Three years on the world is no safer after Bush's so-called "war on terror". What is becoming ever clearer is that the war in Iraq is not about fighting terrorism, but about the economic, military and strategic interests of US imperialism.

After decades of relative prosperity, peace and stability, the world of the American worker has been turned upside down. The depth of the distrust felt by millions of Americans was revealed in a Reuters/DecisionQuest poll according to which, fully 61 percent of Americans have lost faith in their leaders and institutions over the past four years. At the top of the list contributing to this feeling was the war on Iraq, followed by the 2000 presidential election fiasco, the numerous financial scandals, and terrorism. John Peterson looks at the meaning of these findings.

We’ve changed his name, but other than that 100% accurate. Not a socialist, but an honest man, “all-American” sort of guy – short hair, goes to Church, works out at the YMCA. But his whole world has been turned upside down in the last few years – from a confident, satisfied kind of guy, to one totally disillusioned with the system.

The news that Kerry has conceded defeat has just come through. We will publish a full analysis of the US election results tomorrow. In the meantime we are publishing this article which looks at the state of the US economy and traces its long term decline. Whether Bush or Kerry had won it would not have made a fundamental difference. They both defend US imperialism. They could not come out with fundamentally different policies for they are tied to the same basic economic interests. In fact the extreme similarity between the two explains why Kerry could not defeat Bush. Any policy based on the US economy as it is today means one thing: an attack on the living standards of American workers. To defeat Bush something else is needed – a party of the American working class.

The U.S. Presidential Election of 2004 marks yet another turning point in the rapidly changing consciousness of the American working class. The result, which should come as no real surprise to readers of Marxist.com, dashed the hopes of millions who sincerely thought they could get rid of Bush by voting for a “lesser evil”. The main lesson to be drawn from the 2004 election is that working people cannot rely on the representatives of another class to fight our battles for us. We can rely only on our own forces and organizations, and must build a mass party of labor that can truly defend our interests.