[Marxism] Different periods, different politics

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Mon Mar 8 19:08:41 MST 2004

Jack F. Vogel wrote: I agree about the significance of all the changes
in the last couple
decades. In fact, I devoured Negri and Hardt's "Empire", and find it
full of useful insights (although I'm aware of many issues surrounding
it)...You know, since you advocate all this 'new period' thing, you
might want
to read Negri and Hardt yourself, they make it clear that struggle in
day takes place in new ways, one thing they mention over and over is the
role modern communications, like mail and chat groups, have come to

Reply: I'm a Proyectite in respect of Hardt and Negri, and postmodernism
in general. You should get him to e-mail you his stuff. If the new
period means chat groups, though, you might win him over to their views
more easily than you'll win me.
Jack wrote: I disagree about appeals to leaving the DP sounding
'farcical'. Now, if
they were appeals to join some small fringe party, then I agree, but
appeals to, say, Nader, or the Greens dont sound farcical in the least.
I talk about both at work every day, and while my DP coworkers scowl
at me :), they dont jeer. This is why the DP is making SO much noise
against Nader, because he is not a farce, in fact I believe he scares
the pants of them.

Reply: Point taken. You're right to distinguish between the Greens and
the other much smaller organizations, and I should have done so too. If
Nader polls 6% of the vote in the face of a resurgent Democratic party
out to really nail Bush, I'll be surprised -- and impressed; that would
represent motion to the left of the DP which I'm still inclined to
discount until I see otherwise. My impression is that there is more
traffic from the 2000 Green voters to the DP than vice-versa. So it will
be interesting to see how this plays out, and whether I'll have to
adjust my understanding.
Jack wrote: ...anyone out there helping the Democrats war against Nader
ARE being class enemies...

Reply:You describe Democrats opposed to Nader as "class enemies". Most
are workers who can lay claim to better class credentials than those on
the radical left, including perhaps yourself. When these words mattered
more, Trotskyists, anarchists, and others were killed by Stalinist
militants inflamed by the term. So please don't be flip about it if you
want us to be civil to each other.

Jack wrote: Hate to say this Marv, but 'been there, done that..' In 1980
I created a
branch of DSOC..Just think, that was almost 25 years ago, and where is
all that work
gone now?? hmmm? Its gone NOWHERE.

Reply: Right, it's not very rewarding to work in either the DP or NDP
when things are not moving and you're just "canvass fodder". I'll be
doing some of that up here this spring or fall. Everyone has their story
about this one or that one having just left the Democrats; I have
friends in the US who are going to vote Democratic, or get active in the
party, for the first time just because they're ABB. So what does that
tell us? Very little. It's impressionistic. The vast majority of trade
union and social activists support the Democrats, despite angry
assertions to the contrary by the wishful thinkers on this list.

Marv Gandall

More information about the Marxism mailing list