[Marxism] A party of the left and historical materialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 7 10:08:22 MST 2020

On 2/7/20 11:45 AM, John Reimann via Marxism wrote:
> My point simply was that political parties are based on class, not simply
> ideas, and that any new party that is worth anything will emerge from the
> actual struggles of the working class, not from some nice ideas and good
> intentions of a relative handful of socialists. When and how such a
> struggle will develop - whether we are even close to such a struggle - is
> an entirely different issue.

Nobody, least of all me, believes that the Green Party will ever become 
the party that is necessary to transform the USA. However, there is a 
wing of it that is consciously and openly anti-capitalist, including 
Marxmailer Howie Hawkins who is a retired warehouse worker and Teamster 
Union member. Like John, he radicalized in the 60s and took a 
blue-collar job out of the understanding that the working-class had a 
revolutionary potential.

The wing that he belongs to included Bruce Dixon, a former Black Panther 
and editor of Black Agenda Report until his death last year. I have had 
long discussions with both Howie and Bruce about the Green Party 
evolving into a membership organization that can tap into the widespread 
discontent in this country. There is an outside possibility that if 
Howie is the presidential candidate and if the DP continues on its death 
march, the Greens can capitalize on this and strengthen their hand.

A vacuum exists in this country. With the utter collapse of the Leninist 
left, people are looking for an alternative to the two-party system and 
the weak tea politics of the DSA. There is absolutely no guarantee that 
the Greens can fill this vacuum but given the deep environmental crisis, 
there is an opening for a party that has a principled stand on the need 
for an anti-capitalist Green New Deal. The people who respond to this 
opening will be wage-earners. I have no idea how Greens make a living 
but I assume that they are no different than the average DP voter who is 
a schoolteacher, social worker, librarian, barista, web developer or 
nurse who would be thrown into a deep crisis if they lost a job, 
especially if they were over 40.

John dismisses the Greens because it is not "working class". Maybe not 
based on his criteria but there's another dimension that is worth 
considering. This is not a party that has people like Michael Bloomberg 
running for office. Nor does have any significant segment of the USA 
ruling class in its major leadership bodies.

Despite its obvious flaws, it is still worth supporting.

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