(Off list again) RE: [Marxism] RE: "Democratic decentralism" (was:RE: Joaquin sets newhighwater mark re "what kind of party":

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Aug 23 07:16:06 MDT 2004

>"principle" like no support to anyone who runs on a DP line ever. And
>IF we draw the line at never, ever voting for anyone under any
>circumstances who might be on a DP ballot line, we would exclude a whole
>bunch of people I, at least, would want to convince to join the process
>(like WWP, Freedom Road and at least some folks in Soli).

When I used to discuss things with Camejo in the early 80s, this was a 
subject that preoccupied him. He was trying to figure out a way to hook up 
with broader forces, but wasn't sure how important having the kind of 
absolutist position on the DP from SWP days was. Obviously, he decided to 
go soft on this when he joined the CofC, which was deeply implanted at the 
local level in the DP. I joined the CofC myself on the urging of Ray 
Markey, a trade union leader and ex-SWP'er, who was working with the 2 of us.

I went to one CofC convention and was thoroughly alienated by what I 
perceived to be the bad habits retained from the CPUSA. They seemed bogged 
down in electoralism and sewer socialism. This was around the time that 
Camejo decided to part company because they refused to circulate a 
hard-hitting article on the folly of backing the Democrats.

He was also strongly attracted to the idea of a Green Party, but it hadn't 
really taken shape in the early 1980s. The Bernie Sanders campaign was also 
important to him, but as we know Sanders turned out to be a disgusting 
reformist who is a Democrat without actually wearing the label.

I have a strong feeling that the momentum around the Nader-Camejo campaign 
can provide a lift for future initiatives. If all the people who have stood 
up to the DP blitzkrieg and become active around this ticket can convene in 
2006 or so, it will be very useful. Starting on the basis that principled 
opposition to the 2-party system is a point of departure for the left, we 
can begin to gather broader forces around us. Our motto should be the Tom 
Petty song, "I won't back down".

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