[Marxism] Independence is Not Nothing

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Wed Aug 9 18:21:56 MDT 2006

Mike Friedman:

As a white leftist, your priority
 might be that particular conflict, but if you are undocumented or
immigrant or family of undocumented workers, that might be the key

David McDonald:

We are not discussing my priorities as a white leftist, whatever that means.
We are discussing what to learn about what people think, based on the Lamont
victory over Lieberman. What I take from that victory is that a single-issue
orientation to the Iraq War successfully turned the election into a
referendum on the war and unseated a three-term senator. Further, I am
arguing that un-branding the electoral effort -- to achieve a broader
unity -- is the way to electrify the people and generate a massive response
beyond those who are attracted to your particular flavor. I discussed in a
little detail what un-branding would mean to the Greens attempting --
theoretically -- to unseat Maria Cantwell. From memory I could come up with
dozens of examples of Trot-speak used in SWP electoral campaigns that are
just as stupid and boneheaded as prattling on about the Green Party's Ten
Key Values. People just don't care what the programs of little parties are
because such programs are immaterial to changing reality, which requires the
participation and leadership of the masses. That's why when the Greens split
in 2004 into Nader and Cobb camps, that pretty much finished the Green Party
forever in the eyes of the masses, California notwithstanding.

Where in the rule book is it written that, as you say, "Remember, a
multiparty election for office is NOT a referendum on a single issue."? This
is nothing more than received wisdom. On that basis, there is nothing to do
by way of winning until people take up one's program in its electoral
entirety. I am sure that you personally do bunches of political work and
don't really sit back physically, but I think it is sitting back politically
to dismiss the overwhelming importance of the issue of unity.

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