Marxists dont support Nader

mike pearn mike at
Mon Oct 30 11:44:11 MST 2000

This is a reply to Martin Zehrs last post. My replies are interspersed but I
would ask Martin to please note that here in Britain it is also hard for
socialists to find a hearing in the bourgeois media and in many ways we too
are isolated with a low strike rate and declining level of class
conciousness. And as in the USA most socialists would rather play electoral
games than put the class first and start the hard task of rebuilding what we
are in danger of losing. Just in case that sounds ultra-left weith regard to
elections I should point out that I was a a member of Arthur Scargills SLP
at the time of the last General Election here at which my small branch
achieved a striking success in retaining our deposit (candidates in
elections pay a deposit repayable only on achieving a % of votes in any
constituency) almost unheard of for an unknown candidate. This with a media
blackout of our campaign, no money from the national party and a mere five
activists. Yep not bad thinking back. Shame about poor Arthur tho!

>    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.
No Allende was not responsible for that defeat but inviting the military
into his govt and disarming the masses sure as hell did not help. The man
died a martyrs death and has my respect as an honest reformist. A rare
breed. And yes the MIR was a petty bourgeois grouping but I well recall
talking to some of them as they prepared to return to Chile in the late
1970s and the sacrifice they too made will always have my respect. The
sectarianism, in the proper sense of separating themselves from the masses,
meant they too were rendered impotent in the face of reaction.

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

Agreed thats the task of the cdes involved in the process to connect them.
Its a sign of the failure of the Labour Party (US) that it does not make
even the smallest electoral intervention. Electoral politics should be a
secondary arena for us and the workplace  our main, not only please note,
point of concentration.
>    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
> appear to be flavored by a predisposition to blame the CPUSA for failing
> make revolution in the US. Clearly, there were other options the CPUSA
> have taken at any particular point, but I question whether the impact
> have been as significant on the direction of the workers' movement in the
> , especially after 1945, as you seem to suggest.

It might have been the case that even had the CPUSA worked for a Workers
Party in the 1945-1948 period that such a goal would still have proved
unobtainable but we will never know. I certainly dont blame anyone for not
amking a revolution as such events cannot be amde but taken advantage of
when they arrive. And how could I blame a reformist party for not being
revolutionary? The very real weight that the CPUSA had in the class might
have tipped the balance in places like Detroit or even New York. However the
main reason for the failure of an independent party was the subserviance of
the union bureaucracy. Just like Britain in the late 19th century.

>    In the end, what we have left is to have a small voice or have no
> Today, Nader is blasted in a choreographed campaign to get him to
> 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
> but at least some people in the ruling class think it's worth their time
> effort to crush. That in itself should give us pause to consider.

Quite. But many of the same voices begged Perot to reconsider on another
occasion. The bourgeois media and cultural apparatus is so scared of
literally anything that upsets the apple cart. But they are not chrushing
him they merely seek to have him return to his profitable lobbying business.
The Black Panther Party was chrushed by Cointelpo and many other radicals
(even this word is reminiscent of Britain in the 19th cen!) too suffered in
that episode.

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