Peter Camejo, the Greens, and Independent Politcal Action

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at
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 
repeat it.



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