Tag Archives: McCain


(The Following is a Progressive Labor Party Leaflet)

Like all elections, the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain help the capitalists hide the fact that this is not a democracy. The illusion is that voters, mainly workers, can choose the nation’s leaders. In reality, a ruling class — led by powerful financiers — selects, bankrolls and directs each of the candidates. The dominant section of the U.S. ruling class (the Eastern Establishment), whose interests lie in continuing U.S. world domination, is determined to control the policy of whoever wins in November 2008. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Brookings Institution are the two most important foreign policy think tanks of these capitalists.  They are developing a blueprint for the next U.S. president (no matter who is elected), which can be used as the foundation for the new administration’s Middle-East policy.

Key advisor for Obama is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski is a former director of the Eastern Establishment backed CFR. He helped President Jimmy Carter frame write the 1979 Carter Doctrine, which promised permanent occupation of Mid-East oilfields. One of McCain’s advisors is CFR member Max Boot, who is pushing for a U.S. Foreign Legion. Other McCain advisors are Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft (CFR member and Bush, Sr.’s National Security Advisor). It is these think-tank policy-makers, bankers and heads of the largest corporations who form the ruling class that runs the country, no matter who sits in the White House.

Today, the economic crises of capitalism in the U.S. and the world are only sharpening the conflict with imperialist rivals. Now, more than ever the U.S. ruling class needs workers and professionals to sacrifice for the needs of U.S. imperialism. They need a capitalist leader who can inspire the masses to support U.S. imperialist ambitions throughout the world. This leader faces a tough challenge. Russia is becoming more aggressive.  China is a rapidly growing economic and military power, and Europe is uniting and growing stronger.

In order to protect the U.S. profit empire against challenges from imperialist rivals, particularly China and Russia, the U.S. ruling class needs to dominate the oil-rich Middle East and Central Asia, politically and militarily. Campaign 2008 boils down to which candidate can most effectively mobilize the nation behind the U.S. imperialists and their war and fascism. McCain believes in more troops in Iraq and keeping them there longer while Obama believes in fewer troops in Iraq and pulling them out sooner but sending the troops to other key areas of Mideast. Both believe in occupying Iraq and preparing for war with Iran. Both agree on the absolute importance of maintaining control of oil in the Middle East and Central Asia. They disagree over the tactics to use not the strategy!

Both Obama and McCain offer national service and push patriotism as a way to win workers and professionals to support expanding the U.S. military to prepare for more wars. During a rally on July 3, 2008, Obama said, the quiet following Friday’s Independence Day celebrations would be a good time to consider how to contribute “to our most pressing national challenges,” whether in the military, overseas or just next door. National service, a key part of Obama’s campaign platform, is an important step towards bringing back the draft and winning people to support expanding the U.S. military. Obama, like McCain, understand that the U.S. will need more troops in the future to face threats to its superpower status.

As more people become interested in the elections, the need to expose the candidates’ class allegiance is crucial. They both defend a racist profit system that systematically and brutally exploits workers, often through war, and needs to be eliminated. But the working class cannot just vote away its tormentors. Capitalism’s destruction can only be achieved through the long-term, painstaking process of building a revolutionary communist movement that will ultimately end the rule of profit and put the working class in power. Join us!

Workers, Soldiers, and Students of the World Unite Against Fascism and Imperialist War!  Don’t Vote!  Fight Back!

Progressive Labor Party is a revolutionary communist party dedicated to eliminating capitalism with communist revolution as the only way to end imperialism, fascism, racism, sexism, and class inequality.

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Democrats’ Lovefest Deadly for Workers

In a spectacle worthy of rock stars, with 84,000 screaming fans and July 4th-style fireworks, the Democratic Party named Barack Obama and Joe Biden to its party’s ticket for the November elections. As we go to press, the Republican Convention has begun and will name John McCain and Sarah Palin (another “fresh face”) as their candidates.  Despite being bombarded by frenzied and non-stop media coverage of the campaigns, workers should understand that neither ticket offers anything to us except capitalist exploitation marked by endless wars, attacks on our living standards, and divide-and-rule racism against African Americans and Latinos. The Obama campaign, with its mass outreach to youth, black and Latin, and labor, dangerously misleads millions into supporting the ruling class.

