Nader/U.S. Election

cc136 at cc136 at
Sun Nov 5 22:21:00 MST 2000

On Mon, 6 Nov 2000, mike pearn wrote:

> No doubt Nader has the support of a small number of progressive union
> breaucrats but Gore has the support of far more or will you argue that he is
> somehow a workers representative? It is the support of masses of rank and
> file unionists that is crucial and this is how the Labour parties were
> founded when the ranks caused the leaders to break with the Liberals of the
> day. At best Nader sees workers as victims to be defended and not as the
> agents of change in society but the constitutional politics of which he is
> an exponent are designed to keep workers out of politics as workers and
> treat them as mere voting fodder.

Again, I say you are either ignorant or lying.  Check out the and look at the platform.  He supports the
repeal of Taft-Hartley, workers' collectives, and nationalizing key
industries.  You're right if you say he is no socialist - congratulations
for stating the obvious.  But he's the biggest thing here in the US now,
and Marxists are stupid not to support the Greens at this point in time,
considering the objective historical circumstances.  Having worked with
the Greens at Cornell, a very conservative campus, I can say that,
despite their bourgeois orientation and sometimes reactionary idealism
(small is beautiful, etc.), that Green activists are the Left's best
spawning ground for socialism/communism movement.

> As for Naders comments on race and gender issues well they are a bit late in
> the day. The man does not have a good record on these issues or have you
> forgotten his comments on the politics or melanin and gonadal politics? As i
> wrote before when the movement for Black Liberation was at its height Nader
> was not to be seen. When the Womens Liberation movement was able to mobilise
> hundreds of thousands for the ERA Nader was not to be seen. When Unions are
> on strike Nader is not to be seen. When the movement against the war in
> Veitnam was at its height Nader was not to be seen. But hells bells aren't
> seatbelts the road to socialism. Judge the man on his record and not just
> the past few months and you will find a devoted defender of capital.

In his speech in DC today, he stated that political activism should be
based on collective goals, not on "who we are as individuals" (identity
politics).  That's what he meant by gonadal politics.  I would think that
such a position would have widespread support on this list.  BTW, his
position on civil rights and civil liberties for women and
gays/lesbians/bi/transgender communities is correct, clear, unequivocal,
and way ahead of the Demoblicans.

I've said this before on this list, but I'll say it again.  As a former
"Nader Raider" I too have been disappointed at the lack of ethnic
diversity within the environmental movement. But that's not Ralph's
fault, and, in my view, it's a mistake to pick out all his faults AS AN
INDIVIDUAL.  It's not about individuals, Mr. Pearn.  It's about a
movement.  So what if Nader wasn't involved in every movement of the last
30 years.  What's happening today?  That should be the focus.  BTW,
coalition-building is a two-way street.  As someone who has been involved
in environmental justice campaigns for the past 10 years, I have to say
that not all of the blame can be laid at the door of environmentalists.
Many people of color, from Blacks to Latinos to Native Americans,
stereotype environmentalists, just as Marxists have done.  We all lose.

> Frankly Mr Carrick I have a record of active involvement with the struggles
> of my class reaching back to Feb 1974 and do not need some wanna be academic
> inferring that I am some kind of "keyboard marxist". Nor do I take kindly
> your abusive and incorrect statement that I might be the type of sectarian
> who waits for crisis to get involved. I reject and have always
> rejected such nonsense. If you had actually read my earlier posts you would
> know that I advocated Marxists orientating on the Nader campaign but not at
> the cost of turning their back on the working class. If your contempt for
> facts is any kind of guide as to the abilities of academic "marxists" its no
> wonder most of you are tailenders of Stalinist scum like Milosevic and class
> collaborators at home.

With this kind of "resume touting," and claims to working-class
"authenticity", it's no wonder you have such a negative view of Nader.
As marxists, it is our job to push this naescent movement in the right
direction (towards the working class and communities of color).  Simply
criticizing it b/c it's not where we want it to be is naive.  Let's not
turn our backs on the Greens or the working class, but rather take a
leadership position (in the Gramscian sense) to build bridges between them.

Chris Carrick
PhD Candidate
Department of City and Regional Planning
Cornell University

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