[Marxism] Should the left try to take over the Democratic Party?

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 15:41:41 MST 2016

Very interesting, Lou.  Very.  I cannot of course speak to the American
context.  I was interested though to read that you thought a left wing
party was a possibility at the moment or sometime reasonably soon.

I did think that the British context is relevant to the take over
discussion.  Precisely because it is not a shell, the Corbynites have been
able to colonize the level of party membership within the British Labour
Party.  It is that fact that is transforming left politics in the UK and
excited the likes of Richard Seymour (and myself). Corbyn's two electoral
victories were a direct challenge to the layer where power traditionally
resided - namely the Parliamentary Labour Party. Corbyn defeated the PLP,
especially in his second campaign.

Power has, in response, retreated to the National Executive Committee,
which blatantly and undemocratically created an Anti-Corbyn majority
overnight by appointing right wingers from Scotland and Wales as executive
members. So the result has been a kind of stale mate which leaves Corbyn at
the mercy of a protracted sniping campaign from his enemies in the
executive and the PLP.

The moral of the UK story is that takeover bids are extremely difficult.
Power protects itself and flows to where it can do so. If you have a notion
of ontological depth, this process is easier to grasp.

I suspect that within the Democratic Party this would be even more so.  The
metaphor of the "shell" would turn out to be very misleading. Power would
flow to a layer which we might not even suspect exists.

It would appear, maybe, that I have used power here almost in the
Foucauldian sense. Nothing could be further from my intentions. It is the
class power of the bourgeoisie that I have in mind. And that power created
the Democratic Party and will not easily surrender it.



More information about the Marxism mailing list