[Marxism] RE: Voting by the U.S. Left--and the main stategic goal of2004
gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 21 23:27:25 MST 2004
Mark, you do some meaningless juggling of past vote totals around, and then
inform us that the "most striking problem the Left has" is lack of unity.
Then you tell us that the Green Party is the key to gaining this ephemeral
Left unity you find lacking at the polls. But you are wrong about this,
since the lack of Left unity is not the most striking problem the Left has
at the polls, contrary to what you say.
The most striking problem for the Left at the polls, if problem it be???, is
that the majority of the US population sees the whole process as rigged and
therefore they feel that their participation is quite meaningless. And
they are right. The elections are rigged. And trying to convince
people that their vote will count by voting a Left candidate for president
is an exercise in futility. Quite frankly, most people know that even if
some sort of a Bernie Sanders gets in as a self avowed socialist, thru their
vote, that nothing basic still will change. Many know that the Brits
voted "Labor" and got taken. Why should US voters think that a watered
down Green version (not based on any real labor support) of US social
democracy be worth even the trip to the polls?
However the knowledge of all this, leads most people to just greater apathy
and cynicism, since the Left has not been able to give the masses any real
alternantive vision (to elections) of how to bring about change. The main
strategic goal of the Left should be in 2004, 2005, 2006, and so on, to find
a way to convince the masses to move forward with non-electoral
organizational building that could produce results that a rigged electoral
process cannot. The Green Party has not been a real leader in this
orientation, but has fed itself into the electorialist illusions of middle
As to that stated (by you) idea that the Greens have produced a higher level
of unity. Jesus! That's bizarre nonsense. The Green Party just
lost the participation in it, of its year 2000 presidential candidate,
Nader. And the split had as its motivation from both sides, a dispute on
how best to turn out the vote for the Democratic Party! Nader says run
serious to do it, and the other side says run weak is the real method to
ensure that Bush gets defeated by the DP candidate. There's not even
unity via the Greens on how to support the other guy!
Lou has constantly pointed out that there are some very good people pushing
for the Greens. Point taken. But just as there were some very good
people pushing for the SWP at one time, nice intentions are not always that
important if the politics and strategy are wrong. In that case, nice
intentions can often just prolong the agony of illusions and frustrations,
and ultimately the cynicism and apathy of the masses will remain the chief
obstacle to Left work as a whole.
Better that socialists try to build up their own organizations and the mass
movements as a whole, than to go out and votehustle Green thinking that that
will somehow weaken the two party system. Socialists should NOW be making
demands that the Green Pary and Nader people be building a movement to get
the US out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Colombia. That should have been "the
main strategic goal of 2004 for the US Left. But so far it hasn't been.
Instead, many soicialists have been concentrating on getting people to
vote Green Party. Defeating Bush by voting DP has been the nemesis that
these socialists struggle against. But the real political problem of
2004 is that, whether voting Green Party, Nader, or lesser of two evil DP,
there is not much ACTIVE street action against the US occupation of Iraq.
The elections, once again, have demobilized protest.
The idea that getting more liberals to vote Green Party will make a
difference in US politics for the Left is just off the mark. Simply
because it is impossible to convince people that their voting can create a
three party sysem out of a controlled and managed two party one. You
cannot convince large numbers of DP liberals of that, nor large numbers of
disenchanted non-voters from the working class, neither. They know
better. Hence, the future of the Green Party in the US will continue to
be as sort of a Leftie pressure group that floats around the DP come
election time. And this Green electioneering has become almost as bad as
the DP lesser evilism routine at demobilizing protest during election years.
Socailists trying to mine gold out of lead in the Green Party are no
real help, nor have they any change of success.
The single most striking problem the Left has at the polls is that it
fails to enter the campaign united. The Greens have provided an
independent force that has come as near as any other current in modern
times to allowing us to enter national campaigns united. It is the
decisive consideration, I think...how to bring as much of those
otherwise disparate and alienated ballots together to make a common
The Greens face some serious obstacles, not the least of which would be
the diversion into a strategy of minimizing Green votes in states that
might be winnable by Democrats. Every such scheme--from the
Greenbackers in the 1870s, the Populists in the 1890s, and the later
Progressives--marks the first unraveling of the kind of independent
unity we need to express at the polls
Stay informed on Election 2004 and the race to Super Tuesday.
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