[Marxism] The Left? Why the Democratic Party Attacks It, and Not The Republicans?

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 19 08:51:54 MST 2004


.<<Voting Democratic says nothing coherent.  Are we agreed on that?>>

No, Mark, we are not agreed on that. Voting DP means that someone places 
faith in that vote being a meaningfull vote for liberal change.

<<2. Neither does not voting.  Tony says that I see nonvoters as "lazy and
consential farts" and asserts his view that they are aware and alienated
(kind of incipient IWWs).  In fact, as I've said before, the motives of
nonvoters are very complex and varied.  In the end, however, not voting
says nothing coherent.>>

And we do not agree on that, Mark. Not voting, says essentuially, that the 
nonvoter is not convinced that his vote has any value what-so-ever. This is 
a much more realistic and positive act than voting DP.  It is a coherent act 
of non-participation in many, many cases. And even being lazy can be a 
coherent laziness.

<<Indeed, when there are radical alternatives on
the ballot, not voting means not voting for those radical alternatives
as well as not voting for Democrats or Republicans.  Are we agreed on
that?>>

Not really. So what? So Nader is on the ballot?  That still is not so 
convincing to many, that voting for him makes a bean's worth of difference 
about anything.  You and I might get emotional if Nader got 15% of the vote, 
instead of 1%.  But to the average person, it just doesn't make any 
difference at all.  And that's if even they agree with Nader!  And I won't 
even go into what the other minor party candidates mean to Joe and Jane Six 
Pack.

<<3. Tony should ponder his statement that "The 'System' does not
interpret a non-vote as consent.">>

Sorry, Mark.  But it just isn't consent. That doesn't mean that the system 
can't live with this lack of support to a certain degree.   But clearly, the 
increasing lack of public emotional involvement in the charade of US 
elections does pose a threat to The System. The System requires some degree 
of emotional support for it.  The fact that people are so totally turned off 
from the entire process represents a real weakening of System support. 
Staying home is a boycott of sorts.

And then, Mark goes leap frogging in some really bizarre suppositions....

<<Like many of us, Tony seems to have had a nasty experience in the SWP
and tends to respond to it by persuading himself the SWP's approach to
elections was so wrong that his (and our) loss of the SWP as a potential
tool for influencing American politics is minimal.>>

Huh?  How on earth did we get to this conclusion, Mark?  My experience with 
SWP campaigns was quite varied.  I seen em run good, and I seen em run 
horrible. In other words, I think that the SWP campaigns had some pretty 
positve aspects in how they were often done.  More often though, they were 
dreary little exercises in futility.  So my opinion is that ther are both 
positive and negative lessons from looking back on them, and especially 
studying what made some of those campaigns so much better than others.

<<More substantively, our political analysis has to be something other
than a kind of Rorschach test about guessing what's inside peoples'
heads.  It has to be more measurably accurate than our simply agreeing
upon a set of comforting illusions about the world.  While I'm generally
inclined to Tony's tendency to put a comforting spin on the views of
nonvoters, I must doubt the extent to which it reflects reality and
insist that sitting out an election in an election where you have a mass
assault on the two-party system is not a viable option for American
radicals.>>

True, if what you said were true, Mark! But this supposed 'mass assault on 
the two-party system' is all in your head. Nader's campaign is still a 
slingshot with a pea, aimed at an elephant and a donkey.  Don't see a 
nuclear attack launched, when there isn't one.

<<Solidarity!
Mark L.>>

Solidarity, Mark.

Tony

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