Forwarded from Derek S. (Greens)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Jul 16 11:05:03 MDT 2003

The discussion over Camejo and the Greens has sparked my interest 
considerably-- specifically Jose´s analysis of what Camejo´s campaign 
represents, and why we should support it.

The idea that in the US we need a broad and open political arena, 
independent of the Reps and Dems, that can articulate and mobilize the 
sentiment of people on their political level is correct, IMO. The 
inability of the far left to recognize this, to view any type of 
formation like this as a reformist dead-end rather than a vehicle of 
upward movement for the very low level of US mass political 
consciousness, has been a big hindrance... or at least could be in the 
future if Jose´s analysis has more than a little truth to it.

I used to hold this lefty secty view myself. It sounded like this: ¨The 
Greens are not a revolutionary party. They´ll only deceive the masses. 
To support them would be a violation of principle. They support 
capitalism. blah. blah. etc. etc...¨ It was a view whose logic was fine 
during my stay in Marxist-Leninistan, but a little shortsighted in that 
other, real world we´re all trying to figure out how to change.

I´m not saying the Greens represent this needed space for the activation 
of a broad mobilization of basic mass sentiment. I don´t know. Maybe it 
doesn´t exist right now, even in an embryo stage. I´m just saying that 
the basic idea that Jose put forth, and which many others believe, is 
correct, especially considering the primitive level of mass political 
consciousness in the US: we need an independent movement that can begin 
to express basic political sentiment, activate people, which the far 
left can operate and play a role within... even if it is, initially, a 
reformist movement. I agree with Jose that if we fail to realize this, 
it´s like we are standing atop a huge ladder, with the bulk of the 
middle rungs missing, yelling for people to leap from the second or 
third rung to reach us way, way up here. Those middle rungs need to be 
laid out, and we need to be there to help in order to ensure that the 
climb doesn´t stop halfway up.

Whether the Greens represent all this is another, more concrete 
question. So, I have some questions that folks can reply to:

1. To people´s knowledge, do the Greens really have the potential to be 
a party with a large working class constituency at it´s bulk? What´s it 
like now in this regard? I agree with Jose´s pessimistic but realistic 
assessment of the Labor Party. It doesn´t seem like this is much of a 
real prospect. But I could envision an independent party developing with 
the kind of identity that certain unions, such as SEIU and AFSCME, are 
trying to push right now: a mass, popular party of working people in 
which work and community, racial, class, and gender issues, issues such 
as education, healthcare, living wage, etc., all interlap and into a 
more colorful and vibrant party of working people and their allies. This 
seems the most realistic prospect for the US-- not any type of 
traditional, romanticized labor party from sixty years ago, when 
manufacturing jobs were plentiful, unions were strong, and organizers 
didn´t have to think too much about trying to organize single black, 
latina, and asian mothers. Do the Greens represent this, or do they have 
the potential to?

2. There´s been reference to a division in the Greens between a more 
left, quasi-socialistic wing, and a right wing whose real ambitions lie 
around influencing the Democrats. Can someone elaborate on this in more 

3. Is there really any potential for the Greens to move beyond just 
electoral work and start trying to help organize things as an 
organization-- eg, antiwar mobilizations, campaigns in working class 
communities around working class concerns?

In solidarity, Derek


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