from attacks by the left than explaining the problems of working people and becoming involved in searching for solutions?

If Sam Webb would like to answer the questions and comments I have posed I will post his response.

By the way, just like the Dumb Donkeys, including Obama, who Webb supports--- not once has Sam Webb ever mentioned the fact that working class families are caught up in a crisis of everyday living at which the "cost-of-living crisis" is smack dab in the center of--- spun by increased spending on militarism and these dirty imperialist wars defending Wall Street's investments, holdings and profits and Wall Street's monopoly price-fixing.

And Webb never so much as mentions state-monopoly capitalism because he might have to explain Obama's role in all of this.

Is Obama the people's President looking after "We The People;" or, is Obama Wall Street's President looking out for Wall Street's interests which stand in complete contradiction to the people's interests.

No doubt Webb finds such a question to be insulting.

In fact, Obama is not inching us towards reforms. What Obama is doing is pushing us relentlessly into World War III with his support for a bunch of Nazi lovers in the Ukraine.

Not one single Communist leader from anyplace in the world can be found who will publicly defend and support Sam Webb's very dishonest and confusing views.

Sam Webb is a deceitful, dishonest coward who refuses to debate his views side-by-side with a leftist who will refute his views. in fact, Webb will not even allow those who oppose his views to state their views along with his; what kind of leftists engages in this kind of anti-democratic activity.

Instead of pushing an agenda which would include rank-and-file trade unionists fighting for action and democracy in the unions which would get rid of these corrupt, class collaborationist, millionaire labor leaders supporting war mongers like Obama who are attacking working class families, Webb is defending the status quo.

One can conclude from Webb's previous statements proclaiming Obama to be the leader of the democratic people's movements and now his pronouncement that a bunch of crooked and corrupt millionaire union leaders and wealthy foundation-funded outfit directors to be leaders of the democratic people's movement that Webb doesn't even know what constitutes a democratic people's movement.

Webb's criticism of outraged leftists reminds me of the dogs barking as the caravan passes... of course, it is writings like this from Webb which places him on the sidelines like a toothless barking dog.


Read what this phony leftist Sam Webb has to say in his defense of Obama:


Obama and the politics of outrage

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Some of the commentary from the left on President's Obama's recent State of the Union address struck me as too negative, even cynical in a few instances. It's said that the speech was at once too little, too late, and too celebratory. Some left critics went further, claiming that it was nothing but idle, and even deceptive, chatter since the president knew that any progressive initiatives in his speech are dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled 93rd Congress.


This contrasts with the reaction of the larger movement. Labor's take on the speech was very positive.


Much the same can be said about the African American community and other communities of color (for example, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and NAACP). The movements for women's and gay rights found stuff in the speech that they liked, as did many fighting for policing and sentencing reforms. Ditto the immigrant rights movement and the organizations and people fighting for livable wages and union rights. And progressives in Congress said they were buoyed by the president's speech. Photos showed them leading the cheers to the speech, while congressional Republicans, looking dour and sitting silent, inwardly burned with rage at Obama's every word and his mere presence at the podium.

In other words, the major democratic forces and movements got a lift from the speech, while understanding full well that the terrain of struggle is still uphill. They saw openings and opportunities in Obama's words, though not agreeing with his every word.

They liked how he framed many questions and the spirit and oratorical power that he exhibited to spotlight the deeply reactionary role of the Republican Party, even if they thought his counter-proposals should have gone further.

And they were encouraged by the fact that the speech signaled a refusal on the president's part to cede initiative and ground to the Republicans and their reactionary agenda over the next two years, despite enormous pressure on him to do so coming from many directions.

How do we explain this contrast, this differing take on this State of the Union address?

Speaking generally, the leaders of the democratic movements don't pigeonhole the president as simply an unreconstructed neoliberal. They don't peg him as nothing more than a centrist in the mold of Bill Clinton. Nor do they believe that he cynically "plays" the American people with his "fancy" rhetoric and oratory, while paying obeisance to his first and abiding focus group - Wall Street (and its deep pockets.) They also don't subscribe to the notion that Obama's presidency is summed up as "the triumph of identity as content" (Adolph Reed writing in Harper's). Finally, they are particularly aware of the toxic, crude, and unremitting racist invective directed at the president.

