- Capitalism and Alternatives -

You can quit if you want to...

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on February 03, 19100 at 11:04:30:

In Reply to: We should end this mini-debate, SDF posted by MDG on February 02, 19100 at 18:05:50:

SDF: MDG, you've been patient while I busied myself with denunciations of the Democratic Party etc., so now you get to read the logical clarification.

: Okay, several points. One, I think the Democratic Party can still be repaired, i.e., brought back to a more liberal, progressive platform. Granted, I feel less confident of that all the time, but I'm not as ready as you are to give up on it.

SDF: I hope my citation of evidence has diminished your confidence in the Democrats some. It's not through lack of trying.

: Secondly, and simultaneously, one should support the Greens and other third parties. This is not a contradiction; one party - the Dems - are in power.

SDF: Parties such as the New Party have earned the ire and (successful) legal challenges of the Democrats, against their attempt to keep one foot in the Democrats and one foot out. As you can see from the link, they've mostly concentrated on nonpartisan races. Whether they'll get any further will kissing Democrat butt is impossible to tell.

: That's a fact.

SDF: Actually there is one party, and two factions, and the factions agree on more every day. The connections between the elites are extremely tight; they spread through organizations like the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Trade Organization, the Social Register, the Bohemian Grove club, etc., and the illusion of competition between them is retained somewhat as a matter of sheer competitive sport (who in American managerial culture doesn't like watching millionaires play basketball/ baseball/ football/ politics?), and largely for the sake of fooling the public into the belief that there really is a difference between Coke and Pepsi.

: Given that fact, we should push them as far left as possible. By supporting the Greens, we are pushing leftwards in two ways: showing the Dems they are losing a constituency, which they will hopefully move to recapture by moving left, and also by building up the Greens so that if the Dems don't get it, or refuse to accomodate us, we chuck 'em entirely for the Greens. You're obviously at that latter point, by like I said, I'm not ready to jump ship just yet.

SDF: So how many years are you going to wait for the Dems to "get it"? I hope it's not too long. They haven't "got it" for 25 years already, I hope we don't have to wait for the end of the Era of Cheap Oil...

: : In this regard, the Demopublican and Republicratic Parties are just different versions of right-wing hegemony.

: Last time: yes, but one version is still better than the other.

SDF: You know, I always preferred Old Coke, and when New Coke came out, we found out why: Old Coke contains vanilla. I think that for me it's that the vanilla cut the edge off of Coke's phosphoric acid/ caffeine combo punch, at least that's what it did back when I could digest the stuff without the help of an ambulance. (This was also my reason for preferring Old Coke to Pepsi, btw...)

We know this about Old Coke, BTW, because when the New Coke was said to replace the Old Coke in 1984, the Malagasy Republic appeared to default on its IMF loan debts, and the Malagasy Republic's main source of cash was and is the vanilla it sells to the Coca-Cola corporation. Thought you'd like to know.

: : Against the "lesser of two evils" tactical error, I'll here display some reasons for campaigning Green in this year's Presidential election:

: : 1) When the next President continues to commit the usual atrocities, the blood won't be on your hands.

: If you pay taxes in this country, you can stay home on election eve and read Marx all night long, but you'll still share some responsibility for what your government does. I won't play the who's more to blame game.

SDF: Ah, but in '96 I didn't vote for the guy who continues to do it.

: : 2) If the candidate gets 5% of the vote, the Greens get matching Federal funds, and can launch a winning campaign in 2004.

: Lenora Fulani continues to get federal matching funds, and all it's done for her is get her a possible vice-Prez seat next to Pat Buchanan.

SDF: Lenora Fulani is a cult leader, though -- and America still has some trivial reasons for not wishing to move to Guyana and drink cyanide-laced Koolaid. She tried to destroy California's Peace and Freedom Party back in 1992.

: But to not be so cynical: it would be terrific for the Greens to get 5 percent matching funds, and if I personally didn't think this was such a crucial election vis a vis the Supreme Court, I might very well vote for the Green candidate. In the meantime, the Greens will have to continue working to establish a popular foundation.

SDF: We will, we will...

: :And, contra Stoller, leftist legislation can indeed disrupt the status quo, as it did under Allende's regime in Chile. (As if Marx was right about everything, in all contexts and for all places and times!) A popular movement will also be necessary, per "grassroots democracy"...

: Barry's completely off-track with his rejection of legislation. I mean, that's what government does: legislate, i.e. make laws. To argue against legislation as a way of shaping the society you want makes no sense whatsover.

SDF: Stoller, like myself, wants to abolish government, tho' Stoller wants to do so without the help of the government itself, seems to think he and his Trot friends can overcome the US gov't and its controlling corporations through military force. Religious fantasy of the General Patton variety.

: : 3) More states will have ballot-status Green parties as a result of direct popular participation in campaigns.

: : 4) If you vote for the Demopublicans, you might as well campaign for them as well, that is if the result of the election means anything at all to you.

: I might campaign for Gore or Bradley, because defeating Bush (or McCain?) does mean that much to me.

SDF: *cringes* See, if you wish to be serious about the democratic life of the people, you have to do twisted shit like that, or quit the Democrats. Eventually you'll just become another Establishment shill, if you're not one already.

: :This practice of holding your nose and voting is one of the most repugnant aspects of the Demopublican followership, from the perspective of democracy -- not only have Demopublican followers sold out to the campaigns of the highest monetary values, i.e. the rich, but they've sold out reluctantly, withdrawing in an important way from what ought to be the democratic life of the people.

: Sometimes in life you have to hold your nose and do what's disagreeable.

SDF: Election after election after election after election after election...

: :If you're going to vote for someone, you ought to campaign for him/ her as well, which means of course that you ought to agree with their positions.

: Or, it can mean you at least agree with them more than their opponent. Like it or not, a Democrat or Republican will be the next Prez; it's lesser evil time.

SDF: It's evil time. *barfs*

: :That the Democrats have been able to sucker liberals into this reluctant support has meant the ascendancy of scum like Clinton amidst the decline of the Democratic Party. Ending the trap of reluctant support is, more than anything, the main reason for supporting the Green Party in word and deed, across the board.

: Sucker? You can't throw a blanket statement over everyone who voted for Clinton over Bush/Dole. Plenty of people did what they felt was necessary given the options, while simultaneously desiring something better.

SDF: My feeling is that y'all keep redrawing your lines in the sand -- telling Clinton "don't do this, or we'll refuse to support you," but the threat is never carried out. Ever raise a young child that way? Well Billy-Bob does has the emotional capacities of a thirteen-year-old...

: : That they understand the operation of the democratic life of the people is one of the reasons the Christian Coalition has been so successful in promoting its politics throughout the last two decades. Meanwhile, Cornel West endorses Bill Bradley. Is it any wonder there is no American Left anymore?

: You're an American leftist. What makes you think you're alone?

SDF: Liberal Democrats. They seem to move further to the Right to kiss their party's butt each year. Look at Jesse Jackson for instance. Once upon a time he marched with MLK Jr., who was secretly an anticapitalist -- now he's defending Ray Rhodes' right to a job as an NFL coach.

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