[Marxism] Green Party statement

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Dec 15 07:17:39 MST 2006

I didn't and don't see your response as particularly ultraleft and I fully
share your frustration with this kind of strategy.  I could probably match
you story for story with the Ohio Greens, and my impression is that the
Georgia Greens have nothing more going for them...except a more interesting
accent.  In the name of that Orwellian "democracy" of which Americans are so
fond, such skeleton parties and shadow parties are accorded an equal
standing with mass parties that have regularly engaged memberships like
California and New York.

I've described the results in Ohio as a rigid bureaucratic structure for a
party of 10,000 with statewide meetings of 12-20 persons and tiny local
meetings in only two places.  The national structure rests more on such
"autonomous" state parties that rest on such "autonomous" local parties that
are largely non-existent.  In terms of elections, Ohio had a relatively very
active year in 2006, running three (count 'em, three) statewide candidates
and a handful for local office.  It deliberately chose not run its own
Congressional candidates to contest the Democrats on national politics.  I
think this approach persists because it dovetails nicely with a number of
often contradictory strategies.   Most of these aer variants on the
tofu-sharing tree-hugging over-theorized strategies that make a fetish of
decentralization, the levitating potential of good values, and merits of a
better personal lifestyle, but one of those strategies is definately the
vain hope that we're going to moralize the Democrats into being decent.

I can't point to even the tiniest measurable contribution to correcting this
in Ohio because of my presence, but I suspect that our criticisms of such a
strategy probably matter more when made from the inside than the outside.

As to winning politicians on "the outs" with a major party, that's always
been part of the third party game and it can work to our benefit.  If it's
actually realistic, it's a sign that the major parties are in serious
trouble.  When it's not actually realistic, adherents of the major parties
have historically bolted for short periods in order to bring independent
voters back into a permanent support base.  Frankly, I think if a McKinney
or a Kucinich takes a close look at the lack of a Green base in those
states, their interests would fade pretty quickly. All else being equal,
thought, it shouldn't matter so much to us that some George Greens want to
win McKinney (or some in Ohio entertain fantasies of winning Kucinich).

What matters is what you're winning them to.....  And I don't mean a
platform or what's stated on paper, but a large and growing
membership-driven third party.  Ultimately the skeleton parties and shadow
parties in states like Ohio or Georgia are either going to have to take up
building a California-style party or the California and New York
organizations or the parties there are going to be skeletonized...or
something new is going to have to be built.

It's all part of a process, right?

Mark L.

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