[Marxism] Green Politics: A Muted Form of Class Colaboration - Hardly Ultra-leftism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Mar 24 12:49:20 MST 2005

>The Green Party of the United States is expressly pro-capitalism.

Only in the sense that it does not call for its overthrow. By the same 
token, Henry Wallace was expressly pro-capitalist, but that did not prevent 
the US ruling class from moving to destroy the Progressive Party in the 
early 1950s. It would not permit a 3rd party that challenged the war-drive 
against the USSR or that promoted racial equality. We need such parties as 
a stepping-stone toward the class battles of the future. If you don't know 
the difference between the first month and the final month of a pregnancy, 
you will end up with an abortion.

>  Moreover, the minority anti-
>capitalist-Greens fail to embrace sociailsm and instead tail end two 
>liberal capitalist in the form
>of Nader and Camejo.  There is nothing ultra-left about opposing political 
>parties or
>candidates that support capitalism in the international economy or the 
>local economy.  Yes, we must unite mass political movements and their 
>electoral expression with a social base.  This is a requirement for the 
>liberation of the majority working-class population.

It is not ultraleft to make speeches in favor of socialism. I try to put in 
a good word for socialism every chance I get. Why, last Thanksgiving I 
drove everybody nuts at my uncle Morty's house by calling attention to the 
injustice represented by the exploitation of surplus value. It is, on the 
other hand, ultraleft to make an amalgam between the Green Party and the 
Democrats. Such an amalgam makes sense when you are talking about David 
Cobb, of course. But you lump them together because they both fail to pass 
your litmus test, namely whether you are an open advocate of socialism. In 
fact, I'd gladly fail that limus test myself if it means being grouped with 
people who have passed it, like the "Marxist-Leninist" sects that pollute 
the American landscape.

>However, the Green Party is berefet of any class-consciousness and is 
>implicitly anti-
>materialist and a-historical.  As such it offers working class people 
>nothing but a dead end and a softer "greener" form of 
>class-collaborationism.  To advocate independence and opposition to the 
>two party system does not necessarily translate into empowerment for the 
>working class.  The Green Party platform offeres only ameliorative 
>idealistic notions of citizen-centered, popular-front politics.  The 
>popular-frontism of both the Nader and Cobb wings is undeniable - the 
>primary difference being the heralding of a by-gone Jeffersonian localized
>democracy (Nader) and the protection of corporate rule under a new-deal 
>conservationist platform (Cobb).

Interesting that you see the debate in terms of Jeffersonianism versus New 
Deal Conservationism. Most people in touch with reality see it in terms of 
whether you should run against Democrats or not. I guess I have to take a 
refresher course in political science.

>To suggest a break with and campaign against Greens as well as Republicans 
>and Democrats  is NOT the same as calling for a revolutionary socialist 
>party.  The confusionism of the Greens  and thier scattered "independent 
>resurgence" can onlly dilute the efforts of those who seek to coalesce an 
>expressly working class based social, political and electoral movement in 
>this nation. Just becasue such a movement is smaller than even the Greens 
>makes it no less  necessary and such advocacy certainly is not a denial of 
>objective conditions.  It is the  objective conditions that create the 
>need for class-independent advocay.

I promise you that when such a movement reaches the point when it begins to 
run candidates, I will happily vote for them and even do volunteer work. 
Until that time arrives, I will continue to back the Green Party as an 
alternative to the Democrats. That makes more sense then electoral inaction 
justified by so-called Marxist principles.

>As I said previously, we must unite with all those who seek to work on 
>progressive issues of a  transitional nature: anti-war work, anti-racism 
>anti-corporeate etc.  But we must manitain and  highlight CLASS 
>independence or else risk sinking in the quagmire of liberalism.
>-Douglas MacDonald

Odd that the real quagmires of liberalism in the USA, like the Nation 
Magazine and the Village Voice, failed to see Nader-Camejo as partners in 
quagmirism. The kind of hatred directed against them was only a tad lower 
than that directed against Milosevic or Saddam Hussein.

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

More information about the Marxism mailing list