Bernie Sanders Info Wanted -Reply

Nicholas Mamatas 192106 at newschool.edu
Thu Mar 2 17:25:15 MST 1995


About Tim's latest comments on Sanders, and more broadly the
Democratic party.  What are many workers, minorities, poorer people,
students etc.. doing when confronted with their choices in the ballot box
today?  Voting.  With their feet and staying home.  It is ironic that the
political efficacy of the system is at an incredible low, with people by
turns apathetic, shellshocked, confused or ready for a fight (yesterday's
30,000 person labor rally against Medicaid cuts is a good example), and
Tim's answer is "work with the Dems."  Why?  The Democrats are
historically where movements go to die, what social forces are
unleasehed by petitioning to get on ballots,  how do workers gain
confidence and experience in fighting by pulling a lever once (maybe
twice) a year when the choice is between the party of Regan, Bush and
Newt and the party of Rega...uh, Clinton.  (It was Clinton I might add who
lead the way for the current attacks by talking about ending welfare
payments after two years, something Regan never did.).

And third parties?  How many times have the calls for a labor party gone
out, usually by lefty buearucrats, and how many have we seen collapse
under the resource pressure of fielding candidates.  How many calls for
a labor party are coming from the rank and file, dissident caucuses, from
well..labor?  Not too many.  (though if the current LPA movement did
emerge from the rank and file, and seemed to have a chance of making
an impact, I would be for it.)

The job of the left, it seems to me is to start building an alternative,  not
building scaffolding to keep the Dems in place, or working to get Row Z
of the city council ballot filled with a working class name that would be
powerless, even if he or she won.

Nick Mamatas
New School For Social Research

PS: About Tim's specific claims that the "ultras have no impact" I would
need his list of ultras to determine whether I agree or not.  Abstract
attacks on Bolshevik style organs are about as useful as abstract
attacks on Social Democracy



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