[Marxism] What to do? [Early morn "Labor Day" thoughts]

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at hunterbear.org
Mon Sep 7 06:12:28 MDT 2009

This is geared toward a discussion of sorts on RBB. And it isn't my Labor day -- but it'll do as a handle for this:

Most of us are aware that third party efforts in this country, since the days of Debs and the pre-WW1 Socialist Party, have borne no fruit in the sense of really mass support.  They have, in many cases, generated creative ideas and their activists have often been important forces in building constructive dissent and, in the case of the Left, achieving many significant victories in many grassroots social justice pursuits. They do provide alternatives for those who, in good conscience, cannot support either of the two major parties.  But, bluntly, they haven't gotten to first base in meaningful political victories and achieving -- for better or worse, depending on the nature of the particular party -- systemic change. And, lately, they've just been very minor shadows.  [Individual members continue to make activist contributions.]

 In 1991, a number of labor activists, including the late Tony Mazzocchi, Secretary-Treasurer of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union [now called PACE and tied, at least somewhat, to the Steelworkers union -- launched Labor Party Advocates. Though some long range hopes focused vaguely on a third party, the organization -- supported by some international unions, a range of local unions, and individuals [I was a member for years] -- saw its immediate role as hard-hitting advocacy, with an especial focus on the Democratic Party.  But, in the end, a paucity of real solidarity in the union world and the corrosive effects of superficial Clinton "reforms" saw Labor Party Advocates fail to catch real fire, and it gradually faded.

But, given the obvious dashing of hopes via the Obama administration and its spectacular downward spiral in conjunction with mounting crises on virtually every front, this general model, with a social justice constituency much, much broader than Labor alone, might now serve as a meaningful approach.  If it can develop and maintain some genuinely visionary radical positions and, somehow, overcome the oft lack of inter-union solidarity, endemic Leftist bickering, the problem of some liberal timidity, ego trips -- and other obstacles including co-opting efforts by the Democratic "establishment," it just might emerge as a potent, highly constructive force. 'Way down the pike, who knows what could develop from it in a realistic third-party  sense?


Hunter [Hunter Bear]

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk 
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´ 
and Ohkwari' 

Check out our Hunterbear website Directory http://hunterbear.org/directory.htm 
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray: 

See Outlaw Trail: The Native as Organizer:
[Included in Visions & Voices: Native American Activism [2009]

And see Personal Narrative:

More information about the Marxism mailing list