March 31, 2010

Left Debates Obama and Road Ahead by Ernesto Aguilar re-post from 19 Dec, 2010







MLToday has published a series of articles on internal struggles within the
Communist Party USA, a North American organization preparing for a congress in
May. Such struggles are indicative of other tussles on the Left over how best to
respond to the rise of Barack Obama to the presidency.

Its two-part “Crisis of the CPUSA” series critiques the party and its apparent
challenges, from ending of its People’s World newspaper to budget problems. Author
Edward A. Drummond says the group is facing party liquidation right now. In other
instances, Drummond accuses the organization’s leadership with folding in the wake
of Barack Obama’s ascension, essentially choosing to tail the Democratic Party
rather than lead struggles and leverage its strength to push harder for alternatives.

Elsewhere, Andrew Taylor of Left Turn raises similar points about the CPUSA’s
overestimation of the Obama movement.

Arthur Shaw presents the crux of the conflict within the CPUSA as one of the
struggle of the working class stance on imperialism. Shaw writes such a question
will increasingly center on Venezuela and Latin America in the coming period.

The CPUSA isn’t alone among the Left in its post-election soul searching. Rustbelt
Radical reminds us the Freedom Road Socialist Organization chose tailing Obama to
mixed results, pointing to FRSO’s siding with Obama on health care reform with
right-wing populists (and single-payer activists) as the foil yet without a more
thorough analysis. “If health care reform goes down it will hardly be because of the
intransigence of the single-payer folks and shame on FRSO for implying it,” the blog
notes. Groups like Solidarity spoke out against the Democrats’ health care reform
machinations, but there remains a major philosophical and polemical debate.

The CPUSA, which last met in 2005, hosts a congress every few years. The
organization is expected to meet in 2010 in New York City, when it is believed this
debate will be addressed.

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