Camejo, elections, independent politics

Adam Levenstein cleon42 at
Sat Jul 12 07:27:37 MDT 2003

> What I'm saying is that it represents *motion*, sentiment being
> translated into action, on the part of working people. It has nothing
> to
> do with how much of "a movement" the Green Party itself is, at least
> in any IMMEDIATE sense.

Voting != Action. That's a key part of my point you're missing.

> THAT is the FACT we need to grapple with. BEFORE getting into a big
> discussion about whether this is really all that it should be.
> Because
> Camejo's Green Party in California may be inferior to the one of
> Adam's
> dreams in nearly every conceivable way, but it is superior in ONE way
> that is decisive: it exists.

Whoa whoa whoa. *You're* the one claiming the Greens will becomes this
new mass working-class party. It's not *my* dreams that are in question
here. I question whether they're capable of becoming such a thing.

Until I see some evidence to the contrary, I have to say "no."

> Whether or not the green party in its own name and through its own
> mechanisms mobilized people for protests and rallies and other
> activities, it is clear, for example, in our area, that people in the
> Green Party were very much up to their necks in all sorts of other
> movement organizations and campaigns.

Bull feathers, Jose, and you damn well know it. The Green Party locally
doesn't do jack squat beyond election campaigns (and only barely that).
At Gay Pride the Dekalb County Party was represented by 2 people.
(Fulton Cty didn't even make a cameo.) At the MLK parade, there was
maybe half a dozen. Imagine--the Green Party was outnumbered by Atlanta
Palestine Solidarity! I think there are a total of two DCGP members
involved in Jobs with Justice. One may have been involved in the
Georgia Peace Coalition. Beyond that, nothing. How this translates into
"up to their necks in all sorts of other movement organizations and
campaigns" is beyond me.

You were *at* the annual meeting, Jose. 25-30 people arguing for hours
about whether to include the word "militant" in an anti-war statement
the day after the invasion of Iraq. All this going on at the *same*
*time* that anti-war protests were taking over downtown Atlanta.

Jose, it's not "dialectical" to confuse what you'd like to think the
Greens are doing with what they really are.

> But what is even *more* significant for purposes of THIS discussion
> is
> that the greens are succeeding in attracting  key people from all
> those
> other groups/causes to itself. Adam should know this, being a
> founding
> member of Solidarity's Atlanta branch, a socialist group that
> initially
> in Atlanta had no relations with the local greens a year ago and now
> basically has a big subset of its members who are in the greens and
> is
> fairly interpenetrated with it. And not because the Soli branch is
> "intervening" in the greens, our branch doesn't really function that
> way.

Jose, you're making this sound as if we just happened to get involved
in the Greens based on all the work in common we found ourselves doing.
Not true at all.

We made a conscious decision to get involved in the Greens. I know--I
was the one who proposed it to the branch. You were at the meeting.
Don't make this sound as if it was something it wasn't. We were asked
to get involved by some friends of ours in the left wing of the local
party who feared a faction fight was looming. (It wound up fizzling.)

> And it is was just a question of the Soli folks, well, members of
> small
> socialist groups talk themselves into doing all sorts of strange
> things.
> But it isn't. They're attracting people --top notch people-- from the
> labor movement, from the movement to defend the rights of immigrants,
> from antiwar groups. You see that, you start thinking, this is
> symptomatic of something.

WHERE do you see this, Jose? Certainly not in the local Party.

> Now, a lot of the things Adam raises are very real concerns. People
> in/around the greens are involved in anything and everything
> progressive
> going on, but shouldn't more of this really be done in and through
> the
> green party as such? Can the party develop into what it should be if
> it
> doesn't do that? Should it be so absorbed with the formalities and
> technicalities stipulated in the election laws, or should it, for
> example, view the annual state or county meeting as a formality to be
> complied with by a small committee of reliable people, without making
> those state-mandated forms major events for the organization? Is
> consensus-type internal functioning really all that democratic, never
> mind efficient? Tons of other things.

The same things you earlier said were "undialectical" and

> And it may well be that some of these things will be the ones that
> lead
> to the Greens not becoming the mass party of working people that
> finally
> arises, or will be changed along the way.

...Which was my entire point to begin with, except a little stronger.
These things are *fundamental hinderances* that *will* prevent the
Greens from becoming such a party.

I'm done with this discussion.

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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