[Marxism] What is the Green Party missing?

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Fri Dec 29 13:55:59 MST 2017

The Green party doesn't have members in most places.  I don't think I've
every pointed anyone their direction without the movers and shakers
chucking rocks at them.  :-)  There are some states better off than others,
but the vast majority consist of tiny cliques organized around the
principle of keeping control of the organization.

Recent discussions about adopting a membership-based
organization--analogous to the swallow reflex for any viable body--has
apparently been treated to a fearful letting alone.


On Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Stewart via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> I'd like to just push back on this sentence in particular, "Andrew's
> article overlooked this important aspect.   The CPUSA was also not a
> democratic decision making group, or welcomed members holding different
> views and being critical thinkers - just "loyal followers"."
> The record is quite clear in recent scholarship and demonstrative of quite
> the opposite. Since the 1960s and the New Left's 'social history' prism was
> developed it has been beyond dispute that things were not as simple as that
> statement would suggest. Most of the material I have seen is emphatic that
> the mass membership base either paid the mildest lip service to or just
> blatantly ignored the dictates of the leadership superstructure, be it in
> America or Moscow. This claim is fundamentally one that is derived from the
> Theodore Draper line of historiography on the party, which is a very right
> wing discourse and devoted to viewing the party as a homogeneous grouping
> rather than heterogeneous. Draper did not differentiate between the New
> York and California parties, though they were extremely different in style
> due to their proximity to the national leadership, or articulate the fact
> that Wm. Z Foster brought to the party from the beginning a syndicalist
> vision that was different from the praxis of other national parties.
> -Andrew Stewart
> Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2017 13:24:45 +0000
> From: John Obrien <causecollector at msn.com>
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
>         <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
> Subject: [Marxism] What is the Green Party missing?
> Message-ID:
>         <MWHPR1701MB183995B0FE6D0E10E89FCE02C7050 at MWHPR1701MB1839.
> namprd17.prod.outlook.com>
> The main thing the Green Party in the United States is missing - is a
> democratic decision making membership structure
> instead of presently many states structures based on small cliques and
> opposed to a mass membership.
> Andrew's article overlooked this important aspect.   The CPUSA was also not
> a democratic decision making group,
> or welcomed members holding different views and being critical thinkers -
> just "loyal followers".
> This article's focus was more on opportunist tactical strategy and not the
> core problem of building a needed mass based
> democratic decision making party of our Class.  Not just a few seeking
> personal power control and "making some political
> points over their opponents in political Left currents", that historically
> are meaningless.
> We have seen opportunism and tailism often.  We have seen numerous small
> arrogant elitist vanguard groups representing
> a small leadership clique and substituting loyalty to them and how to
> "serve them", instead of the difficult but needed
> task of organizing our Class (not just deciding what is politically
> acceptable to the "recognized leaders" who aspire to be
> Lenin )   The 2017 United States is not 1917 Russia, or 1917 Untied States.
> A mass based labor party is needed in the United States and the current
> Green Party "leaders" appear incapable of that,
> in part because they are made up of religious pacifists, middle class
> artisans and professionals not wage laborers and a
> mixture of old Stalinists from the CPUSA and COC.  The Green Party leaders
> are mainly older in age and not focused on
> welcoming youth and allowing them to provide leadership.   Also the Rhode
> Island Green Party seems not representative
> of most of the other Green Party state organizations that are self-electing
> small cliques.
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