Green debate

jmb2005 at jmb2005 at
Sun Nov 16 13:36:28 MST 2003

But you're making a series of assumptions about how socialists work 
with the Green Party that I don't think are valid.  Most 
importantly, you assume that we are all ascribing some power to a 
Green Presidential run that we aren't.  I agree that working in 
elections is a tool not an ends in and of itself, and I don't think 
that the Greens are all that wonderful or will, in the long run, be 
a succesful political formation.  But as part of a broader left 
movement, a Green presidential run can be really helpful.  Having 
something to the left to point towards can help break people from 
the Democrats, and can allow the left, specifically the anti-
occupation movement, to connect with layers of people who aren't 
yet at the point where there ready to be actively opposing what the 
U.S. is doing in Iraq.  Think of what it would be mean if we had a 
candidate in the 2004 elections calling for troops out.

At the same time, of coure you're right, we need to say that the 
main focus has to be on getting people into the streets.  And with 
any Green presidential run, we need to be arguing with activists 
that capitalism can't be reformed, that we need to fundamentally 
transform society.  In 2000, the ISO grew by hundreds of members 
around the time of Nader's presidential run through our active but 
critical involvement in that campaign.


> Actually, I think that socialists can participate in electoral
> activities.   
>    But in the context of where the Green Party is today, I thiink
> it better 
> for socialists not to get swept up into making Green electoralism
> the focus 
> of trying to work with Green Party members in joint activities.  
>  Fact is, 
> that on this list and elsewhere, there are quite a few socialists
> who look 
> for some sort of rescue for socialists in the possible potential
> successes 
> thatGreen candiddates running might have in vote getting.
> It's like instead fo trying to convince Greens that activity
> outside the 
> electoral arena is primary, the opposite has occurred.     The
> Green Party 
> has begun to convince socialists that electoral success is the
> end all and 
> be all of politics.      Don't we go through thsi sort of
> delusion each and 
> every four years?    And it is always demobilizing and a
> counterproductive 
> mindset that sets the Movement back.    Can the Antiwar Movement
> afford this 
> sort of thing over the next 12 months?
> So it is not me that is counterposing nonelectoral work to
> electoral 
> campaigning.    The truth is, that this euphoria about getting
> the Greens to 
> run, is just another version of demobilizing the movement by
> looking for the 
> good Democrat.     But what socialists consider the 'good
> Democrat' is one 
> that is really just marginally outside the DP temporarily.    
> The get the 
> Greens to run a presidential campaign today has all the charm to
> it that the 
> CP Henry Wallace campaigning once had.      And about the same
> success might 
> be forthcoming?
> Tony

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