[Marxism] Clay Claiborne on Syria and Jill Stein, responding to Louis on muftah.org

Thomas thomasfbarton at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 7 14:56:10 MST 2016

“Even In Constituencies Where There Is No Prospect Of Our Candidate Being Elected, The Workers Must Nevertheless Put Up Candidates In Order To Maintain Their Independence”

“They Must Not Allow Themselves To Be Diverted From This Work By The Stock Argument That To Split The Vote Of The Democrats Means Assisting The Reactionary Parties”

March 1850 By Karl Marx, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League [Excerpts]

With a view to checking the power and the growth of big capital, the democratic party demands a reform of the laws of inheritance and legacies, likewise the transfer of the public services and as many industrial undertakings as possible to the state and municipal authorities.

As for the workingmen – well, they should remain wage workers: for whom, however, the democratic party would procure higher wages, better labor conditions, and a secure existence.

The democrats hope to achieve that partly through state and municipal management and through welfare institutions. In short, they hope to bribe the working class into quiescence and thus to weaken their revolutionary spirit by momentary concessions and comforts.

The democratic demands can never satisfy the party of the proletariat.

While the democratic petty bourgeoisie would like to bring the revolution to a close as soon as their demands are more or less complied with, it is our and our task to make the revolution permanent, to keep it going until all the ruling and possessing classes are deprived of power, the governmental machinery occupied by the proletariat, and the organization of the working classes of all lands is so far advanced that all rivalry and competition among themseIves has ceased until the more important forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the proletarians

With us it is not a matter of reforming private property, but of abolishing it; not of hushing up class antagonism, but of abolishing the classes; not of ameliorating the existing society, but of establishing a new one.

Even in constituencies where there is no prospect of our candidate being elected, the workers must nevertheless put up candidates in order to maintain their independence, to steel their forces, to gauge their own strength and to bring their revolutionary position and party views before the public

They must not allow themselves to be diverted from this work by the stock argument that to split the vote of the democrats means assisting the reactionary parties.

All such talk is but calculated to cheat the proletariat.

The advance which the Proletarian Party will make through its independent political attitude is infinitely more important than the disadvantages of having a few more reactionaries in the national representation.

The gist of the matter is this: In case of an attack on a common adversary no special union is necessary; in the fight with such an enemy the interests of both parties, the middle-class democrats and the working-class party, coincide for the moment, and both parties will carry it on by a temporary understanding.

This was so in the past, and will be so in the future.

It is a matter of course that in the future sanguinary conflicts, as in all previous ones, the workingmen by their courage, resolution, and self-sacrifice, will form the main force in the attainment of victory.

As hitherto, so in the coming struggle, the petty bourgeoisie as a whole will maintain an attitude of delay, irresolution, and inactivity as long as possible, in order that, as soon as victory is assured, they may arrogate it to themselves and call upon the workers to remain quiet, return to work, avoid so-called excesses, and thus to shut off the workers from the fruits of victory.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
>Sent: Nov 7, 2016 4:39 PM
>To: Thomas F Barton <thomasfbarton at earthlink.net>
>Subject: Re: [Marxism] Clay Claiborne on Syria and Jill Stein, responding to Louis on muftah.org
>On 11/7/16 4:31 PM, Jeff via Marxism wrote:
>> Personally I don't think the Stein campaign is of great importance, but
>> this piece also takes on broader questions of Syria and the (Western)
>> left, and the way principles can be so easily compromised.
>Jeff, I have no idea of what your connection to Marxism is but when you 
>speak of principles, there is none more sacrosanct that refusing to vote 
>for bourgeois parties. All you need to do is read V.I. Lenin on the 
>Cadets. The fact that Clay was so completely isolated on Marxmail should 
>give you an idea of where people stand.

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