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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Friday May 24th 2024

Against Finger Pointing

by Peter Molenaar

Scientific reminder: The totality of existence (i.e. ”˜matter”') is in motion”¦this is true because all phenomena are a manifestation of a self-contradictory unity of opposing forces (i.e. matter is ”˜dialectical”').

So then, to understand something one must begin by uncovering the main contradiction within it. Secondly, one must ascertain the dominant aspect of this contradiction (i.e. the relationship of forces must be examined). Thirdly, one must examine the relative development of the opposing aspects as might be correlated with environmental influences (i.e. external factors are the conditions of change, internal contradictions are the basis of change). Fourthly, one must determine (or judge) the “tipping-point” (i.e. quantitative change) beyond which the dominated aspect becomes the dominant (i.e. qualitative change).

To continue”¦

No phenomenon can be fully understood apart from its historic development, potential future development, and interconnection with the totality. Those who proceed otherwise are said to be “metaphysical”. Unfortunately for the human condition, the formal logic derived from a narrow and one-sided approach results in an ”˜idealistic”' departure from rationality.

So then, with regard to President Obama”'s “failings”, whose interests are being served by the trendy groundswell of smug indignation which flows now from the ”˜left”'?

Readers might recall my recent column “Irony of Ironies” which asserted: “We elected Obama to save capitalism (to save capitalism from the capitalists!) until such time as a viable socialist vanguard emerges in conjunction with the requisite mass movement”. Which is to say: not every moment of every day constitutes a ”˜revolutionary situation”'. Or, as Lenin himself indicated: contradictions within the ruling class acquire an elevated significance during periods of right-wing reaction. To which he added: “We are not indifferent to the outcome of bourgeois elections”.

Is it correct then to parrot the “leftist” line which reads: “Obama is nothing but a war criminal and corporate stooge”? Or, is there a more principled response to expressions of “disillusionment”?

I suggest we start by recognizing Obama as a human being (i.e. he has strengths and weaknesses along with good and bad qualities”¦in fact, he has admirable qualities). Clearly, however, there are forces beyond his control””the general instability of the world capitalist order among them. It follows that our system of governance rests upon a shaky foundation and consequently is emanating an extraordinarily mean-spirited politics. Our president, by and large, is trapped within the mess.

Obviously, no one is beyond reproach. But listen, white-radical-leftists, modify your tone, please. We all have a stake in Obama”'s success. This holds true because racist reaction seeks to underscore his every failure. And, we dare not forget that Black-White unity is central to the future of humanity.

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