[Marxism] Once more on Nader

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 6 11:32:34 MDT 2004

Peter Anestos wrote:
> Interesting, though largely predictable, feedback on
> Nader.  Some points:
> 1.  Nader's appeal remains one of lesser-evilism (as
> Louis P. says), whatever the particulars, and
> supporting him expresses faith in the reformability of
> capitalism.  Now, more than ever before, this is a
> total illusion (e.g. he is demonstrably TO THE RIGHT
> of George McGovern in 1972, a register of the
> rightward drift of bourgeois politics generally).

The main impasse in US politics is the 2-party system. Nader's positions 
are far less consequential than the fact that he is challenging both 
Kerry and Bush. (It is really too bad that the Green Party has dragged 
its feet on whether to support him or not.) By analogy, if the pathetic 
Labor Party in the USA finally decided to run somebody for a major 
office, it would be incubment on the left to support him or her even if 
the Democratic Party candidate had an objectively more progressive 
platform. We need to create a momentum for electoral action that is not 
tied to the big bourgeoisie. That cannot be underestimated.

> 2.  My point re Nader's flirtation with Fulani/NAP and
> Buchanan (all on the record) is that his program,
> nationalistic and imperialist through and through
> (save American jobs! let the UN run Iraq!), coupled
> with a heavy dollop of old-fashioned opportunism,
> leads him inevitably to squalid alliances like these. 

Nader is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he has had a 
40 year record of challenging corporate greed and malfeasance. To fail 
to recognize the importance of this can only be explained in terms of 
ultraleft myopia.

> It's all about steering clear of the fakery of the
> electoral system (except as a vehicle for educating
> working people about making a revolution), through
> which the rulers housebreak radicals with the siren
> song of pragmatism and the promise of crumbs from the
> table.  Amusing how powerful a lure this remains,
> against mounting evidence to the contrary.

Educating working people about making a revolution? Er, okay. I myself 
would prefer to see them begin to act in their own interests on the 
electoral front, but then I am a bit of a Pabloite revisionist.


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