[Marxism] Voting by the U.S. Left--and the main stategic goal of 2004

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Feb 23 09:20:41 MST 2004

Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
> "Marvin Gandall", Sun, 22 Feb 2004 13:08:17 -0500:
> >The reality, as Jim points out, is that until there is a systemic
> >crisis, nothing works at the present time - not an entry into the
> >Democrats, not the Greens, not the far left.
> That all depends on what you mean when you say "nothing works."
> "Works" for what purpose?

Gramsci argued that a general staff could always raise an army, but that
an army cannot raise a general staff. I think he was on to something,
though "general staff" is not quite correct. I would rather say core of
non-coms. With enough non-coms, under the right conditions you can
always raise _both_ an army and a general staff.

If by "works" Marvin means raise an army (even a small army), he is
correct. But the anti-war movement, the Green Party of the last decade
or so, the Anti-"Globalization" movement, perhaps various local
struggles, have already generated a goodly scattering of local
organizers across the land (and in places not visible from the Nation
editorial room). If enough of those organizers continue to resist the
ABB onslaught, if they focus continually and with some success on the
need of local anti-war groups to hang in there, then indeed -- for the
present -- our efforts will have worked.

Another metaphor, that of Punctuated Equilibrium as posited by Gould,
Elledge, Vrba and others as the 'rhythm' of biological evolution. Those
of us over 40+ can remember the last _political_ punctuation, the civil
rights and anti-war movements of the '60s. We should always work _as
though_ the next punctuation were imminent -- on the grounds that defeat
is defeat, and so be it, but victory when one is not prepared to build
on it is intolerable.


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