Huffington Post writer Frank Leon Roberts praises Far Left politician Barack Obama today.
Roberts compares Obama’s rhetoric to early Marxist writers from the 20th Century and, of course, he likes what he sees, via LGF Quick Links:
Listening to Obama, I’m actually reminded of the writings of many mid-twentieth century Frankfurt school Marxist philosophers, particularly the work of Ernst Bloch and Theodero Adorno. In fact, Obama’s entire political ideology is thematic zed in the title of one of Bloch’s most profound volumes, The Principle of Hope. Bloch’s notion of hope as an indexation of what he called a politics of the “not-yet-here” resonates deeply with much of Obama’s rhetoric. We can hear the traces of this earlier Marxist tradition when Obama makes comments such as “hope…is all those men and women who are not content to settle on the world as it is, [but instead] who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
Jose Esteban Munoz, a “queer studies” scholar known in academic circles for his 1999 book, Disidentifications, is actually finishing up a book of the political utility of queer hope (entitled Cruising Utopia: The Politics and Performance of Queer Futurity, forthcoming from NYU Press). Strangely this all relates to Obama’s politics.
As Munoz argues in his Cruising Utopia, invocations of “hope” and “utopia” are often dismissed as simply political naivety, however there is actually long history of revolutionary social movements that turned to “hope” as a means of effecting immediate political change. What I love about Obama is that his message of “hope” is not an attempt to obscure the stark material conditions of inequality which structure our present American life, but rather is a message of how we might embrace the future as something that begins now, not later.
Within this formulation, “utopia” is not, as some might quickly assume, a simple rush toward Xanadu or some rainbow-colored never-never land, but rather a fiercely political and bitter critique of the present. Obama suddenly becomes a modern day CLR James (noted Leninist). On a side note, Clinton needs to knock Obama in New Hampshire in order to avoid serious trouble. Following New Hampshire the next major caucus state is South Carolina on January 26, a region with a substantial African American vote. Up until now, the black vote has been split between Clinton and Obama primarily because African American voters have been reluctant to back Obama because there has been concern about his actual electability (i.e. “Is it really possible for a black man to win the U.S. presidency?”).
The results of Iowa respond with a screaming, booming “yes.”
Let’s see what the (near) future holds. I’m “hoping” for the best.
Advertisement - story continues below