Obama has captured the imagination of millions who want to believe that he will bring change that would help them in these tough times. But Obama has the same backers as President Bush and Dick Cheney! (See PLP Elections Pamphlet). He will serve the same interests! The rulers believe that Obama’s appeal will make the working class more enthusiastic about following U.S. rulers into continuing and expanding wars and inevitable cutbacks in wages, services, and social programs. Like Kennedy, Carter and Clinton before him, Obama represents false hope for change and is simply a front man for the ruling class, “fresh face” notwithstanding.

The Context:  War for Control over Energy Resources

U.S. imperialists lead a declining empire that defines the limits of any president’s initiatives.  U.S. power, while strong and doing great damage worldwide, is weakening relative to other rising powers including the European Union, Russia, China, and even some secondary capitalist powers like Iran and Venezuela that gain leverage by allying with the rising powers competing with the U.S. At the core of these disputes is control over the world’s energy resources, centered in the Middle East.

The Acceptance Speech and the Issues

Obama’s speech was standard liberal fare. His rhetoric was indistinguishable from his Democratic Party predecessors including John Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, John Kerry, or Bill Clinton. Like them, he promised improvements in all aspects of life (see box). Yet his predecessors have never achieved these goals and cannot because they interfere with the needs of the capitalists for profits.  In fact, Bill Clinton dismantled the welfare program so that now the poverty rate has increased dramatically while welfare rolls have fallen drastically!

Obama is tied to the ruling class by a hundred strings, as demonstrated by his selection of long-term Washington insider Joe Biden for Vice-President and his coterie of advisors who all belong to ruling-class think-tanks and policy institutes like the Council on Foreign Relations that ensure the continuity of U.S. imperialism regardless of who is president.

Dissent and Protest

At the convention, thousands rallied to attack the Democratic Party for its failure to champion working-class interests to end the wars and achieve social justice. However, it’s an illusion to think the Democrats, a ruling-class party, would ever truly represent workers’ interest.

The Iraq Veterans Against the War demanded to address the convention around the need to incorporate their goals — an immediate end to the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, better care for returning veterans and reparations for the Iraqi people.  Obama turned a deaf ear to these demands and others, relying on thousands of police armed with pepper spray, rubber bullets, and truncheons to threaten the demonstrators and move them far away from the convention, arresting over 130 and beating many. The cops did the same to protestors at the Republican Convention.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The Democratic and Republican conventions are clown shows to entertain and distract us while the country’s actual rulers, the rich capitalists, make sure that their every need is met by their faithful political servants in both parties. They use the political process, including the conventions, to deceive us into thinking that voting can significantly affect our interests. The ruling class wants to recruit millions of us into supporting U.S. imperialism by blunting our class-consciousness about our exploitation by the rich capitalists, bankers, developers and government officials.  The working class should instead attack these elections for the shell game they represent, and build a militant, internationalist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist opposition to capitalism. This approach is not “on the ballot” in this election — revolution for workers’ power and communism can never be won through a ballot, but only through revolution and armed struggle.

What does Obama stand for?

JOBS — Obama promises “more jobs,” ending outsourcing of jobs overseas. But Obama cannot defy the laws of capitalism. They dictate that capitalists must drive for higher profits to survive and therefore seek out the lowest wage markets, whether they be in China, Mexico or Latin America, as the Japanese and European automakers do in seeking lower wages in the U.S.

WAGES — Obama promises help for “hard-working Americans.” But again, capitalism dictates that U.S. bosses must drive down wages to be able to compete with rival bosses worldwide. So they “outsource” jobs to subcontractor shops from across the southern U.S. to California, jobs which pay $10 an hour, less than half of what workers in unionized factories like Boeing earn, leading to mass layoffs and mass unemployment.

