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IC No. 4 Int'l Edit

IC No. 4 Int'l Edit

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Published by: B. Ross Ashley on Jan 07, 2011
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 MonthlyPoliticalJournal of theFourthInternationalNo. 4 November 2010 2 euros / US$3
Supplement to La Vérité/The Truth No. 69
In the Aftermath of theNov. 2 Elections -Declaration ofSocialist Organizer
Communiqué of the OTrabalho Current ofthe Workers Party(PT)
10 Years of a WarThat Is NowSpreading toPakistan
: L
(dossier pp. 7-10)
2Issue No. 4
November 2010
• United States
: In the aftermathof the “midterm” elections —Page 3
• Brazil
: Declaration of the OTrabalho current of theWorkers Party (PT) after thesecond round of the presiden-tial election — Pages 4 and 5
• Afghanistan
: Ten years of a war that has now spread toPakistan — Page 6
• France Dossier 
: The lessons of ten months of intense classstruggle — Pages 7-10
• Peru
: The struggle for a labor and anti-imperialist candidatefor president — Page 11
• International Press Review
Pages 12 and 13
• Trotskyism and the LeftOpposition
in the RussianCommunist Party (Bolshevik)in 1923-24”, Abook byRussian Historian AlexandreReznik — Pages 14 and 15
: Resumption of directnegotiations on the basis of the “two state solution” —Page 16
International Correspondence
, themonthly supplement to
La Vérité-TheTruth
, the theoretical magazine of theFourth International, is published under the responsibility of the InternationalSecretariat of the Fourth International.The director of the publication isDaniel Gluckstein.
Editorial Board, Business Departmentand Correspondence:
(for all countries and for the English,Spanish and French editions)87, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis,75010, Paris, France.Tel. 011-331-4801-8828.Fax: 011-331-4801-8836
November 2: Massive Abstention andRejection of Democrats for Refusal toAddress the Needs of the Millions WhoVoted for Obama
Statement by Socialist Organizer (excerpts)
On November 2, the Democratic Partycandidates got a shellacking the likes of which have not been seen in over 60 years:Republicans picked up at least 60 new seatsin the House of Representatives and sixseats in the Senate. In addition, theRepublicans won 10 governorships andgained control of 19 state legislative cham-bers.In November 2008, close to 64 millionpeople voted for Barack Obama seeking realchange; they wanted an end to the Bushadministration’s war on working people athome and an end to the wasteful and unend-ing wars abroad. For many — especially formillions of Black people — it was the firsttime they voted, as they finally saw anavenue for possible change.In November 2010, after two years duringwhich the Democrats controlled the WhiteHouse and held a super-majority in theCongress, 29 million Obama voters — thatis, nearly one in every two people whovoted for Obama in 2008 — stayed home.Black voters plummeted by more than60% compared to 2008, while the youthvote (ages 18 to 29) dropped by more thanhalf, according to exit polls.The real story in this election was themassive abstention from the polls by formerDemocratic supporters — an abstention thatexpressed the widespread repudiation of twoyears of Democratic Party failure to create a jobs program and outright betrayal of thepromises made during the campaign trail in2008 (no Employee Free Choice Act, noimmigration reform, no halt to foreclosuresand evictions, no end to the military buildupin the Middle East).The administration’s bailing out of WallStreet and bankers to the tune of more than$4 trillion, while allowing working men andwomen on Main Street to fend for them-selves, fueled the voters’deep anger.Patricia Elizondo, president of the 2,000-member Milwaukee InternationalAssociation of Machinists local, told the
 New York Times
before the election, “Peoplehave been unemployed for two years, andthey’re unhappy that the health-care bill wasnot as good as they expected. Two yearsago, I had many members going door-to-door to campaign. Now they’re saying,‘Why should I? We supported that candi-date, but he didn’t follow through.’” (Sept.17, 2010)The same
 New York Times
article quotedMike DeGasperis, a steelworker fromMartins Ferry, Ohio who voted for Obamain 2008 but who on the eve of the 2010 elec-tion in 2010 was still undecided. “We heardeverything was going to change, but therehasn’t been much change, and the unem-ployment is still bad and the area we live inis still really depressed,” said DeGasperis,who was laid off for 10 months in 2009.
Democrats Join Republican Chorus
