[Marxism] Greens, Dems and Building Working Class Independence,

David Walters dwalters at marxists.org
Sat Mar 26 16:26:40 MST 2005

Mark, it's exactly that kind of "end the discussion" tone that leads no 
where. If you pose the question whether a few dozen American Marxists 
has any effect, then your cynicism is, perhaps, beyond redemption. Why 
even make *any* points? Actually, it's the same kind of argument gets 
from the ABB crowd... "what is Nader's campaign gonna do...really??? 
Nader is useless...."

I think Doug in his first letter can be accused of this preachy tone 
and his mixing up priorities in terms of building a socialist party and 
the broader, and more immediate question, of building a broad based 
workers party of *some* sort that would on an electoral and 
non-electoral level present a class alternative for workers in this 
country (labor party, whatever).

Some of the original discussions on this thread, just as the now, 
seemingly departed Jose Perez, argued that support for the Green Party 
movement was akin to what Marx advocated in the in the Communist 
Manifesto. Others took a more pragmatic point of view in that Nader's 
candidacy in 2000 and 2004, along with the Greens, represented 
something of a working class alternative because, as Louis pointed out, 
he was "anti-war" and pro-labor.

Nader's campaign in 2004 represented true militant liberalism...and not 
a working class alternative. No one has answered Dougs point on this. 
His position on Iraq wasn't all that different from Democrat Kucinich 
(U.N. Troops in). His pro-labor perspectives were like that of Ron 
Dellums (who was also for overturning the Taft-Hartley Act and 
sponsored a bill  for "30 for 40"). I think that's all a good thing. 
It's not a criticism, perse, I've agreed with Democrats on several 

What is at issue, for me, is not this or that problem with Nader's 
positions (or the Greens for that matter). It is over his rejection of 
working class politics other than via a "sectoralist" approach. "NGO's, 
Labor, Civil Society" was the way he answered a similar question poised 
to him at Mission High School in San Francisco during his campaign. For 
him it's all the same. At any rate, perhaps the whole question is 
passe, as there is no movement, it seems, in establishing "Naderism" as 
a movement, except maybe on this list.

There are still, however, an orientation toward the Green Party, which 
played the useful role for the Democrats in "keeping them honest". The 
GP is a militant liberal party. The GP is not going away. I reject a 
sectarian approach to GP activists or even to the GP itself. I was 
approached by a leader of the Oakland GP on M19 to give a class on 
energy production and electrical grid organization. I look forward to 
it. I've worked with them at the level of the MWM, the Labor Party and 
various labor solidarity movements. My differences with them is that 
they simply don't poise an alternative to the Democrats in any serious 
away. They are no more "pro-labor" than pro-labor Democrats. They have 
zero experience it seems, or interest, in organizing against war (but 
some  attend). They have general pro-labor positions specifically and 
pro-worker positions generally but relegate our class, as Nader does, 
to one more section of civil society that needs appealing too.


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