Marxists dont support Nader

Martin Zehr m_zehr at
Mon Oct 30 16:36:10 MST 2000

I'm with you Mike and don't feel that the differences between us are worth
exascerbating with a reply. As always, an honor. Martin

>From: "mike pearn" <mike at>
>Reply-To: marxism at
>To: <marxism at>
>Subject: Re: Marxists dont support Nader
>Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 17:59:48 -0000
>This is a reply to Martin Zehrs last post. My replies are interspersed but
>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
>are in danger of losing. Just in case that sounds ultra-left weith regard
>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
> > successful electoral strategy that was rooted in the needs of the
>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
> > , 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
>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
>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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