Nader and working class

Workers World, Chicago Bureau wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Sat Oct 28 15:16:01 MDT 2000



-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Zehr <m_zehr at hotmail.com>


(Martin Zehr has posted a response to my note, but I swear to God I don't
understand it.)

>Lou, One thing I don't think that you are getting is that this is not just
>about changing people's minds. It's about stopping the political schemes
>against the people of this country and the world.

See, right here he loses me.  Martin, do you expect to stop the "political
schemes" without changing people's minds?  Do you expect to stop the
"political schemes" without first abolishing capitalism by means of
socialist revolution?  Do you really expect to get Nader a majority of the
electoral college, and make him president, in the expectation that a Nader
administration will "stop the political schemes"?  If not, then how is
organizing 5 per cent or 10 per cent of the electorate to vote for Nader
going to "stop the political schemes"?  What ARE you talking about?

>It's about instituting
>policies that promote peace and development over militarization and
>segregation.

It gets harder and harder to understand.  Who is going to institute such
policies?  Do you expect to get Nader a majority of the electoral college,
and make him president, in the expectation that a Nader administration will
"institute policies that promote peace and development over militarization
and segregation"?  Do you believe that it is possible to have "policies that
promote peace and development over militarization and segregation" without
having a socialist revolution, defeating the political and military power of
the predatory imperialist bourgeoisie, and expropriating them?

> It's about finding ways of developing the people's movement so
>that they can win battles along the way.

I am in favor of this.  What "battles" will be "won" as a result of people
voting for Nader?    Will they not be "won" if WWP doesn't support the Nader
campaign?  What about all the other "battles," such as winning strikes,
building demonstrations, fighting imperialist propaganda, defending
political prisoners like Mumia, pressuring the government with mass action,
etc.?  What about the "battle" to win people over to socialism?

>I have no problem with anything
>that you are saying except that in the context of who is making the
>decisions now and what the options being presented are there appears to be
>not much in the way of choices.

Appears to whom?  To the workers?  To you?  To me?  Choices about what?  Who
to vote for?  Does it matter whether it's a state where WWP is on the ballot
or not?  Or do you mean, choices about what to do with our time?   By "who
is making the decisions now" do you mean the bourgeois state and media?  If
we limit ourselves to the "options" they "present", how far are we going to
get?  This sentence is particularly obscure.

>Theories about a step by step conversion of
>the working class have to begin to respond to the current political and
>economic realities.

Yes, and?

>If there is going to be change it can only come from
>those willing to become so engaged.

"So engaged?"  HOW engaged?  Engaged in what?  In responding to the current
political and economic realities?  Yes.. and?

>And if our present map does not provide
>adequate answers to address the problems confronting us then it's our
>responsibility to develop new strategies and tactics that will.


Yes, and?

Personally I think that building the socialist movement is an excellent way
to respond to the current political and economic realities, and that it
offers a lot more in the way of "adequate answers" than the Nader program.
If Karl Marx could speak in 1850 about the necessity to field independent
workers' candidates, it would seem odd if 150 years later such activity has
become "premature".  I admit there have been a lot of setbacks in the last
ten years, but surely the world hasn't been set back to the years before the
Communist Manifesto!!!

Lou Paulsen
www.geocities.com/chicagowwp   (under construction)








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