Voting. Was Air your views... godena's support for election

Louis R Godena louisgodena at
Sun Aug 11 09:07:16 MDT 1996

Mr "Ang" (short for "angst"?) has me not only endorsing Democratic Party
candidates,  but serving as Clinton's chief electoral agent on the Marxism
list, as well:

>I don't agree with your premise, that voting feels
>comfortably ordinary to the  "average person".

Enough people vote (ca. 100 million) that we can say,  as I did, that voting
is "comfortably familiar" to the average American,  even,  I suspect, to a
substantial number of those (60-70 million) who do not vote, but who,
nonetheless, are passive participants in the electoral process.     This
does not mean that they approve of politicians or the particular economic
system that they serve and represent.     It simply means that this facet of
bourgeois democracy still enjoys at least the tacit support of most
Americans.    It is,  in our epoch, a mass activity, and one pregnant with
possibilities for the marxist left.

>Do you think your communist party's support of
>democratic candidates has had any impact on anything positive?   Can you point
>to some past victories in that regard, things you are proud of that were
>achieved by the candidates you supported or some new headway in
>building your revolutionary party?

I have time and again criticized the CP's often unstinting support for
Democrats who turned out to be fakers--or mere clowns--I have always
preferred independent candidates or those running under the banner of the
Communist Party--as I did--or a Party initiated front.    I have been clear
on this.    On the other hand, do I think that, given the realistic
alternative, that support for say,  Geo.   Crockett  or John Conyers or Ron
Dellums is, or was,  a mistake?    I do not.      And the role of the Party
in the earlier struggles for unemployment insurance,  Social Security,
welfare rights and benefits,  and on behalf of national civil rights
legislation has,  on the whole, been a positive one.     On the other hand,
as I stated on Friday,  the era in which the Democrat Party could be
effectively pressured into endorsing ameliorative or progressive policies is
now past.    It is time,  simply,  for a new strategy.

>Don't try anything unless it has a real chance at
>succeeding immediately - unless it's credible?  How
>would you ever begin anything?  How could a group supporting Clinton ever be
>"credible" to anyone?
>How do you think supporting a candidacy like Clinton's
>could possibly help a party sink any roots?

Again,  you are putting me into the camp supporting Clinton,  a position I
specifically repudiated.    I do not argue on behalf of supporting Clinton,
but on behalf of participating in the electoral arena and in building
independent political formations.    Re-read my post if you're going to
present a resume of my views.     And,  as I said earlier,  success is not
to be expected immediately from those "serious revolutionaries"  working
"long and hard" within the mainstream of American life to "build a serious
revolutionary movement"

>talking truth is just too morose.

That's the problem.    You're not talking truth.    You're spewing
generalities that have been digested for decades and that do not change the
reality of the situation.    You're words do not amount to action     They
are indiscriminate projectile diarrhea,  sprayed in frustration ("angst")
and spread over friend and foe alike.

> Your excuse that there's no choice, it's
>just the realities, the "nasty realties of American political
>life" reminds me of that sick feeling I get when thinking of
>the excuses given by the U.S. Gov't to justify our foreign
>policy or the average district attorney in fighting crime
>when caught associating with criminals and supporting

Yes,  the realities of American life,  whether in the political or economic
arena,  are remarkable in their nastiness.  It is the system with which we
have to work.   Look,  there are two options open to serious members of the
left today.    The first is to remain communists,  act as an agitational
resource to analyze,  build and transform, and to try to explain to the
working class what a communist society could or should mean in the modern
world.    The second is to become social democrats,  go into politics under
the rubric of one of the major parties (or their subsidiaries like Labor
Party Advocates),  frankly accept the capitalist system, and work for
whatever limited reforms are possible within it.      One cannot be both a
communist and a social democrat.     I argue for the basic integrity of the
communist viewpoint--in all its often ambiguous complexity--while at the
same time participating fully in the political vagaries of American working
class life.     I simply do not know of any other tenable avenue open to
serious communists today.

Louis Godena

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