The Real AntiWar Movement

Michael Pugliese debsian at
Tue Nov 30 10:18:26 MST 1999

   Couple of comments on Jose's post in reply to mine on this thread. BTW,
before I forget, I think Jose makes some good points. Herewith my
    1) I deliberately typed ethnic w/c. Thought ethnic would be a good
marker for "white"
     2)Non-voters, do not determine electoral outcomes, and thus do not help
to determine which wing of the two-party duopoly will rule.
For those times in which the "choice" between
really reactionary pro-capitalist pols GOP elephants) and ever so slightly
less reactionary pols (almost all Democratic donkeys) will make a difference
on the margins on state policy, the electoral abstentionists make a bad
decision. Just how hard is it to register and vote anyway, esp. with
Motor-Voter that the scholars on welfare, Piven and Cloward pushed for and
got enacted?
  3) No fan of the British Labour party esp. it's
Blairite "New Labour" Third Way DLC'ish direction but, at least there, there
was a "socialist" history to appeal to. Until Clause Four was thrown away
(nationalization of the major industries) that is. I'd say I'd rather
struggle in a political context where such exists, than in the U.S. where
what socialists do exist, like DSA, who do spin their wheels in the
Democrats managerie like birds before a cat.
  4) on Jose's last point: Survey data like the University of Michigan's
National Opinion Research which talks to voters and non-voters alike, and
has for decades, show that non-voters
(yes, mostly working class and poor, mostly people/communities of color) and
voters political opinions are similiar.
   5) Back to a previous point of Jose's, re: shift from Dems to Reps being
overshadowed by bigger shift to non-voting. The 70's and 80's saw masses of
white working class voters shifting to Republicans, at least on the
Presidential level. The 90's are seeing these voters shift to independent
parties. Hope they don't get shnookered by a Buchanan-Fulani ticket!
                               Michael Pugliese

----- Original Message -----
From: Jose G. Perez <jgperez at>
To: Marxism List <marxism at>
Sent: Monday, November 29, 1999 10:22 AM
Subject: Re: The Real AntiWar Movement

> Michael Pugliese writes:
> >>However my understanding
> of the move of some ethnic working class Democrats (not just upper class
> academic neo-con policy wonks) to Republican columns during the Nixon and
> Reagan era was due to reaction against the "acid, amnesty, and
bortion"( to
> use
> PJB's phrase, jeez think of Buchanan on acid?)
> McGovernite New Politics which shifted the balance of forces in the
> Democratic party away from the old party regulars of the Meanyite AFL-CIO
> towards neo-liberals like Gary Hart and the DLC(Democrats for the Leisure
> Class in Jesse Jacksons phrase) (Before anyone says I'm full of illusions
> about the Dems, yes I've read Mike Davis'es first book on the Am. Working
> Class and this former believing in Schactmanite/Harrin- gtonian
> "realignment" couldn't agree more with Davis on the Democrats
> pro-capitalist nature.)<<
> 1. When you say "working class Democrats," you mean white, male, U.S.
> i.e., a minority of the working class and precisely that minority in which
> the labor aristocracy is disproportionately drawn from.
> 2. THE BIG SHIFT is not from Democrat to Republican. That is almost
> completely and totally a lie made up out of whole cloth by bourgeois
> propagandists and reporters. It is from VOTERS to NON-VOTERS.
> 3. Those who "dropped out" of electoral politics (except in 1998) compared
> to previous years were disproportionately working class, and from the most
> exploited layers of the working class, who previously had tended to be
> suckered in by the Democrats.
> 4. The off-year 1998 Congressional elections was an exception. In that
> election it was participation from typically Republican demographics that
> went down. That because even THEIR people got sick and tired of the
> braying about the Whitewater scandal that no one could make any sense of,
> and about Monica Lewinskygate which everyone outside Congress and
> newsrooms saw as an enormously entertaining sexual comedy of errors but
> hardly a matter of state.
> 5. The Democrats are not "fundamentally pro-capitalist," the way say, that
> the British Labor Party is. The two-party system is one animal with two
> heads that feed from the same trough. The Democratic and Republican
> are not the fundamental political organizations of the ruling class. The
> two-party system is the fundamental political organization.
> 6. This two party system has made bourgeois politics a content-free zone.
> People do not vote because there is no "there" there. It's not that all
> different
> choices are basically bourgeois and therefore unpalatable. It's that there
> are no different choices period.
> 7. The two party system lives in intimate symbiosis with the bourgeois
> press, which has also become a content-free zone, devoid of any pretense
> reporting on or analysis of public policy.
> 8. The art of bourgeois politics in the U.S. is looking good on TV. The
> of bourgeois reporting in the U.S. is looking good on TV. Thus the
> politicians and political operatives are increasingly intermingled with
> indistinguishable from the celebrity press corps.
> 9. At no time in American history has bourgeois politics been as openly
> nakedly corrupt as now. Congress is a whorehouse  and the two party
> committees are bagmen for an extortion/protection rackets that rake in
> hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
> 10. It has been the accentuation of these trends since 1960 that has led
> a steady decrease in the percentage of the eligible voters who
> In presidential elections, it is now less than half. In the off-year
> Congressional elections, it is one third. For the big majority of state,
> county and local elected officials, participation ranges typically between
> 5% and 15% of those eligible.
> 11. Trying to speculate about overall shifts in working class attitudes by
> the kinds of electoral contests and outcomes we've had over the past few
> decades is about as reliable as using a Ouija board. As things stand, the
> big majority of the working class is disenfranchised to all intents and
> purposes.
> José
> ---
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