[Marxism] Re: Reply to Carl Davidson

M. Junaid Alam mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Sun Mar 20 08:59:39 MST 2005

What I don't understand is why Julio just couldn't answer the questions 
I posed three times. Leaving the list is really just an excuse and 
pretty babyish.

I asked in three separate posts: how, in what way, and to what end 
should socialists work with the DP, beyond small-fry levels? The DP 
doesn't want to work with socialists or for socialism, and the radical 
movement that socialists need to be a part of is so weak numerically, 
politically, and morale-wise, that it would just dissipate or get 
liquidated through infiltration, co-optation, and corruption by working 
with the DP. We are not in any position to force the DP to do anything 
we might want it to. What we need to do is to orient ourselves toward 
the growing layers of Americans who constantly find themselves on the 
receiving end of attacks, betrayals and deceptions undertaken *by* the 
DP. To the extent we are not doing this we are part of the problem in 
this country that is creating a growing right-wing atmosphere.

To cite just one example, I wince every time I think of the robbery the 
SEIU perpertrated upon itself in handing over over $65 million to John 
Kerry. $65 million! Can you just imagine, what kind of amazingly 
powerful, creative, and inspirational purposes such money could have 
been put to, in cultivating progressive ideas, in creating a structural 
backbone for leftist activism, political thinking, analysis, 
dissemination of ideas, and education?  In lending a real helping hand 
to people being hit hard by the present crisis of capitalism in their 
personal lives? We could create an actual firm basis for 
counter-hegemony in ideas and action. We could avoid this maddening 
process where people just get demoralized or burned out or pressured by 
career and economic impulses to give up hope. It's just mind blowing the 
kind of evil suction effect the DP exerts on our potential.

I have just finished writing an article titled "How the Democratic Party 
Creates Conservatism" that I'll post in a few days, in which I attempt 
to lay out the broad political case for the need to make a clean break 
with the Democratic Party, and I hope it will serve as a starting point 
for anti-capitalists and serious progressives to re-orient ourselves. 
Meanwhile, I will just end with this final paragraph of an essay written 
by Paul Baran in 1950, "Better Smaller But Better", which I think poses 
the nature of our present task quite deftly:

"There is hardly any room for political cooperation on the Left at the 
present time because there are no politics of the Left. The time will 
perhaps come, possibly sooner than we think. But just now the issues are 
ideological, and ideological problems cannot be solved by organization 
makeshifts. To the extent that so-called liberals are themselves fully 
and unreservedly subject to the prevailing obfuscation, to the extent 
that they serve as faithful soldiers of the Cold War army, to the extent 
that they debase themselves to the function of informers and 
stool-pigeons, to that extent "co-operation" with them can only be of 
the same nature as "cooperation" between the murderer and his victim. 
Nor is such cooperation desirable. What is needed - let us say it again 
and again - is clarity, courage, atience, faith in the spontaneity of 
rational and socialist tendencies in society. At the present historical 
moment in our country - "better smaller but better." "

More information about the Marxism mailing list