The massive rejection of the DemocraticParty candidates should come as no surprise:Since Obama took office, more than 3.3 mil-lion jobs have been lost. The number of unemployed and heavily underemployed isnow hovering around 27 million people. Butthis is not all. Six million families have losttheir homes to foreclosures during this cur-rent crisis, and an additional 2.5 millionhomes are in the process of foreclosure.On every front, the Democrats have pur-sued basically the same corporate policies asGeorge W. Bush. Working people know this— having experienced the brunt of theseattacks directly — which is why they votedwith their feet on November 2.In the aftermath of the election, Obamaannounced that he wants to work closelywith the Republicans to enact “much-neededreforms” in our Social Security system andto “negotiate” with Republicans over taxcuts, energy and education reform policies.In real-world politics this will mean anintensified drive to privatize public educa-tion.
Issue No. 4 —
November 2010 —
ANovember 3 statement by theDemocratic Leadership Council, theClinton-Gore wing of the DemocraticParty, sounded a similar note, hailing thepossibility that the “free trade” agenda topush U.S. exports worldwide would begiven a new boost by the mid-term elec-tions.Democrats and Republicans will joinhands in cutting the budget deficit andmaking workers shoulder even more of the burden of the deepening economiccrisis.And to carry out these attacks, thebosses and the politicians of the two cor-porate parties will need to co-opt thetrade unions into implementing theseanti-worker plans.On November 3, Jerry Brown, thenewly elected governor of California,argued that the state’s $19 billion budgetdeficit required establishing a “new part-nership” where labor, the business com-munity, and the elected officials couldcome together and agree on how to closethe deficit gap. Brown made it clear thathe opposed raising taxes — so the mes-sage was unambiguous: The labor move-ment needs to be part of the process of laying off public-sector workers anddownsizing “government.”
Trumka on the November2Elections
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumkanoted correctly in a November 3 state-ment to the
 National Journal’s
“The DayAfter” conference that, “Republicanswould be making a big mistake if theybelieve voters endorsed the Republicanagenda.” Trumka insisted that the voteswere a “rebuke to the party in power.”Trumka went on, however, to arguethat the Democrats continue to be“labor’s friends.” But the record proves just the opposite, confirming what we inSocialist Organizer have been statingtime and again: The Democratic Party isone of the two parties of the ruling class;it defends faithfully the interests of thebankers and the corporations.Trumka concluded his presentation bysaying that he “will tell Obama andDemocrats to work with Republicans, butnot to compromise their principles.”But everyone knows that “workingwith the Republicans” means going afterentitlements, privatizing education andother public services, refusing to increasetaxes or reduce military spending and,most important, refusing to create jobs.
What Concerns the Democrats
The Democrats aren’t concerned about“compromising their principles.” As aparty of the bosses, they have stuck totheir principles, which are contrary to theinterests of the working class and all theoppressed. For two years they have doneall the bidding of Wall Street and the cor-porations against the U.S. working classand the poor — and now, with the new“mandate” of November 2, they will onlysharpen these attacks.And here we must be clear: TheDemocrats could not have carried outany of these attacks without the tradeunion leadership’s unflinching support tothe Democratic Party. The union leader-ship’s continued subordination to theDemocratic Party, in fact, remains
central political obstacle facing U.S.working people today.This is why, more than ever, the maintask facing unionists, young activists, andcommunity organizers is to build a fight-back in the interests of the working-classmajority within the unions and work-places, in the community, and inside theschools and campuses. In this process of building grassroots resistance to theattacks raining down on us, we mustfight for the unions and the organizationsof Blacks and Latinos to act independent-ly and to throw their tremendous politicalweight into this historic struggle aroundone or more of the following urgentdemands:
- Implement a massive publicworks program to put 20 mil-lion people back to work!- Hands off Social Securityand Medicare!- Stop and reverse the drive toprivatize public education andsocial services!- End the wars in Afghanistanand Iraq and redirect the warfunding to meeting humanneeds!- Tax the rich! Make the boss-es and Wall Street pay!- Get the bailout money backfrom Wall Street!- Employee Free Choice Act,with card-check!- Stop the Deportations!Papers forAll!- Single-payerhealthcare!
Another central task of the moment —which is not dissociated from the fight toorganize an emergency workersfight-back — is to open the widest discussionin the labor movement about the need tobuild a Labor Party based on the tradeunions, a party that fights for thedemands and the needs of working peo-ple, a party that takes on the corporatepowers rather than working for them.
Barack Obama addresses Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention in April 2008.

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