The much ballyhooed movie There Will Be Blood is supposedly based upon Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil!, but it surely miscasts Sinclair’s focus and technique. The movie limits itself to a study of a manic, ruthless oil prospector, more a personality study, but the novel is a much wider socialist attack on corporate power and labor suppression, top-to-bottom government corruption, and corporate control of war, universities, and Hollywood . The social and economic concerns read just like the present even though it is set in the World War I and 1920s era, mostly in the early California oil fields. 

After years of Bush’s open-ended war on working people at home and abroad, many on the “left” in the United States and beyond are desperate for an alternative. For many, that alternative is Barack Obama. Obama, has been careful to portray himself as a “sensible progressive”. However, far from being a “progressive” alternative, Obama is at his core a typical representative of the bosses’ political parties.

Up to the present, the working class in the United States has not yet built its own political party, unlike in most major industrial countries and even in many less industrialized countries. So what are the prospects that the US workers will eventually build such a party?

Elections can reveal a lot about a country, and the fast-approaching U.S. presidential election is proving to be no exception. Above all, the current election shows just how much working Americans need their own political representation. This fact is expressed and cynically taken advantage of by Barack Obama’s campaign slogan: “Change We Can Believe In.” Even the “old guard” represented by John McCain has had to raise the idea of change in his campaign rhetoric.

Millions have hoped against hope that Barack Obama represents real change. But these sincere hopes were dealt another blow with the selection of Senator Joseph Biden from Delaware as Obama’s vice presidential running mate. Biden has had a long career in politics, and is often portrayed as a “liberal.” However, a brief look at his policies only goes to show the sorry state that bourgeois liberalism finds itself in!

It’s official. Barack Obama is the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. His rapid rise to national prominence and eventual nomination have left millions of American workers and youth dizzy with hope for real change. Many have lamented or attempted to justify his shift to the right since he won the nomination (a shift from the so-called “center” of U.S. politics as he has never been on the “left”). But few have drawn the logical conclusion from this: that as we have explained time and again in the pages of Socialist Appeal, Obama does not represent real change and is organically incapable of changing anything fundamental. How could he? He is a Big Business politician and he will defend Big Business’ interests.

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