[Marxism] Re: What's Happening

Pieinsky pieinsky at igc.org
Fri Jun 25 12:11:13 MDT 2004

Re: What's Happening
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Joel Kovel 
  To: Pieinsky 
  Sent: Friday, June 25, 2004 5:32 AM
  Subject: Re: What's Happening

  Hi Jay, and good to hear from you. I will be up for Geezer week, some day at the end of July and would love to get together.

  Comment: Yes, let's do that. We'll be around.

  This has been a very difficult time politically. But you've got to play the hand you're dealt, even if, as now, it's a lousy one. 

  Comment:  I see the situation otherwise, as one full of opportunities.  We have had more people in the streets protesting than at any time since the Sixties, in fact breaking all previous records. The primary task of Marxists, as I see it, is to unite with all that anger and figure out the ways and means to convert people to an understanding that the System itself is fucked.  In fact, many people, at least among the youthful, are coming to that conclusion.  These kids are not going to pay attention to old geezers who tell them to back one candidate or another.  They want revolutionary answers.  What I observe, as was so often the case back in the Sixties, is a lot of "movement people" who should know better getting sucked into the electoral Great White Hope and trying to suck other people into it along with them. Let the liberals do that.  The tasks of Marxists (and other radicals) are not the same.

  In brief--

  I don't endorse Kerry, in fact, have refused to sign on to a "Greens for Kerry" list with a bunch of "luminaries." Can't, won't do it.

  Comment: Well, I'm glad to hear that.  Do you remember the "Maoists for McGovern" back in 1972 who made the same kinds of arguments about the rising fascist threat and the "tactical" need to stop Nixon?  I'm really doing a big deja vu here 30 years later.

  But I would prefer him to win, the way you'd rather have a less malignant form of a disease to contend with, without thereby endorsing the disease.

  Comment: Frankly, Joel, this is sophistry.  You want to have your cake and eat it too.  Again, we as revolutionaries need to get out of this either Kerry or Bush (or Nader) discourse entirely and show some leadership for the populace in that sort of direction.

  If Nader offered a really good, socialist alternative, I would support that despite the risk this posed. But I don't like him politically, and I don't like what he is doing to the Greens; in fact, I think that the people supporting Ralph are headed on a course that will destroy the greens-who have a perfectly decent candidate, David Cobb, who will build the party and doesn't really differ from Nader/Camejo in platform etec.

  Comment: I don't really give a whole hell of a lot about the fate of the Greens as a party.  I have never understand why you, an avowed Marxist, have persisted fooling around with them despite their worldwide shift to the center and, in the German homeland, pro-war right.  Here in the U.S., the "Left Greens" got out or were pushed out years ago and those people are onto other things.  But, in any case, reading between the lines, it seems you prefer Cobb over Nader because he wouldn't rock the boat for Kerry.  Cobb doesn't have the name recognition of Nader (or Camejo).  The latter stand a chance of getting some publicity and some forums to speak out from and, although not socialist, will be widening the discourse a bit from the usual bullshit.  But, if you don't want that because it might help Bush win re-election, then I guess I can follow your logic.  Run a pro-forma Green campaign.

  SO I think that the momentary rush people will get from Nader, and the somewhat greater exposure he offers, won't really translate into any long-term benefit for the radical left, while considerably increasing the risks attached to W.

  Comment: The big risk, as I see it, is that revolutionaries won't step up to the plate and make use of this historical opportunity.

  That, in th eproverbial nutshell, is my position.


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