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.