Camejo, elections, independent politics

Adam Levenstein cleon42 at
Thu Jul 10 16:53:34 MDT 2003

--- "Jose G. Perez" <jg_perez at> wrote:
> I'm sorry if I led people into a false polemic by my calling Peter's
> campaign "socialist." I mean one thing when I say that, but many
> others
> (quite reasonably) mean entirely another.
> The important difference is NOT that between a "socialist" and a
> "green"
> campaign.

OK, I have no serious beef with that, although I think the real false
polemic is trying to compare Peter's campaign with "a Lenin" or "a
Fidel." That is, in my humble opinion, bizarre. Lenin was a Marxist in
a backward, just-out-of-feudal Russia. Fidel was a democratic
nationalist in a hyper-exploited third world Latin nation with a tinpot
dictator. There's simply no justifiable comparison between those guys
and a millionaire running a Green campaign for governor in an
imperialist nation. Different circumstances, different strategies. It's
not like comparing apples and oranges; it's more like comparing apples
and Buicks.

> What should be that next step? To go from opposing the Iraq War to
> eliminating the entire Pentagon budget? I don't think so. The NEXT
> step,
> the one Peter was promoting, is to create *our own* party, the Green
> party. What working people need is their own political movement,
> their
> own political expression, their own political voice. That is what the
> Greens in California are beginning (barely, but they ARE beginning)
> to
> build.

My problem with this is that I don't think the Greens are capable of
becoming that sort of party. I really don't. From their insistance on
consensus (which I hate, despise, deplore, detest, and just plain don't
like) to their wishy-washy pseudo-pacifism, not to mention how
overwhelmingly WHITE the party is, I really think the Greens are
structurally incapable of developing into any sort of working-class or
proto-revolutionary party. You have only to look at how they, yes, even
in California, function between elections--they DON'T. Whatever
dynamics Peter's able to bring to the table (and they are considerable,
just as they were in his SWP days) are simply lost when the election's
over. Hell, Jose, you've seen the local Greens. From what I've seen the
California Greens are the same way, just on a larger scale.

Don't get me wrong--I do think we should be working with the Greens,
and I support Camejo all the way. But let's not fool ourselves into
thinking that Peter's strengths will compensate for the party's innate
weaknesses. I think such a movement may *begin* with the Greens, but it
sure as hell won't end with them.


Adam Levenstein                          cleon42 at
ICQ: 17125158

O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou
mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.

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