UNEMPLOYMENT — Because of the above two factors, capitalism must create a “reserve army of unemployed.” No president in history has ever ended unemployment because it’s built into capitalism’s drive for maximum profits which leads to “bubble-bursting” recessions and depressions.

RACISM — Obama promises to “bring people together” while blaming victims, not racism, for their misery. But Obama won’t withdraw the 100,000 cops that Clinton put on the streets, cops who daily attack and murder black and Latino workers and youth. Again, Obama’s capitalism cannot function, and has never functioned, without the hundreds of billions in super-profits that the racist super-exploitation of black and Latino workers rakes in for the bosses.

THE ENVIRONMENT — Obama promises to “be free of foreign oil in ten years.” (!) But U.S. capitalism needs to control that foreign oil as a lever in its battle with imperialist rivals in Europe, Russia, China and Japan.  Obama promises to put money into non-polluting energy sources, but he doesn’t tell us that no modern army or industry can exist without oil. You can’t drive a tank or fly a jet fighter on wind power.

A DRAFT — Obama promises to “rebuild our military to meet future conflicts.” How? With the current depleted and exhausted U.S. Army? It can only be done by drafting millions, which Obama aims to accomplish through the back door of “National Service.” This would supposedly give youth a “choice” of “public service” or military service, and promise undocumented immigrant youth citizenship in exchange for becoming cannon fodder in his endless “future conflicts.” Where else will he get the troops he wants to put into Afghanistan?

FASCISM — Obama complains about the Bush assault on civil liberties, but meanwhile votes for the latest Bush bill to tap an untold number of phone calls in the name of “national security.” And he hasn’t uttered a word about repealing the fascist Patriot Act. The rulers need such laws to put down potential rebellions by workers and youth fed up with all the attacks on their lives.

WAR — Obama promises to gradually withdraw most (not all) troops from Iraq, but wants to enlarge the army by at least 92,000, sending more soldiers into Afghanistan to continue the killing of thousands of civilians in order to protect proposed oil pipelines in that area of Asia. And Obama’s pledge to handle “future conflicts” by definition must maintain and expand the hundreds of U.S. military bases throughout the world upon which U.S. capitalism depends to control the flow of oil. In defending his ability to be “commander-in-chief,” Obama proudly cites all the past U.S. wars that have seen Democrats in charge.
And Obama’s opponent, John McCain, is just as much a loyal servant of capitalism on every one of the above issues.

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Like all elections, Obama’s, Clinton’s and McCain’s three-ring circus helps capitalists disguise the class nature of their dictatorship. The illusion is that voters, mainly workers, get to choose the nation’s leaders. In reality, a ruling class — led by powerful financiers — hand-picks, bankrolls and directs each of the candidates.

Sometimes, as with Clinton and Dole in 1996, the race reflects major divisions over policy between factions of U.S. capitalists, usually the main wing which advocates long-range imperialist investment abroad vs. the isolationists who oppose costly foreign profit wars, wanting to concentrate on immediate domestic profits. But this year, the front-runners all promote the main, imperialist wing’s agenda for a domestic police state and ever-expanding war. Campaign 2008 boils down to which candidate can most effectively mobilize the nation for the imperialists’ needs. In Texas recently, Obama and Clinton debated their relative fitness to be commander-in-chief.

The war-making billionaires have high hopes for Obama and Clinton. Both are luring more black and Latino, female and young workers to express patriotic loyalty to the rulers, more so this year to gain support for wider war. Both want health plans that maintain drug and insurance profits, racist plans which will fall most heavily on lower-income black and Latino families who can least afford to pay anything into such schemes. Both advocate “national service” — mandatory drafting of all youth for two years, many of whom (especially black and Latino youth) will serve that time in the military. Both will make workers will pay heavily for the rulers’ domestic and global aims. But both promise to impose wartime economic discipline on reluctant capitalists, eliminating tax cuts on the rich in order to rein in the excesses of the corporations and CEOs in the drive to pay for the racist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But, if the imperialists fail to sell the Democrats’ plans for war taxes and regulation, they can fall back on Nazi goose-stepping militarist McCain. All three candidates get their main funding from the sector of U.S. finance capital that has the greatest interest in broadening the U.S. war machine’s field of operation. [See page 7.] Taking no chances, imperialist Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs backs all three contenders.


