More on the Greens, Workers World, and Peace and Freedom

Ben C benj at
Sun Sep 7 04:39:28 MDT 2003

Lou Paulsen wrote:
"Furthermore, my hypothesis is that the masses are more aware of this
than you think they are. They know that this is the dictatorship of the
bourgeoisie.(...) Perhaps they have not more, but FEWER electoral
illusions than some people on the left."

I think that although that is somewhat true in many countries, it's easy
to get this right and still make wrong tactical decisions about how to
relate to that consciousness. The "fewer electoral illusions" held by
the most marginalised working class people are mostly manifested as a
passive consciousness, by which I mean their rejection of the lies of
bourgeois politics is in fact a sullen acceptance of (or resignation to)
the status quo. How does this sullen acceptance change to rebellion?
Well, since we don't have a crystal ball we can't say for sure, but
based on history, change might come from numerous sources. It might be
those (often less marginalised, if not "middle class") workers who
support the Greens (and Camejo). It might be a section of relatively
privileged workers in a union. In some countries, it could be a bunch of
guerrillas in the countryside. I'm not a foquista, but the working class
is variegated and moves at first in separate and possibly contradictory

So when Lou Paulsen writes
"The thing to do is to organize the working class, the oppressed, the
opponents of war and racism, into a movement with some kind of program,
and then bring forward a party or a candidacy that is the representative
of that movement fighting for that program."
I disagree because I think, potentially, a "new party", even if starting
from the electoral arena, could play a crucial part in bringing a
leadership together that will actually win the masses to active
participation in politics. Look at Hugo Chavez. His Bolivarian current
emerged following the defeat of the "Caracazo" uprising in 1989, with an
attempted (popularly supported) coup.

Camejo is putting his eggs in the Green electoral breakthrough basket.
The WWP are more in the peace-movement basket. I'm not in a position to
offer any opinion on who's right. But I don't think the comment Lou
Paulsen made above in itself is reason enough to abstain from the Camejo
campaign. On the other hand, the imperative of campaigning against the
war being waged by one's own bourgeoisie is pretty hard to ignore...
These comments aren't aimed at advocating one over the other, I'm just
offering a (hopefully constructive) critique.

Ben C

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