[Marxism] A party of the left and historical materialism
hasc.warrior.stew at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 12:34:30 MST 2020
Regardless of how much hot air one expends on blogs and email ListServs, none of that is worth jack shit unless we are actually organizing to make these political aspirations material realities. If Socialist/Communist blogs, email newsletters, magazines, and journals were able to make organization materialize, we would have been a pure communist society a century ago.
Cheerleading for Hawkins is not building a Green local that will collect the signatures to get him on a ballot or fundraising for his campaign, which is frankly very needed right now.
And NOT doing that organizing gives ammo to the Democrats and the lesser-evil advocates who can point out the lack of organizing and say “See, Green voters aren’t going to stick around after Election Day and be there in solidarity.”
And if you are not going to be offering solidarity, the cornerstone of socialist politics, WTF is the point?
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Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2020 12:08:22 -0500
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
Subject: Re: [Marxism] A party of the left and historical materialism
Message-ID: <3cd32e39-ebec-e611-7303-f5b7bd300a72 at panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
> 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
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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