The New York Times (2/10) proclaimed that the 2008 campaign proves that a king-making elite does not exist: “This season’s primaries have made the idea of a political establishment, whether Republican or Democratic, hard to take seriously.” Even harder to take seriously is the Times’ denial, given the candidates’ backers and advisers:

• Zbigniew Brzezinski headlines Obama’s cast of counselors. Brzezinski has served as director of the elite, banker-backed Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission. He helped Carter frame his infamous 1979 Doctrine, which vowed permanent occupation of Mid-East oilfields.

• Clinton’s handlers, mainly war criminals from husband Bill’s days, including Madeleine Albright and William Perry, have formed their own think-tank, the Center for a New American Security. Clinton’s CNAS has now joined with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to study U.S. military readiness for challenges from Iran, Pakistan, China and beyond. Hillary’s “peacenik” supporters at Carnegie take “generous financial support” from the A-list of U.S. imperialism: BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, the Rockefellers, Shell and the Pentagon.

• One-time “maverick” McCain now has Establishment CFR pundit Max Boot in his corner pushing for a U.S. Foreign Legion. Boot joins McCain advisors Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft (Bush, Sr.’s National Security Advisor) and Colin Powell.C


The dominant faction of U.S. imperialists is determined to control the policy of whoever wins in November. The CFR and the Brookings Institution “are undertaking an ambitious initiative to develop a nonpartisan blueprint for the next U.S. president, one which can be used as the foundation for the new administration’s Middle-East policy.” (CFR website) The CFR team has representation from all three camps: Sandy Berger (Clinton), Brzezinski (Obama), and Scowcroft (McCain). Not coincidentally, all three candidates have — in the CFR’s Foreign Affairs journal — pledged to vastly enlarge the U.S. Army. It is these think-tank policy-makers, bankers and heads of the largest corporations who form the ruling class that runs the country, no matter who sits in the White House.

As popular interest in the elections heightens, it is crucial to expose the candidates’ class allegiance. They all defend a racist profit system that systematically and brutally exploits workers, often through war, and is long overdue for extinction. But the working class cannot just vote away its tormentors. Capitalism’s destruction can only be achieved through the long-term, painstaking building of a revolutionary communist party — PLP — that will ultimately put an armed working class in power.

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Top Five Big Business Contributors to the Leading Candidates

Barack Obama:

* Goldman Sachs (Wall Street’s top power broker, whose “alumni” include U.S. Treasury-Secy. Henry Paulson, Citigroup chairman Robert Rubin, British Petroleum CEO Peter Sutherland, and Jon Corzine, New Jersey’s Governor)

* UBS (world’s largest wealth manager, largely owned by Saudi royal family)

* J.P. Morgan Chase (“Rockefeller’s bank,” closely tied to Exxon Mobil)

* Exelon (nuclear power company; ultra-imperialist Cabot family has big stake)

* Kirkland & Ellis (BP’s U.S. law firm)

Hillary Clinton:

* Goldman Sachs

* Citigroup (U.S.’s and world’s biggest bank; Saudi prince main shareholder)

* Morgan Stanley (Wall Street bank, deeply invested in Middle East)

* DLA Piper (world’s biggest law firm, with offices throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.)

* J.P. Morgan Chase

John McCain:

* Citigroup

* Bank Rome (lobbyists for Shell Oil and Chiquita Banana)

*Greenberg Traurig (law firm representing Alcoa worldwide)

* Merrill Lynch (U.S. richest investment firm whose biggest holdings are war beneficiaries GE and Exxon Mobil)

* Goldman Sachs

(Source: Center for Responsive Politics)

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