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Monday April 12th 2021

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Democracy and the Wizard of Oz

RAISE YOUR VOICE

By PETER MOLENAAR

A few blocks east of Cedar on Riverside Avenue is the People’s Center where, at age 70, I received the Moderna Vaccine. Given that my father died of COVID-19 at age 99, I look forward to voting in seven more presidential elections. Right?

Looking back, at age 20, I was actually fit enough to assist in voter registration in Carthage, Mississippi. Mrs. Hudson was our guardian while the three of us faced down a comparable gathering of hostile young men. Subsequently, for fear of a lynch mob, we wisely deflected a deployment of flirtatious southern belles.

Then, at age 32, I would tour the Soviet Union in the midst of electoral activity. To facilitate the voting process, everyone there had the day off with pay! Fast forward to this country… major sections of the working class remain captivated by Trumpism, and are imprisoned by racist thinking.

Do you remember the Wizard of Oz and the associated cast of characters?

From behind a curtain, strings were (and are) pulled on behalf of big business. To cast divisions among the masses, the Wizard busied himself with sound effects and flashing lights. Observant intellectuals like Marx and Lenin pondered the inner workings of this ‘bourgeois-democracy’. Actually, it was Lenin who elaborated the revelation that a dictatorship operates behind a facade. Nonetheless in his day, Fred Engels advised workers to utilize the franchise to incrementally advance whenever possible.

Note: fascism is an open-faced dictatorship.

Question: why was a massive transfer of wealth to the super rich allowed to happen recently?

Biden is now compelled to save our country via the American Rescue Act, even as this will exacerbate the nation’s deficit beyond Trump’s original sin. Republicans will hoot, holler and obstruct without agreeing to raise taxes, let alone agreeing to cut back on military expenditure… never mind making ends meet again.

Is this “bourgeois-democracy” even worth the time of day to us? Certain “revolutionists,” laser focused as they are on a future ‘workers-democracy’, tell us: no it is not. To which: “gosh,” said the Scarecrow character of Oz, “whatever happened to the dialectical motion of interpenetrating opposing conceptions?” Curiously in response, the Cowardly Lion began biting his own tail, however the Tin Man pumped his fist to the place a heart belongs. Dorothy interceded, “comrades, in the last election folks in Georgia overcame a racist shutdown of their familiar voting locations, they were then compelled to stand in long lines while holding their bladders in check, and yet they prevailed in their purpose!”

Oh my, when exposed, the Wizard of Oz was embarrassed, contrite and repentant, but no not the Republicans of this world. Floundering now in their fantasy dream place, they imagine voter suppressions too numerous to elaborate here. Hopefully, Senate Democrats will break the filibuster to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Hey, around here we are antifascists who understand the long term nature of the revolutionary process. Right?

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