[Marxism] t?s Time for the Left to Build a Force Outside the Democratic Party | Left Voice

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 6 11:41:00 MST 2020


On 2/6/20 1:09 PM, John Reimann via Marxism wrote
> 
> It seems to me that this whole discussion is based on idealism rather than
> historical materialism.
> 
> Different parties are based on different classes. In other words, a
> material force. A new party of any significance in the US will be based on
> a movement of the working class. That is what it will arise from. Instead
> of considering how such a movement can develop and how it could lead to the
> creation of a working class party, what we have is simply a replay of the
> call of Socialist Alternative for a "new left party". In other words,
> abandoning a class view of politics and instead adopting a view that we
> socialists can build a party based on our ideas.

It depends on what you mean by the working class. You were a carpenter 
by trade before you retired. In my entire life on the left, no 
significant motion has been detected by construction workers except 
maybe on May 8, 1970, in New York City when about 200 construction 
workers were mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO to attack some 
1,000 college and high school students and others who were protesting 
the Vietnam War.

Don't forget that many people on this list have been through the process 
of "colonizing" factories. I did it myself as a spot welder in 1978 and 
all I needed was one morning to realize that SWP leader Frank Lovell was 
bullshitting us when he said that there was a deeper working class 
radicalization going on back then than at any time in the 20th century.

It is about time we stopped with the "proletarian orientation" that 
looks for every little disturbance, like the workers who occupied 
Republic Windows and Doors in 2008. You'd think that the USA was 
Argentina from the feverish coverage in the Leninist press.

Except for the civil rights movement, all of the major movements in the 
USA since the time I was an undergraduate have been spearheaded by 
students or what Jack Barnes dismissed as "petty bourgeois". It was an 
engineer and unicycle rider named Ben Linder who went to Nicaragua in 
solidarity, not construction workers. In fact, the construction brigades 
that went to Nicaragua from NYC to build homes were made up of the 
"petty bourgeoisie".

John writes these things out of a deeply felt need to be authentic. 
Maybe in 20 years or so, construction workers, miners, auto workers, and 
teamsters will be ready to build that proletarian party that all of us 
would love to see. But in the meantime, I will back any 3rd party to the 
left of the DP.

I remember coming back from Albany in 2001 after a weekend I spent with 
my wife-to-be who was a graduate student. Across the aisle from me were 
4 guys whose conversation I eavesdropped on. They were all working for 
UPS and all they could talk about between Albany and NYC was whether he 
would run again in 2004. He was their guy.

History does not move in a straight line. I would drop my backing for 
the Green Party in a split second if I saw something developing that had 
anything close to John Reimann's fantasies. But until it materializes, 
I'll stick with real motion--warts and all.










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