In other words, these mass movement leaders don't hollow Obama out to the point where he is nothing but an abstract and frozen political category with absolutely no progressive instincts, potential, or record of achievement. In fact, they note that the president has a genuine democratic sensibility and a list of political and legislative successes that have made a difference, large and small, in the lives of millions of working class people.

Moreover, in sharp contrast to some on the left, leaders of the main mass organizations want him on their side. Victories, they know from experience, are much more difficult to secure with a president opposing them or assuming a position of neutrality. They have no truck with a one-sided Howard Zinn view of historical progress and radical social change, in which political compromises, unreliable allies, tactical and strategic retreats, stages of struggle, participation in electoral politics, and so on are to be studiously avoided. Based on their real movement experience, they conclude that such a hopelessly uncomplicated reading of the past and what it will take to make a more livable future for the vast majority is politically wrong-headed and counterproductive.

Finally - and maybe above all - the leaders of the broader democratic movement are aware that the president governs in a concrete political context in which the singular mission of the opposition party, dominated by right-wing extremists, isn't simply to wreck the Obama presidency. It extends far beyond the occupant of the White House to every political, economic, and social right and gain secured over the past century - not to mention the institutional bases of the broad democratic movements, labor in the first place. The wholesale decimation of democratic rights, organizations, and institutions may seem an unlikely possibility to some, but leaders as well as activists of the broader movement are keenly aware that right-wing extremists, who are in the driver's seat in half the states and show no hesitation to use power in ruthless ways when given the opportunity, are only one election away from gaining control of the one remaining branch of the federal government not now in their reckless, authoritarian hands.

None of this makes the president above criticism in the view of progressive movement leaders, but when they offer criticism it is contextualized and carefully calibrated. Its purpose isn't to show up the president or bring him down. Or simply to be right without a thought as to how words and the way they are expressed educate or miseducate and mobilize or demobilize people. Its intent is to nudge, prod, and move President Obama, inch by inch if necessary, in a progressive direction. And we should never forget, as an astute trade union leader once reminded me, that a lot of people live on those inches.

Perhaps there is something that the left can learn from here.

Shouldn't our political categories and analysis - not only as it applies to the president, but to political phenomena generally - be more open-ended and elastic to allow for contradictions, inconsistencies, indeterminacy,new experience, and, not least, human agency?

Shouldn't we complicate our understanding of the process of social change and bid farewell to cut and dried schemes, pure forms, and pat answers?

Shouldn't we - much like the broader democratic movement does - make the actual balance of class and social forces, the depth of political understanding and unity of millions, and what people (not just the left) are "ready to do" an indispensable frame for our politics and practice?

Shouldn't we attach as much significance to the electoral and legislative arena as a major locus of power and necessary gateway to social change as the broader democratic movement (and perhaps even more so the right wing) does, even at this stage of struggle and level of political independence?
The point of this isn't to water down the critical-analytical, organizing, or visionary-programmatic role of the left, but to develop a politics - strategy, tactics, demands, message, language, etc. - that can break the current political impasse (now more than 30 years long), unite broad cross-sections of people, and lift the country to higher ground where freedom and justice penetrate every aspect of life - probably not all at once, but in the course of a protracted mass, nonviolent struggle that draws strength from the formerly passive and backward sections of the American people.

Without such a reset, I suspect that too many on the left will continue to spend too much time bellyaching, talking only to each other, living in their own cocoon of struggle, and missing opportunities to join with others in broader campaigns for justice, equality, and freedom.

The politics of "opposition and outrage," which too large a section of the left has turned into a refined art form over the past half century, is like a drug. It brings a momentary high, but later on leaves its practitioner feeling washed out and utterly frustrated. It may register some victories here and there, but it has no transforming potential.

What is to be done, someone, once asked long ago and then answered: Put an end to the past period. The left would do well to do the same, but that will only happen if we get rid of narrow, simplistic, schematic, and small-universe ideas - some of which have become nearly second nature to too many of us. And that can be easily done without sacrificing a morsel of our anti-capitalist perspective and goals - our freedom dreams.

Photo: President Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2015. White House photo/Pete Souza