[Marxism] Reply to Carl Davidson

Julio Huato juliohuato at gmail.com
Mon Mar 14 13:39:43 MST 2005

David McDonald wrote:

> Carl Davidson:

> I also read Camejo's 'Avocado Statement.' It basically calls for aiming the main blow
> at the Democratic Party these days, since the Dems are the main 'social prop' of the
> Republicans, and if that means the GOP and the right get stronger, so be it. We'll deal
> with them later, after we clean up the debris. I think that piece of it is a bit ultraleft, don't
> you?
> Perhaps you think it's just fine. But my diagreement with Camejo is over tactics, not 
> objectives. I don't think the Dems can be reformed. I want a breakup of the Dems too,
> and replaced with a people's party. But I want to find a way to do it that strengthens the
> progressive forces and not the far right. But that's another discussion...
> David McDonald:
> Carl Davidson may believe his disagreement with Camejo is tactical rather than strategic, 
> but I don't think so. There is no way to build a third party that will not hurt the Democrats. 
> That is why the Greens folded in 2004, because they could not take the heat of hurting 
> the DP in "the most important election of our lifetime" (as my congressperson ultraliberal
> progressive Jim McDermott called it). The point is not to make the Republicans stronger 
> at the expense of the Democrats, but to make both those parties weaker by posing an
> alternative.
> My goal is to drive a stake through the heart of the Democratic Party, cut off its head, fill
> it with garlic and bury it in unhallowed ground at the crossroads at midnight in a 
> thunderstorm. Until one is prepared to accept the perspective that damage to the DP is 
> a good thing, not a bad thing, one will always be susceptible to blandishments of hurting
> progressive forces within the Democratic Party. Regular people will sniff out in a 
> heartbeat that such an effort to build a new party while holding off on hurting the lesser of
> the two evil parties is doomed. People already refuse to waste their time voting for
> anyone to the tune of almost 50% of the electorate because, obviously, they despise
> both these parties. Unless, of course, you think that non-voters are just stupid.

If you're responding to Carl Davidson's quote above, then you are
refuting something he did not say.  Davidson didn't write that he
wants to find a way to break up with the Democrats "without hurting
them."  Or where did he?  If he had, then perhaps your criticism would
be devastating or, at least, relevant.  What Davidson wrote is that he
wants to find a way to break up with them "while strengthening the
progressive forces in the country."  That makes absolute sense to me.

The immediate goal of the workers' movement in the U.S. is NOT the
destruction of the DP.  To use Trotsky's analogy: You have the extreme
right-wing of the Republican Party holding a gun to the head of the
workers' movement (domestically and abroad) and a Democratic Party
gradually poisoning the water the workers' movement drinks.  Poison
will kill you over time, but a bullet will kill you instantly.  Yet
you are more concerned with some impurities in your water than with
disarming the thug.

In the current conditions, focusing attacks on the DP will not lead to
a stronger workers' movement.  On the contrary, it'll lead to a
stronger right in the U.S.  It's the ABC of politics.  I fail to
understand why intelligent well-intentioned people don't see the self
evident.  Louis contradicts himself when he criticizes sectarianism in
the left and at the same time clings to the same ultra-leftist
strategy sectarian groups uphold.


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