Peter Camejo, the Greens, and Independent Politcal Action
aymery at ix.netcom.com
Tue Jul 22 15:43:07 MDT 2003
Reading through the 15 or so posts in this thread, it seems to me that two
main discussions emerged. Eli (Stephens) and Charles (Januzzi), if I
understood them properly, consider that Kucinich is a leftist on his own right
within the Democratic Party (DP) on the one hand, and, on the other, that it
makes sense to work within the DP in view of the current historical
circumstances in the U.S. Johannes (Schneider) and Lüko (Willms) take the
negative evolution of the German GP into a neo-liberal (bourgeois) war party
and, based on their experience and analysis, pretty much reach some of the
conclusions similar to that of Adam Levenstein in last week's thread on Peter
Camejo and the Greens, in particular that the Greens cannot become a mass
party of the working class.
Certainly, as Charles asserts, it *would* be nice in comparison to
Clinton/Bush to see Dennis Kucinich become the next US president and
"people all over the world would sigh in relief at a Kucinich presidency," but
it's a rather moot assertion, isn't it? I too take Kucinich's honesty at face value.
I do not doubt for one moment his integrity. He believes in working within the
system as once upon a time Sen. Wellstone did, and as the German Greens
do, etc. As Kucinich said:
>>"I have no interest in a third party candidacy. None," says Kucinich. "I
want to do it the other way -- bring third party candidates into the
[Democratic] Party and get support in the primaries." -- Ruth Conniff, "The
Peace Candidate," The Progressive, April 2003<< (Cited by Howie Hawkins
in the article to which I referred in my intial answer to Johannes.)
I'm also certain that he deeply believes it would move the compass of the DP
in a more "liberal" direction. I guess the German Greens also believed they
would move the German body-politics to the Left; as the French socialist did
and the French PC did when they joined the Socialists.... and as the CPUSA
does when it is calling its militants to support the DP candidate in the next
elections. The question is not about "beliefs," but whether it works? I think
everybody (on this list) knows the answer.
However, I tend to agree with much of what Johannes and Lüko have to say
about the many pitfalls any kind of loose coalition, like the Greens, faces. Yet,
somehow, does it mean that the Greens in the USA will necessarilly repeat the
German experience? Is there some kind of pre-destined outcome (mechanistic
history)? And, as I was asking Adam last week, what's the alternative?
Here, in the U.S., I see none beside the Greens (I may be totally incorrect).
This is the only "movement"/coalition that has *some* motion and has a
relatively large audience, that can raise some money, a loose organization that
can be used by personalities (Nader, Camejo...). Should we stay on the
sidelines because it does not represent all of our theoretical aspirations?
So, I'm a bit at a loss here. Lüko, The electoral programme of the socialist
workers is on my hard drive. I've read it more than once. It is 123 years old.
How applicable is it to our present circumstances or, more precisely, how can
it be applied (programatically)?
Furthermore, how do you organize a "class party" is a society that but for a
minority considers itself classless and has increasingly moved into identity-
politics (ethnicity, etc.), is deeply self-centered, and where manufacturing jobs
have moved to the maquiladeras on their way to China?
I think that we need to take into account reality. And reality, today, in the
USA, in reference to the next presidential elections, if one wishes to break-
away from the two-party system, is green -- again, with all the pitfalls and the
As to the message: Use any word that the audience can apprehend without
rejection. It's about a looming ecological disaster. It's about re-tooling the
entire growth/production process (yes, it is about consuming less). It's about
making people understand the consequences, as David McDonald says, of
having China and India and the rest of the world with a density of cars per
capita similar to that of the U.S. It's about poverty, abject poverty for billions.
It's about lack of clean water for more than 1 billion people, and according to
a recent UN report the distinct possibility that in 20 years time we will have to
do with 1/3 less clean water in the world; it's about collectivisation of the
means of production; it's about the ozone layer, it's about global warming, it's
about racism; it's about.... Should I continue? (The list is not prioritized by the
So, let's hope we do learn from the German Green's experience and not
More information about the Marxism