rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Newsflash: Obama is not a socialist

I'm tired of getting "sober" assessments of Obama from Marxist commentators who rake the embers trying to catalogue every way in which Obama is tied to and dependent on the ruling class, how he has compromised to get where he is, and so on.

Here are a couple newsflashes. You don't get to be a presidential candidate without playing the game, making compromises, and so on. No doubt there are some naive people out there who believe in a messianic vision of Barack Obama, but they are not receiving Marxist commentaries in their email inbox so you are preaching to the choir.

Second newsflash. Obama's not a socialist -- we know already. Please stop cluttering my inbox with statements of the obvious dressed up as penetrating analysis. It just isn't that profound. Obama is the candidate of the ruling class and he has the job of rescuing American imperialism and American capitalism.

AND ALSO he has inspired a whole generation of new voters and activists; the election of an African-American is of tremendous historical importance, if only on the symbolic level; the Obama campaign HAS tapped into hope and a sense of malaise and a rejection of the Republican politics of the last 8 years. Obama is a northern, urban, Ivy League liberal. In the context of Republican-engineered culture wars, his victory is significant.

The many social movement leaders who worked wholeheartedly for Obama while always having a critical assessment of his potential and a realization that he won't do anything without pressure from social movements--they might be wrong but they shouldn't be misrepresented or dismissed so readily by self-appointed arbiters of sobriety sniping from beyond the fray.

Yesterday and today are days to savour and celebrate, to share in tears of joy and to feel relief at our avoidance of what might have been.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.