[Marxism] Steven Salaita on A. O-C

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Tue Aug 7 11:29:38 MDT 2018

AOK's critics are a bunch of "out-of-work professors and writers who won't
ever make the New York Times unless they buy it." Well, I'm not now nor
have I ever been a professor, either in or out of work. As far as the NY
Times: I didn't know that being accepted by one of the foremost journals of
US capitalism was a qualification for having something valid to say as far
as the working class movement is concerned. If it were, we'd never even
have unions in this country!

More to the point: Even the leadership of DSA admits that we need a working
class party in the US, as does much of the union leadership. But they claim
that we can work towards it while supporting some Democrats.

Where? How?

I would like those who make this claim to explain to me exactly what they
are doing in the here and now to actually build towards a mass working
class party. I know they're doing a lot for politicians like Ocasio-Cortez,
and for causes accepted by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, such
as single payer. But what are they doing to build an alternative to the
employer-controlled Democratic Party?

Here in Oakland, East Bay DSA is totally consumed in helping the liberal
wing of the Democrats, to the near exclusion of everything else. And here's
a little incident that really says it all: Back over a year ago a small
group of us went to the chapter leadership with a proposal that they
organize an open discussion on EBDSA running its own candidate or
candidates in the then-upcoming Oakland elections. That would have been for
city council or board of ed or something similar. The chapter leadership
refused on the untrue grounds that they couldn't make that sort of decision
for the branch as a whole. But that wasn't what we were proposing; all we
proposed is to have an open discussion on the issue.

Why were they so afraid of even discussing it?

I think that the reason is that there is no legitimate argument against
having done so. But doing so would directly contradict the support for the
liberal wing of the Democrats. By their actions, they recognized that they
couldn't do both.

Which returns us to the original issue - support for or criticism of
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In congress (assuming she gets elected) she will
have zero affect as far as what gets passed or not. She's already indicated
that she wants to "learn" from her fellow Democrats as well, probably, as
from Republicans. She's already said that she won't be "antagonistic" to
these representatives of the class enemy. But what she will do is continue
doing what she's already done: continue to "keep hope alive" that the
workers movement and socialists within the workers movement don't need to
break their ties with one of the two parties that represents the employers
and start down the difficult, arduous task of building our own party, a
mass working class party.

John Reimann

*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook

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