Baghdad bombing: two quotes and two comments

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Aug 27 16:25:23 MDT 2003

>    So, to Cde. McDonald (and anyone else who wants to ponder and propose
> where to go from here) I would like the discussion to focus on what the
> toilers here need to do now to truly stay the hand of the
> imperialists.  I ask Cde. McDonald to reread the original posting and to
> the list of questions in that posting, add the following questions:
>    1)  What do you propose to tell workers and small farmers in the US
> and the UK about up coming elections in the US 2004 and in the UK or
> Germany or any other imperialist country.  I don't need the specifics of
> whether to vote for Labour or propose your own candidate and vote for the
> SPD or SP or CP or SWP or anyone else.  I want a concise (hopefully),
> well thought out view of how you propose to educate the workers and
> farmers in politics.

If the goal is to educate workers about socialism, I would urge them to
vote for David McReynolds if he runs again. He ran a very spirited campaign
in 2000. If the goal is to open up a political space in the USA for a
politics that is not kept on a short leash by the ruling class, I'd back
the Greens. Although I spoke publicly in favor of Dave's candidacy in 2000,
I ended up voting for Nader on the strength of his powerful address to a
standing-room only crowd at Madison Square Garden. I was also persuaded to
vote for him on the basis of the virulent attacks coming from the Nation
magazine liberals and their friends, who are the same people who urged war
against Yugoslavia and now back the right of the USA to fund and organize a
counter-revolutionary movement in Cuba. I thought Nader's campaign was much
clearer on class questions than the Jackson campaign in 1984, even though
Fidel Castro himself found it worth supporting.

>    2)  What kind of political program do you propose for the US and UK
> (and every other imperialist country) in order to stop the continuing
> slaughter?
>    If you respond that you would vote for a "better" Democrat (holding
> your nose as you do so) in order to "stop Bush" or "Push Bush" or some
> other variant of the "lesser evil" shall game (including running fake
> campaigns like the Green's Nader campaign or others like the CPUSA
> campaigns -when they still ran them - which have the aim of mobilizing
> their backers to vote for a lesser evil democrat), you have missed the
> point and need not reply.
>    These are not trivial questions and certainly not the basis for name
> calling or evasion.

What do you mean by a political program? I myself can't remember posing
such a question in 1968 or so when I was active in the antiwar movement.
Mostly we were concerned with getting parade permits or smoothing the
ruffled feathers of people like Leonard Woodcock.The only program that can
end war on a permanent basis is socialism, but that is pretty irrelevant to
the tasks of the mass movement today. Unless you want attendees at some
conference to vote in favor of a general strike and soviets or that sort of
nonsense. If they do, make sure that the motion has a correct position on
the Brenner thesis or else I won't have anything to do with it.

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list:

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