[Marxism] Sawant campaign

David McDonald davidbyrnemcdonaldiii at gmail.com
Sun Nov 10 18:09:54 MST 2013


It is important that comrades grasp the difference between propaganda
campaigns and actual attempts to win office.

Seattle has been awash in sectlets forever. Not just the SWP, but the FSP,
the ISO and SA, to mention just the Trotsky-descended groups (at least)
have had a public presence for years. This leaves out the CP, which of
course never does anything in its own name, the RCP, various Albanians --
you get the picture. The SWP, by the way, is now the very least of the
sects and would deserve nothing beyond derision were it not for its
historical role and the fact that so many of us went through it. So a
socialist candidate is generally nothing but a big yawn here. If you pick
an unopposed candidate, as the SWP did with the Edwin Fruit campaign, you
are almost certain to break into double-digit numbers.

Built all that changes when you are actually attempting to win a seat. At
that point you must figure out how to present your politics in the most
attractive and relevant way. And that is exactly what Kshama Sawant did.
She rose to prominence within the occupy movement here and got a big boost
in a campaign against a State representative named Chopp.

She is an attractive, articulate candidate who does well in debates. And
most importantly her campaign was organized around a class-struggle series
of issues that are on the mind of Seattle's underclass: minimum wage, tax
the rich, make rent affordable. As John Beadle remarked, this is all ABC
application of the transitional program and rightly should not even call
for comment from non-demented Marxists. That it has come up on this list
repeatedly is a sign of the ossification of a lot off brains. You can be
out of the SWP for decades and still carry the virus.

I congratulate Sawant for making no mention (that I know of) of Afghanistan
and Syria in her campaign. In my opinion such comments would have cost her
votes NOT because people disagreed with her but because that would identify
her as just another clueless asshole leftist and what have those people
ever EVER done for us?



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