Debriefing on the Obama Presidential Victory –

Debriefing on the Obama Presidential Victory

RAIM Called It

On Tuesday, November 4th 2008, Barack Obama won the presidential race in a landslide victory
over John McCain. Last August, before the Democratic National Convention, in
a short analysis article entitled Obama, “Black” Messiah for White Amerika, RAIM
predicted his victory in non-absolute terms (1). Nevertheless, such a prediction was
months ahead of the both the Amerika ‘left” and the mainstream media.

In the article, we foresaw the social forces behind Obama coming from two main
directions. One was the so-called grassroots element. This consisted of people who
“love Amerika,… are always trying to save it, to reform it, to make it realize its
so-called historic potential,” and for whom “an Obama presidency represents evidence
that …Amerika is still becoming a better, more perfect democracy.”

This prediction came to pass. All across Amerika, people gathered to watch the
election results as they came in. Many gatherings were fervently pro-Obama and
similarly pro-Amerikan. People lit fireworks and honked car horns in celebration.
At one such event attended by a RAIMer, everyone from Democrats to self-described
Anarchists and eclectic “revolutionaries” cheered throughout the evening as it
became clearer the Obama would indeed be the next president. Red, white and blue
color-motifs present throughout; “progressive” pro-amerikanism was clearly on
display. The fact that all of these “revolutionary” elements lined up in support for Obama
indicates a lack of fundamental distinction between them. On a visceral level, it
was quite disgusting. No doubt this scene played out around the country.

As for the second social pillar of support for Obama, we said, “Within much of the
imperialist camp, a popular Obama presidency is seen as more conducive to their own
long term interests. Obama is seen as a figure who can recover what power Amerika
has lost over the last 8 years.” This too came to pass. In the last few weeks of the
campaign, high profile figures such as Colin Powell and Warren Buffet publically
endorsed Obama.

If anything, where we got it wrong was by coming out too softly that Obama would
win. In virtually every other aspect we were correct.

RAIM-Denver’s Election Campaign

When asking ourselves what we should do regarding this election, one glaring fact
stood out: RAIM-Denver is a small group incapable of meaningfully intervening in the
election in any way. Regardless if we would have publically supported John McCain or
Barack Obama for strategic reasons or whether we would have urged people to not vote, it
simply would not have made a difference. Social forces are preeminent, not the
direction RAIM takes. Thus we came up with a reasonably successful “RAIM for
President” campaign.

Instead of taking the election seriously in the regard that we might affect the
outcome, we used it as an extra-normal opportunity to agitate for and promote
anti-imperialism and anti-amerikanism. Intentionally conducted in a more satirical,
slapstick manner, not only was carrying out this campaign unusually fun, but it gave
us an opportunity to widely agitate for anti-imperialism in a creative and unique
manner and allowed us to further develop our skills in practical areas such as media
production.

We ran on an overtly anti-amerikan platform. This platform was in the main presented
in the flier Dismantle, Disillusion, Destroy: RAIM ’08 and included four main
issues: further ruining the decadent Amerikan exploiter-economy, expanding health care to the
Third World, support for Third World resistance movements, and deporting the white oppressors
from occupied North America (2). We also raised the slogan, “Voting for the better of two
imperialists will only make Amerika a better exploiter.”

During our mock campaign for the presidency, we distributed hundreds of RAIM ’08
fliers at high schools and colleges, cafes and coffee shops, on street posts and at
special events. We also distributed our two previous articles on Obama, a spiffy
poster by Shubel Morgan and general RAIM-Denver materials. Needless to say, we’ve
gotten a lot of traction from this most recent election-oriented agitation effort.

So What Now

So here we are a few days after an Obama presidential victory. Having basically
predicting and described the forced behind Obama’s win, we fell compelled to analyze
how this will most affect us.

Most immediately is that the bottom has fallen out on the anti-war movement. The
anti-war movement has basically been in decline soon thereafter the invasion of Iraq
in 2003. For virtually all of its history, the anti-war movement was dominated by
liberals and pro-amerikanism. Nevertheless, RAIM almost always shows up to these
things, getting out info, looking for the one person who is looking for our type of
stuff.

Now however, the liberal element has left the anti-war movement for the Obama
movement, leaving the former in shambles. Since RAIM fuctions in a largers scope
than protests, we will survive. Large protest coalitions like ANSWER or World Can’t
Wait likely won’t.

Prior to the Democratic National Convention, RAIM-Denver had internally discussed
this immediate decline of the anti-war movement. The DNC protests, which were small,
were an early affirmation of this prediction. Overall, the war will be ended due to the
resistance of the Iraqi people, making the war too costly in lives and treasure for Amerika.
The overall growing opposition to the war is based on this, not any newfound
anti-imperialist sentiment among the majority that benefits from imperialism.
Obama will present a kinder face of imperialism for Amerikans and the world.

Corresponding to this crash in the anti-war movement is the coalescing of a
pro-system, pro-amerikan “left”. With less and less apparent differences between
self-described “revolutionary” and “radical” trends, and with the success of the
Obama campaign, it makes sense the former will simply continue to be integrated into
a more eclectic, pro-amerika “leftism.” Needless to say, during the next 4 years
there will be more letter writing and fewer protests.

An Obama presidency will accelerate integration of the Black nation possibly to the
point where they’ve become socially and ideologically sealed to Amerika. Many
supposedly “nationalist” organizations such as the Nation of Islam publically backed
Obama for the expressed purpose of “getting a Black man elected to president.” Other oppressed
nations within Amerika will be swept up in this false hope that their concerns will finally be
listened to with Obama. This sentiment is that the Obama presidency will likely have a
continuing negative effect of
all national liberation struggles within the U.S.

