[Marxism] Nader, the american socialist left etc

Nigel Irritable nigel_irritable at yahoo.com
Sun May 30 11:17:09 MDT 2004

I've just been reading Jose's informative piece on the
decision of the ISO not to back Nader in the
Presidential race. As an outsider, this strikes me as
a remarkably foolish decision and one that in its own
small way reflects the self-imposed element of the
weakness of the American socialist left.

I'm not particularly interested in the detour this
thread has taken into the ins and outs of the politics
of the ISO (for the record, I don't have much time for
them at all). I am however interested in a broader
phenomenon that the ISO's decision is just one example

I was trying to work out today just which socialist
organisations in the US - and there are a lot of
mostly very small socialist organisations to consider
- actually support the Nader run, which remember, is a
high profile, left challenge to the Democrats and
Republicans. And I didn't get very far.

With some help on another internet list, I managed to
come up with:

Socialist Alternative (the CWI section).
Left Party (the group that publishes SF-Frontlines).
Solidarity, more accurately sections of.

And that's about it. Now I realise that Nader has much
more support amongst unaffiliated socialists but this
is still a remarkably small showing. At the same time
the various socialist organisations will manage to
produce a number of candidacies of their own, none of
which will make any significant impact (take your
choice from WWP, SP, SEP, SWP, FSP etc).

Why is it that only a couple of organisations seem to
be making any kind of orientation towards the radical
milieu around Nader? Surely that milieu represents a
great opportunity to get a hearing for socialist
ideas? Do these people just like isolation?


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