[Marxism] Reply to Carl Davidson

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Sun Mar 20 00:10:04 MST 2005

I asked Julio Huato about his political activity because I was interested in
whether he had had good experiences winning people to Marxism or
revolutionism within the Democratic Party, or whether his position was just
based on his ideas.

While he has explained that he worked on the Kerry campaign, he has done
nothing to explain how working on the Kerry campaign led to anything good.

In general I find this list way oriented to the scholar side and far less so
to the activist side of its title. Personally my interest in theory wanes
quickly when I cannot imagine how it could affect my political practice.
Displays of erudition ceased to impress me when I was a much younger person
than I am now.

My work as an antiwar activist in the last years and particularly in 2004
validates the observation that the elections almost completely ground the
antiwar movement to a halt.  The last year has been like swimming in
molasses. My hatred of the DP is purely a result of watching it sweep the
war under the rug. I used to have an analysis, now I have a visceral

My main conclusion from my work has been to join the Green Party  because I
imagine that it can be used as a vehicle to re-invigorate, enliven and
otherwise play a good role in the antiwar movement. I find there are a lot
of people in Seattle who share that conclusion. Today, at the local March 19
action, a bunch of people joined the Green Party on the spot because they
see it as a vehicle to lead antiwar work.

I do wish more people talked about what they actually do when they are not
sitting in front of their computers, not because I want to challenge
anyone's activity but because you can learn useful things from such

Julio thinks his views are what counts, and his activity is none of anyone's
business, though he grudgingly coughed up a few facts along with another
mountain of opinion about stuff in the 1850's. I disagree. What people do is
at least as important as what they think and to inquire, politely, as I feel
I did, about someone's activity and that activity's relation to their
thinking, is quite reasonable.

As for working in the Democratic Party, plunking for Kerry to foment
revolution, how's that going, Julio? What have been the character and the
extent of your successes -- or anyone else's you know about -- in winning
Kerry supporters to revolutionary Marxism by working on his campaign? I have
never actually met anyone from the DP who argues that it is a vehicle to
advance revolution. Mostly they think it's a way to do good by helping the
oppressed who need help right now, not when a new party has been built; the
good ones, anyway. I don't agree with them but I respect their efforts in
that particular direction. I don't respect that they took themselves out of
the struggle against the Iraq War for a year. I think it's excluded in
advance that these folks will lead the way out of the DP but they may well
follow when an alternative seems more real than it does now.

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