Forwarded #1 from Howie Hawkins (posted from nonsubbed address)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Jun 12 14:39:16 MDT 2000


At 12:10 PM 06/11/2000 -0400, Louis Proyect wrote:
>>The Howie Hawkins piece Lou posted is good, is he on this list? And what
>>happened to Joel Kovel, did he drop out of the prez campaign, if so, why?
>>
>>Mark Jones
>
>Well, there' s a hhawkins at igc.apc.org on the list. It might be Henry or
>Hanna Hawkins for all I know, but I suspect that it is Howie. I don't think
>that Joel has dropped out of the race, but I suspect that he doesn't really
>offer his candidacy as a serious alternative to Nader's. Just something
>that is directed toward party activists in an educational fashion.
>
>Louis Proyect
>Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org/
>

Yes, this is Howie Hawkins of the Greens who has been a "deep lurker," as
Louis put it, on this list. I'm an appreciative, if selective, reader of
the list. I found the stuff on the Balkans War last year indispensable.
Same with the recent posts about the London elections. Lack of time keeps
me a limited reader and not a poster. But having surfaced, let me make a
few comments.

Joel Kovel dropped out of the race after the California and New York Green
primaries on March 7, which Nader won handily. Joel's purpose was
educational, to raise an eco-socialist perspective that has far more
support in the Greens than his voting support would indicate. We all knew
Nader would be bringing an organizational and fundraising capacity that
dwarfed any other candidate's, as well as the Greens/Green Party USA and
the Association of State Green Parties combined. Joel will be speaking at
the convention in Denver, June 24-25, where Nader's nomination will become
official.

Whatever their other differences, Greens on all sides in the US see the
Nader campaign as vehicle for increasing permanent ballot qualification for
the Green Party from 12 to about 40 states. Getting on the ballot in this
country is tough in most states and surmounting this hurdle will permit us
to focus on more on the issues instead of the mechanics of petitioning in
our campaigns. The left-right struggle in the Greens will continue after
this presidential election, state by state and locality by locality.


I'm looking forward to Louis's third installment on the Nader campaign. A
couple points on them so far:

No one in the Greens is courting the Reform Party. That's another thing
agreed upon across the board. All the initiative is coming from Reform
Party members, many of whom detest Buchanan's rightwing social agenda. The
one getting all the press attention is Jim Mangia, Reform Party Secretary,
who comes out of the Newman/Fulani group. When he tells the New York Times
he's talking with Greens, the reality is he's just sending out messages to
Greens and the media. Nader has rebuffed these overtures. For example, the
following was published in the Syracuse NY Post-Standard June 10 under the
byline of Maria Recio for Knight Ridder Newspapers:

"Nader has refused to consider the Reform Party nomination, even as a place
holder, since many states do not allow candidates to run in two parties.
'Ralph is running with the Green Party," said spokesman Jake Lewis. 'He is
not approaching the Reform Party. In the end, he'll get votes from Reform
Party members.'"

I think Nader has more appreciation and support for mass movements that the
statement about the "litigious vanguard leading the unwashed masses" gives
him credit for. For example, Nader said the following in an interview done
by the Syracuse New Times, May 3-10, 2000:

"Q:    Let's take a flight of fancy. Say you actually won the election.
Would the people in power let you take office?
A:    It depends on how the win occurred. If it occurred through a
well-informed, organized mass movement of citizens, they would have no
choice but to respect the mandate of the people. If it was a fluke, then
they would be able to counteract the reform without the winner having a
deep well of support among the people to resist repealing the mandate of
the election. But even if the Green Party made significant inroads, they
would try to erect more barriers to getting on the ballot. North Carolina,
Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and some Midwest states are now requiring huge
numbers of signatures and have many ways to disqualify them.
That's why campaign finance reform is so important. Big money, which both
major parties love to take, doesn't want those barriers removed. There are
a lot of things they can do. They can lean on their buddies in the media to
suppress the opinions of alternative candidates. They can start rattling
the economy, saying, "Well, we're going to have to move abroad to more
permissive jurisdictions." That's the way the corporations destabilized the
prime minister of Australia in the 1970s.
Any change in the country has to come from a change in direction and very
committed citizens linked throughout the country. The great conundrum of
American politics is: Can we have a democracy where the corporations have
such political power that they can bring down that democracy?"


--Howie Hawkins


Louis Proyect

The Marxism mailing-list: http://www.marxmail.org





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