[Marxism] RE: Communist tasks

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 17 23:48:26 MST 2004

The old SWP had many defects, but some very important strong points, too.    
One of them was its ability to make antiimperialism the principle task for 
American revolutionaries that united within the SWP.   And the other strong 
point, was its refusal to get conned into capitalist electoral game playing 
every 4 years.    It is dismaying to have seen both the SWP, and now so many 
American marxists from an SWP background that left the organization, throw 
aside one or both of these important positions of the SWP of the '60s and 
early '70s, and indeed for alll the preceeding years, too.

One of the reasons that I have been flamed and attacked about opposing 
Socialist membership and entryism in the US Green Party so much, is simply 
because old SWPers know that the SWP that they had participated in before 
they left or got expelled never would have taken either the "Lesser of Two 
Evil" stance towards the Democratic Pary, nor would they have called for a 
vote for a capitalist reform grouping like the Green Party.    They don't 
like their new and changing poltical orientations questioned, and know how 
bedrock in the old SWP this hostility toward supporting capitalist party 
politicking was.

Both Louis Proyect and Walter Lippman, each in their own way, show this 
tendency of retreat from previously held political positions that many of 
the SWP asteroid comrades now engage in.    Under the guise that there is 
something special about the current political allignments that justs makes 
their new found beliefs of flirting with alligning themselves with a 
capitalist political party somehow urgent, these comrades are doing all 
sorts of new twisting and turning.    Louis Proyect correctly calls for a 
taking "a clear class stand" and not voting DP or RP.    But he once also 
took "a clear class stand" while a member of the SWP, against voting for 
third political parties and candidates that were reform capitalist 
proponents, and without any base in the trade union movement or within the 
national minority communities.      This message is now somewhat lacking in 
Lou's posts.

Hence, once Lou as a member of the SWP would have called for not voting 
Green Party in any election, let alone the presidential race.    'The clear 
class stand' would have rejected not just the DP, but also the Green Party, 
as being a poltical tendency that had not clearly rejected capitalism, and 
had not clearly opted for socialism and workers power in any meanigful 
manner.   Lou, like many of the other SWP retirees, has thrown out the baby 
with the bathwater in regards to their rejection of old SWP positions 
regarding how the SWP membership intervened in elections.   They not only 
are rejecting the old sectarian pseudo campaigning under that own name that 
the SWP engaged in during election times, but they now are also beginning to 
reject taking that "clear class stand" of not voting for capitalist parties 
and  candidates.

In the case of pushing for Green candidates, they have exaggerated and lied 
about the Green Party's committment to keeping their pro-ecology message, 
firmly and eternally locked to supporting reform within the capitalist 
economic framework.     They have exagerrated the supposed Green Party 
committment to the US working class and labor.    They have tried to project 
the Green Party as committed to antiimperialism!    And they have promoted a 
false belief that the Green Party, or some major element within it, could be 
captured and transformed into an anticapitalist formation.    And above all, 
they believe that the Green Party is a tendency that holds potential for 
breaking up the US two party system, when there is every reason to doubt 
that this is actually so.

There are no new reasons that socialists should be calling for voting DP.    
  And there are no new reasons why  socialists should be enteriing into 
alliances with the procapitalist Green Party, and calling for building that 
party and voting for its candidates.   Lou, the real argument within the 
Left is about the role of the Green Party, and not just about the role of 
the DP as you said it was.    You, and other pro Green Party socialists, 
have failed to make your case that a Green Party vote is an anticapitalist 

In fact, a Green Party vote is about as anticapitalist as a vote for 
Kucinich is, and most Green Party supporters were pushing both Kucinich and 
GP at both and the same time.    And many did the same in 2000 about Gore 
and Nader.    Socialists should 'take a clear class stand', and not go out 
and cheerlead the construction of the GP.   It's doubtful that a Malcolm X 
or a Eugene Debs would have done so, or be on the GP ticket if alive today.  
  One was too nationalist, and the other too antiwar.

Tony Abdo
Defeating Bush would be good thing, don't we think?
I know I sure think it would be a good thing to have
Bush defeated. That doesn't mean I'm endorsing any
of the Democrats, just saying that defeating Bush
would be a good think. I don't know why people are
so negative about the idea that the thief who stole
the presidency should be defeated in the upcoming

Walter Lippmann
I don't think that the argument is whether Kerry is "better" than Bush--even 
if only marginally so. The real argument is within the left about the role 
of the Democratic Party. I believe that it is necessary to take a clear 
class stand and state that working people should not vote for a Democrat or 
a Republican, just like Malcolm X and Eugene V. Debs did.

Louis Proyect

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