[Marxism] Open Letter to Michael Albert
aymery at ix.netcom.com
Thu Nov 4 17:59:51 MST 2004
Thank you much for your "Free Update in the aftermath of the
election." Funny, every time I receive one of your "Free Update" e-
mails, I think of marketing -- like a McDonald's plug, if you see what I
How generous of you, in the name of self-opinion making (an
endeavor I keep recommending to our Swans' readers), to publish the
views of Ms. Vanden Heuvel, a bona-fide member of the Cruise
Missile Left. It will save me a trip to The Nation...
And many thanks for sharing your deep insights on the elections and
their aftermath, in "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" -- indubitably 4,000
words of wisdom...
Funny again, in my October 31 under-the-radar-screen "blips #5
(published Nov. 1 -- see
http://www.swans.com/library/art10/desk005.html), I wrote:
"WHERE'S YOGI BERRA when we need him? And so, 'some of the
best-known names of the anti-imperialist American left' will vote for
Kerry in tomorrow's elections. Then they may watch Survivor on
CBS, or the latest reality show hit, Trading Spouses, on Fox -- many
will, more seriously, read a good book and make a few calls -- and
the next morning, yes the very next morning, they will assemble,
dissect the results, lay plans for the coming battles toward the
Well, I was incorrect by only one day.
Yes, one should wonder how it is that Ralph Nader's message could
not be heard. It obviously had nothing to do with the straight-jackets
the friendly Democrats used to silence him (or keep him off the ballot
through relentless legal shenanigans), and the help of his "friends and
allies," you know, those dignitaries who graced vote2stopbush.org --
or those friendly opinion-makers, like Ted Glick and Norman
Solomon, Ronnie Dugger, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Lerner, et al.,
whose voices, in the name of self-opinion making, you so lavishly
broadcast time and again.
Nothing to do, indeed... Actually, I am surprised that you guys have
not yet come up with the simplest line of reasoning: Yeah we thrashed
Nader, but we did it so that no one could ever say again that he
spoiled the election. See how our strategy was right on mark! A
Chomskian logic, at its best...
Anyway, water has gone under the bridge and you are ready to move
on, as we all are. Time to unite again and plan for the future. How
refreshing, how welcomed...
Is the objective alliance between your good self and the CML buried
for good, at long last?
You are so compellingly correct, "[A] new left has got to be new
where it matters - in having real and compelling shared vision, real and
compelling short and mid term goals, and real and compelling shared
practice and strategy - indeed, in having long term vision and
empowering and engaging strategy at all."
And, yes again, "[T]he whole is, or should be, mostly the development
of consciousness and commitment and the exercising of social
pressure. We have to get right back to that.
And we have to do it immediately. And we have to do it more wisely
than in the past."
No one would dispute that.
What one would possibly dispute is how you, as the folks at The
Nation, the Dems and the Reps, keep playing on people fears: You
say, "We have to look at it squarely. Bush, without a very active,
militant, and effective opposition, could mean overturning Roe v
Wade, ending the separation of Church and State, and gutting Social
Security and Medicare. It could mean escalated ecological
devastation, expanded Patriot Act and repression, even larger gaps
between rich and poor, expanded violence in Iraq and beyond, and
election reforms to protect all this reaction against democracy."
Michael, Row v. Wade has long been gutted (85 pct of US counties
cannot perform abortions), there's not been separation of Church and
State in this country (at least in the 22 years I lived in your blessed
country), Social Security and Medicare *are* gutted and being
privatized (ask Clinton). Ecological devastation is happening. Patriot
Act is a continuum of bipartisan authorship. Violence is an American
trade-mark. The gap between rich and poor is not a Bush creation
(and are you talking about the down-trodden in the huge swaths of the
world, or between you and me, nice white middle class petty-
bourgeois?), and your last point, democracy...err, what democracy,
Anyway, it's a great pleasure and relief to read that you good folks at
ZNet have chosen, in the aftermath of this debacle (of which you were
an inherent part), to move on and build a new, progressive, left wing,
In my blip #5, I added after those little dreaded three dots: "...till
2008, when they'll ask again to put your hopes between parentheses
(it's called "strategy," within the ranks of the self-proclaimed
fragmented Left). The progress of the American progressive
community is simply astounding, beyond my wildest beliefs. Yes, I
know, America is tantalized and hypnotized by safety issues: safety
from the terrOOOrists, safe food, safe drugs, safe cars (the bigger the
better), safe sex (no parentheses here)...even safe states voting. How
is it that the insurance industry has not yet fashioned a policy to make
a few bucks...but actually it has, it's called the "American progressive
community," where the competition is ferocious for the premiums
charged. Please send your monthly check."
I hope that you and I will be healthy enough in 2008, so that we can
revisit, in friendly terms, your call to vote for a Democrat again. If, I'm
proven wrong, I'll be glad to acknowledge it (a behavior you may
want to emulate, one of these days...).
Meanwhile, please let me know the mailing address where I can send
my check to support your worthy endeavor. It will be in the amount of
my comments: 2 cents.
You say you've been at it for 40 years. I hope my 2 cents, literally and
figuratively, will help foster the next 40.
(Note: Will you ever learn about Occam's Razor?)
Yours in solidarity,
More information about the Marxism