Summing it up

In a nutshell, the majority of what would have five years ago been considered
“radical” and “revolutionary” is now wrapped up in Obama. While this could
definitely be seen as a negative development, it is also a natural one.
Nevertheless, RAIM-Denver has not only proven itself to be innovative and flexible,
but it is left with a situation where less people and groups are trafficking
themselves as “radical” and “revolutionary” to promote their fundamentally
pro-Amerikan sentimentalities. At the same time, many who still call themselves
by such labels have thoroughly exposed their pro-amerika, non-revolutionary
character. This greater distinction between RAIM and the rest of the “left” has
given RAIM a very decisive advantage. We will continue to push forward, using
creativity and dedication to further expand revolutionary anti-imperialism as a
powerful emerging force.

In the coming months we will be looking closer into the Obama phenomenon. This new time gives many
opportunities to further our line of unconditional opposition to imperialism and for the liberation
of the Third World.

Notes:

(1) Obama, Black Messiah for White Amerika. https://raimd.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/obama-%e2%80%9cblack%e2%80%9d-messiah-for-white-amerika/

(2) RAIM for President. https://raimd.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/destroy-dismantle-disillusion-raim-08/

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4 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, News and Analysis, Organizing

4 responses to “Debriefing on the Obama Presidential Victory –

  1. Fuck Obama

    This is the best analysis of the election thus far.

  2. 2mv

    Correct, in many ways, however there is a way in which to interveine correctly within the Obama supporters and follows the Maoist-Third Worldst line of “division tactics.” Everyone knows Obama is not a revolutionary, even the revisionist CPU$A’s webzine held a headline “Obama is a capitalist.” at one point, so to claim that the Amerikkkan “left” is fooling themselves is only half true. They simpee Obama as a strategic vehicle to their long-term purpose of wealth distribution among the labor aristocracy.

    Obama does not appear to be demobilizing his supporters. Based on his logic of “Change”, it is possible to drive a wedge between the Obama (Clintonite strategy for Imperialism) and the Bush (Neo-Conservative strategy for Imperialism) by attempting to wrangle some local Obama groups into an independent formation by way of pushing an agenda that would attack the latter in a more thorough way than Obama could and become neutral in the former. Organized on a large scale, this would precipitate a political crisis. Any political crisis in U$ imperialism is an opening for the third worldand fostering these can be part of our practical work.

  3. Fcuk America

    The US ruling class obviously wants to pimp Obama in order to “rebrand America” and restore the benevolent mask of American Empire that was ripped off with the Anglo-US aggression/genocide against Iraq and other nations.

    Barack Obama is supposed to act as a more benevolent “colored” frontman for the evil empire. Whereas the Bush regime relied primarily on US military hard power, an Obama regime will try to use more US “soft power.”

    In the article, we foresaw the social forces behind Obama coming from two main directions. One was the so-called grassroots element. This consisted of people who “love Amerika,… are always trying to save it, to reform it, to make it realize its so-called historic potential,” and for whom “an Obama presidency represents evidence that …Amerika is still becoming a better, more perfect democracy.”

    While not a few antiwar activists understand the reasons why the US ruling class promotes Obama, what distinguishes this article is its analysis of the reasons why American “progressives” and grassroots Good Americans voted for Obama. Many of these people see Obama as a messianic figure who will redeem and restore the American Empire to its (cough) moral greatness. This is American Moral Exceptionalism at work.

    Most immediately is that the bottom has fallen out on the anti-war movement. The anti-war movement has basically been in decline soon thereafter the invasion of Iraq in 2003. For virtually all of its history, the anti-war movement was dominated by liberals and pro-amerikanism.

    Most striking is how the Western antiwar movement has effectively run its course since the invasion of Iraq. This just demonstrates that this antiwar movement was primarily motivated by *selfish* political concerns like fear of what would happen with an Anglo-US attack on Iraq or the cost in blood and treasure of this and other wars. As Kola Odetola put it, the Western antiwar movement is merely the “Left Boot of imperialism.”

    So the question is what should be done?

    In addition to RAIM’s Dismantle, Disillusion, Destroy program, I believe the following issues should be of concern:

    -As Barack Obama inevitably betrays his promises of Change, the American Left that supported Obama should be exposed as political frauds, as a pseudo opposition that functions to maintain illusions in the US system.

    It would also be useful to highlight how Obama’s rhetoric of change is (already) belied by his political actions. One thing that worries the American establishment is how Obama’s grassroots supporters will react when their hopes for change are disappointed. There is the potential for significant political disillusion and anger when these promises of change are betrayed.

    -Prepare for the White nationalist backlash against Obama. Even though Barack Obama is merely a puppet of the US political establishment, there are many Whites who oppose him because they think he is a leftist, Muslim, or Black revolutionary. Interestingly, it’s been noted that gun sales have spiked significantly since the election of Obama.

    As the economic crisis in the USA continues and austerity measures are increasingly imposed, White racist resentment will find an outlet and lighting rod in hatred of Obama. At base, this sentiment represents the more racist faction of the White nationalist hordes who have historically functioned as the grassroots mass base of the American Empire.

    This base, it should go without saying, will form the populist foundation of any overtly American fascist movement.

    Are you an Obama Kool-Aid Drinker?
    http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2008/11/65644.php

  4. east wind

    The problem with divisor tactics is that to be effective, it would have to be done on a large scale. In all reality the anti-imperialist movement is not strong enough to manipulate the system in a significant way through divisor tactics. Divisor tactics in this case are more likely to confuse our own movement and the Third World than influence the bourgeois system.

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