[Marxism] Reply to an American realo

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 30 11:57:59 MDT 2004


In his ongoing capacity as chief ideologist of the Demogreen/Realo 
faction of the US Green Party, Ted Glick has an article on the Zmag 
website that talks about every aspect of the recently concluded Green 
Party convention except the politics. I will try to draw this out with 
bracketed comments on selected passages from his piece. You can read the 
entire article at:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=33&ItemID=5792

Before donning my hip-boots and wading into this muck, I want to make a 
general observation about the discourse of the Demogreens. It has been a 
very long time since I have come across such disingenuous prose marked 
by fuzziness and Pecksniffian self-righteousness. I wonder if this is 
the heritage of the CPUSA in the USA. This kind of talking out of both 
sides of one's mouth was perfected by the party. Have veterans of the 
1960s generation who have followed a more cautious path after the 
"excesses" of their youth been studying the speeches of Gus Hall? I 
really wonder. Let's take a look at what he has to say:

Green and Growing by Ted Glick June 28, 2004

The three main positions going into Milwaukee were to neither nominate 
nor endorse anyone, to nominate former GPUS general counsel David Cobb, 
or to nominate no one and then endorse Ralph Nader. A variant of the 
pro-Nader position, one pushed by California GP leader Peter Camejo, 
called for no nomination and then an endorsement of both Cobb and Nader.

[These were not the positions at all. The positions were over whether 
the Green Party would be an auxiliary to the Democratic Party or an 
independent and radical electoral formation opposed to both parties that 
Malcolm X called the wolf and the fox. The Cobb delegates were pro-fox.]

Convention week was begun on Monday with a huge announcement by Nader 
that he was choosing Camejo to be his Vice Presidential candidate. Score 
one for the pro-Nader forces.

[Score one for the pro-Nader forces? Politics as a horse race. I never 
thought I'd see the day that radicals would use formulations from Sunday 
morning television.]

Two days later Medea Benjamin, like Camejo a California Green Party 
leader, issued a statement headlined, "Want to Get Rid of Bush and Grow 
the Greens? Support David Cobb." Touche.

[Grow the Greens? Why does this formulation disturb me so much? I guess 
it is because it comes out of the corporate/consulting world. I remember 
first hearing it on Wall Street in the 1980s. They used to say that they 
wanted to "grow the firm" or "grow the client base". It was a term that 
was ubiquitous to board meetings and the business press. Eventually it 
seeped into the nonprofit world as on-the-go executive directors would 
make presentations about the need to "grow the base" or "grow the 
movement". It is basically a marketing concept and particularly suited 
to the kind of hustle that Medea Benjamin is involved with, a tourist 
agency for the Birkenstock-wearing, NPR-listening well-heeled 
professional who wants to see what "it's really like" in Haiti or 
Brazil. And while they're there, they can pick up some tasteful trinkets.]

Significantly, there were no physical altercations or, as far as I am 
aware, even any nasty emotional outbursts between those on the 
respective sides, while there was a great deal of reasoned discussion, 
as well as robust, vigorous and competitive debate.

[Don't forget that Cobb charged Nader for taking money from white 
racists. Nader is too much of a gentleman to respond to that kind of 
gutter attack.]

Camejo and Cobb, as the two main protagonists, were both "on their 
game." Both came across as articulate and passionate in support of their 
positions. Toward the end of the forum/debate, things got heated as 
Camejo accused Cobb of being a supporter of John Kerry and Cobb 
countered by articulating what he has been calling a "smart growth" 
strategy which prioritizes building the Green Party while also running a 
campaign which helps to get Bush out of office.

[Smart growth? Ugh. Puke. Retch. When I read this kind of Utne Reader 
pap, it makes me want to go running as fast as I can to read Rosa 
Luxemberg's "The Junius Pamphlet":

"Violated, dishonored, wading in blood, dripping filth - there stands 
bourgeois society. This is it [in reality]. Not all spic and span and 
moral, with pretense to culture, philosophy, ethics, order, peace, and 
the rule of law - but the ravening beast, the witches' sabbath of 
anarchy, a plague to culture and humanity. Thus it reveals itself in its 
true, its naked form."]

Friday morning began with the Cobb campaign distributing a statement 
they called, "The True Position of the Cobb/LaMarche Campaign on the 
Iraq War: End the Occupation, Bring the U.S. Troops Home Now." The 
statement quoted from press releases issued in April and May and posted 
on the votecobb.org website, while also criticizing Camejo for 
"misrepresent(ing) the position of the Cobb/LaMarche Campaign on the 
Iraq war" at the Thursday evening debate.

[He must have changed his mind under pressure from Green Party members 
who were revolted by his statement to Amy Goodman that: "We can't just 
cut and run and leave the mess for the Iraqi people to deal with. We 
have a responsibility in figuring out how to work with the Iraqi people 
is the first priority." This is just what I'd expect from somebody who 
wants to kowtow to the Kerry campaign.]

The women's caucus, youth caucus and black caucus all took steps 
forward. International visitors and speakers reminded us that we are 
part of an international movement worldwide and that we have major 
responsibilities to the world's struggling peoples and threatened ecosystem.

[I am not sure what movement you are "part of". You are accommodating 
yourself to a candidate that appears to be preferred by the CIA right now.

 >>'Embedded Patriots' by William Greider:

The most intriguing story in Washington these days is a subterranean 
conflict that reporters cannot cover because some of them are involved. 
A potent guerrilla insurgency has formed in and around the Bush 
presidency--a revolt of old pros in government who strike from the 
shadows with devastating effect. . .

My own surmise--corroborated in conversations with several 
long-experienced Washington reporters--is that we are probably talking 
about career military officers and senior civil servants at the 
Pentagon, Justice Department lawyers and professionals at the CIA or 
State Department.<<

full: http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040712&s=greider

Maybe you should invite on of these guerrilla insurgents to join the 
Cobb faction of the Green Party. They'd fit right in.]

-- 

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