[Marxism] Learning from the New Communist Movement

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 1 09:35:44 MDT 2018

I get pissed off every time I hear this straw argument about "maximalist"
programs and left "purism". A large section of the far left - possibly the
great majority -  supported much less than a "revolution or nothing"
campaign in 2000 - a liberal Democrat who no longer found a home within the
neoliberal Democratic Party - Ralph Nader. Nader was no socialist or
Marxist screaming about the need for the working class to take power,, but
in opposing the Democrats from the left, his campaign represented a
potential giant step forward for the US Left. The tragedy was in the
abandonment of that movement by much of the Left when the Democrats accused
Nader and his supporters (Michael Moore for one!) of "putting W Bush into
the White House." As a result of this political spinelessness, the US Left
today hardly exists, buried deep within the bowels of the enemy class'
"lesser evil" party.

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 9:22 AM Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote -

> Max Elbaum: We’re obviously a long way from a majority of the United
> States not just
> supporting fundamental change and an alternative to capitalism but
> taking steps and risks to make that happen. That’s not going to come
> about by offering only a maximalist program and trying to move in one
> leap from where we are now to that maximalist program.
> So, I think that the purist tendencies, the ones that are critical of
> anything that is less than their total vision of what a revolutionary
> socialist program would be, are self-defeating. Because you never break
> out of the margins.
> The idea that you just plant the flag and everyone will come to you if
> you have the correct line has never worked. That’s not how politics
> works. Politics is addition — you need to get more people on your team.
> The Left has been marginal for a long time in the United States. For
> some people, that’s their comfort zone. When you mix it up in broad mass
> politics, there’s always a danger that you compromise some key principle
> and fall down a slippery slope. Those are real dangers. But every
> successful movement for radical reform or revolution has to engage in
> those broad mass politics. There’s no other way to build a majoritarian
> movement from where we are now to a majoritarian movement for socialism.

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