[Marxism] Greens, Dems and Building Working Class Independence,
Carlos A. Rivera
cerejota at optonline.net
Sat Mar 26 17:22:12 MST 2005
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Walters" <dwalters at marxists.org>
> 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.
I love you man.
> It's not a criticism, perse, I've agreed with Democrats on several issues.
Hell, I agree with Republicans in several issues (gun rights to name one).
Thing is that marxism-as-politics is not about issues, but about
transformation of conditions towards the development of working class
self-awarness and self-emancipation.
I think we all agree on that. Even Louis' position its to argue support for
I take it as an honest position, but I begin to question the purity when the
only response I get on the Socialist Party USA is a bad joke taken from the
Democrats cynical "realpolitik" book.
I am sorry Louis, but for a moment there, I thought you where Leo Casey.
The SP-USA is an organization that has gone throught many changes,
leaderships, and position in its history. At one point it was the only
viable third party, and gained mayoral and local offices well into the 70s,
where in effect they met your ludicrous criteria of "actually elected people
to office who then go about making a difference in real people's lives".
The only places were the Greens have done that is where disaffected
Democrats felt it was a safe bet, and the results they delivered aren't any
different from those of your token far-left Democrat in office, say CPUSA
fellow travellers (we *know* who those are). In that sense, the Green Party
in power is not different in any meaningful, concrete way, from the
Democrats, and it is in this organic lack of difference, what David calls
"militant liberalism", what is under-cutting the Greens.
Its weakness today is due to the same weakness all left-wing third parties,
which is co-option by the Democrats. As a matter of fact many in the Party
doubt their presidential candidate votes for himself in the 2004 election.
The SP-USA also has a history of anti-communism, and of quiet support for US
imperialism, for example, in Cuba. But the Greens also suffer from this.
The more I think about, the more I find Louis' answer as to why not join the
SP-USA as insufficient, and furthermore, the more it looks like he is just a
convert to the Greens, a Green sectarian if you will.
C'mon Lou, come up with something better, I know you can!
> 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.
Which is the bottom line.
It is not cheap sectarianism, it is pure class politics. Sure, some people
are unrepentant sectarians, but they are in spite, not because, what they
have to say about the Green Party.
Now, the other hand of the coin is that artificial parties tend to have
zilch chance of survival. Parties must spring forth from pre-existing
movements and practical activities. In the abstract, for example, the MWM
provides the right type of pre-party structure. The concrete might be more
complicated, but the Green's founding history is not vinculated to any
meaningful national movement for environmental protection and militant
liberalism, but rather it coagulated from the wierdness of the West Coast.
That is the big difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.
The Republican Party, in its powerbase States is not a static, election
driven force, but a constant, dynamic, movement of reaction on the march.
They spring fort from concrete right-wing struggles (ie Terri Schiavo) and
organize their base into constant political activism around the issues they
care. As I have said before, they behave as a vanguard party of reaction.
The SP-USA lacks the scope of the Greens, yet they are much more active in
Or did you miss that the only CD action on M-19 was led by them? Not the
Greens, not the ultra-sects, but the SP-USA. However ineffective one might
view CD, it is a clear demonstration of a willingness to *act*.
The Greens, as a Party, lack such willingness, because it is actually less
than the sum of it parts.
Another group that is interesting is the Peace & Justice Party in
California. I actually like their model a lot, and a possible scenario for
third partyists is to develop State parties similar to it where that can
happen, and then join them nationaly.
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