Marxists dont support Nader

Martin Zehr m_zehr at
Sun Oct 29 12:00:55 MST 2000

Parroting Naders utopian balderdash merely  exposes American Socialists as
politically impotent.

   Dare I say you have hit the nail on the head. That being the case what is
to be done about the attacks on the people in the meantime.If we sound like
Fabians, I hope that you won't hold that against us. But things being as
they are it has become exceedingly difficult to be heard at all in this
country, whether you are socialist,communist, Labor, Green or liberal.

   As to the Chilean example, I hope that you are not suggesting that
Allende was responsible for the fascist coup because he led his party in a
successful electoral strategy that was rooted in the needs of the people.
The fact that it took a massive covert operation on the part of the CIA and
the fact that the Chilean military acted in violation of the Chilean
constitution without ever being held accountable are clear indicators that
the strategy in fact succeeded, much to the chagrin of the US ruling circles
and the Chilean fascists. As I remember it, at the time the only political
forces calling for civil war in Chile was the MIR, a distinctly
petty-bourgeois force if I recall correctly. If success is the criteria for
developing strategy and tactics than the situation  must truly be bleaker
than it appears to me already.

   Let me assure you that I am not making the case that the Green Party
represents a radical alternative. Very few Greens in fact are radicalized or
bring an ideological agenda with them into the political battleground. The
philosophy that unites greens focuses on the impact of industrial and
technological development on life on this planet. It also sees the question
of human rights as applicable to all systems at all times. This
understanding has brought intellectuals, professionals, small farmers,
middle aged  and young people together into the political arena. Hampered as
they are by amateurish styles of electoral work, primitive organizational
level, lack of an electoral system more conducive to third party
participation and lack of a pool of experienced political leaders, both
within the electoral work and in the mass struggles, it is any wonder that
they have been able to stay afloat at all.

   Right now I am more concerned about the attacks on the people than about
the illusions that could come about by people actually engaging in struggle.
If people can successfully unite and begin to deal with the substantive
issues that impact on their life, the one illusion they may come out of it
with is that they can impact history, they can change reality.

   As to: "The starting point for any discussion as to the viability of
socialists supporting electoral candidates in elections is the question does
this campaign further our aim of building a workers party." I would suggest
that that may be the programme of your particular party or organization, but
there does not seem to be anything inherent in the connection between those
two objectives (electoral work and the creation of a workers party).

   I would also suggest that your perspective on the Progressive Party
campaign and its impact on the masses of workers in the US at the time would
appear to be flavored by a predisposition to blame the CPUSA for failing to
make revolution in the US. Clearly, there were other options the CPUSA could
have taken at any particular point, but I question whether the impact would
have been as significant on the direction of the workers' movement in the US
, especially after 1945, as you seem to suggest.

   In the end, what we have left is to have a small voice or have no voice.
Today, Nader is blasted in a choreographed campaign to get him to withdraw,
to deny the issues that he is raising and to prevent an independent
political force from impacting on  the election process. It may not be much,
but at least some people in the ruling class think it's worth their time and
effort to crush. That in itself should give us pause to consider.
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