[Marxism] Re: Nader and Buchanan--thoughts on conservatism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 8 08:14:13 MDT 2004

Mark Lause wrote:
> The WTO and other international arrangements have been undermining
> "American sovereignty" in the sense that the U.S. government abdicates
> authority over some questions over which it previously exercised an
> absolute control.  The error here is that conservatives regularly imbue
> a kind of cultural content to the notion of "sovereignty," which has
> always been a governmental question.

There's absolutely no doubt that left-populism and right-populism have 
affinities with each other. Anybody who has studied the career of Tom 
Watson will recognize that immediately.

Nader is a transitional figure. If the crisis of American capitalism 
deepens and if the Green Party--by some miracle--develops roots in the 
working class and minorities, we will see candidates who have a much 
clearer class outlook. For example, I am quite sure that Camejo's 
California campaign is a harbinger of things to come.

However, politics is all about what to do next. In 2004, we are dealing 
with a bipartisan policy of deepening war and economic austerity. 
Kerry's well-calculated tribute to Reagan and the floating of John 
McCain as a VP candidate confirms that, as if we needed any 
confirmation. The Nader candidacy, for all its flaws, runs counter to 
this dynamic. It is widely perceived--and rightly so--as favoring 
withdrawal from Iraq and challenging neoliberal economic policies. It 
helps the radical movement if he gets a big vote. This is well 
understood by his enemies at the Nation Magazine and by his friends at 


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