Chris Brady chris_brady at
Sat Jun 3 03:34:24 MDT 2000

I know by now that you won’t confuse my following comments with a
defense of the Democratic Party of the USA.  The recurring problem with
the Democrats in US politics is that it has a history of the New Deal
and the Great Society to fall back on, and currently it has a better
record than the Republican Party in expressing support for gun control,
women’s rights, rights of minorities and gays, and defense of the
environment. On the more local level, the Democrats in Oregon fought
against the regressive tax reforms of the Business Roundtable while the
Republicans made hay off it. But in substantial areas of legislation,
that is, in REALITY, as Carrol notes, the Democrats play the same game
as the Republicans, maybe even better.  They forced the greatest strides
in neo-liberalism world-wide since the Opium Wars.
As our opponents, in some cases they are worse.  To add to Carrol’s
list, it was the Democrats who bumbled into Korea and it was they also
who escalated the war in Vietnam. (I see that Julio added his Top Ten).

As national champion of labor we know that the Democratic Party has
finally kicked even the top dogs at the AFL-CIO enough to make a few of
the cannier contemplate new tricks.  I think that the US Presidential
election is basically a consumer choice in management styles. But it’s
also a propaganda opportunity.

I initially argued against the Republicrat con, but I am primarily
concerned with transcending the Green Dream to arrive at a tactical
point where an outspoken consideration of the Socialist candidate should
be expressed.  But I caution this recommendation is heuristic.  The
consideration of Socialism should eventuate in the definition of the
terms, and then comparison with practice.

One big problem we have now is that with the New Party, the Labor Party,
the Greens, and the Socialists we really have no viable national
political vehicle.  We can talk about destroying the Democrats so that
the right-wingers shake out into the Republican or Reform parties, and
we win the left-wingers, but who is “we”?  What have Canadian socialists
got if not an empty shell that once was dedicated to a Cooperative
Commonwealth Federation?

We, as has been suggested, must get real.  We should start arguing and
developing conversion plans before the shit hits the fan because when
the up-cycle peaks, it’ll descend with the same velocity it went up on
and there will be a few million people wondering what to do next.
(See the portents:
116,000 Jobs Lost in May, Biggest Decline in 8 Years
NYTimes, June 3, 2000
followed by, with great irony albeit with plain potential:
Stocks Post Big Gain on Report That Shows Slowing Economy
[capital gets giddy at job losses]
NYTimes, June 3, 2000

Also it is a huge proposition but it must be dealt with:
refitting industries, reassigning military personnel, a
massive population of administration and bureaucratic directors and
management, etc., who must be re-deployed, all to deal with new tasks.

Commonalities with people in other countries should be made crystal
clear or fascistic tendencies will take off.  Socialism in one country
has been proven a pipe dream.  In order for there to be revolutionary
international socialism there must be a wholesale redistribution of
wealth planet-wide.  Can democracy pull that off?  Do human animals
voluntarily give away their material, territorial and reproductive
advantages?  We are really racing the devil now.  Capitalism is wasting
and spoiling our world faster and faster.  That might be a material
incentive for those with imagination and foresight, and with an empathy
with humanity.  But for a family with a mortgage and car payments and
kids going into college with the mom's, dad's and the fiance's job in

An old friend reminded me once that Lenin did not lead the Russian
Revolution with slogans advocating “Communism” but with demands for
“Peace, Land, Bread.”  What do we have to offer?

Chris Brady

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