[Marxism] It?s Time for the Left to Build a Force Outside
anthony.boynton at gmail.com
Thu Feb 6 09:00:48 MST 2020
I think that this year is a good time to talk about building a third party
to the left of the Democrats, but it is not the time to actively organize
it. For, now supporting Howie Hawkins as a protest vote, or whoever the
Peace and Freedom Party in California runs, is the least evil option.
However, both the Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party have
undemocratic internal structures and leaderships committed to preventing
them from challenging the Democrats or even to running robust slates of
candidates. In other words, neither is likely to be a vehicle for a
resurgence of the left.
However, I think the possibilities for the formation of a third party of
the left are growing rapidly. The Sandernista movement is its unlikely
incubator, but the millions of Sanders activists and voters, mostly young
people, will have to go through the experience of this election and the
hatred and sabotage against their campaign orchestrated by the Democratic
The DNC's failed attempt to steal Iowa from Sanders is a direct
continuation of Hillary Clinton's unprincipled campaign against Sanders in
2016. Does anyone doubt it will continue to escalate this year?
What will the Sanders do if he is robbed of the nomination?
Will he launch a third party himself? I think this is very unlikely, but
What will the Sandernistas do if Sanders is robbed of the nomination, and
then meekly decides to support Butttigieg, Klobuchar, Biden, Bloomberg or
whomever the DNC anoints (Hillary Clinton wouldn't mind the job)?
Will some of them set off on the path of building a third party?
I think that this is the most likely scenario for the emergence of a third
party of the left in the USA.
Of course, there is the very unlikely possibility that the Democrats will
actually nominate Sanders for president. In that case the emergence of such
a party will be off the table in the near term. The "new left" that is now
growing would move deeper into the Democratic Party. It would likely stay
there for at least the following four years if only electoral factors were
The biggest unknown however, is not in the electoral arena. Mass movements
of the working class lead to the formation of mass working class parties.
This is sort of an ABC of the history of class struggle. In recent years,
we have seen momentary and partial mass movements, immigrant rights, black
lives matter, occupy, Me Too, and even a noticeable revival of trade union
militancy as demonstrated by the ongoing series of teachers' strikes.
What happens on the streets will ultimately determine the possibilities for
forming a viable new party of the left in the United States.
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