- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Why 'win' the White House? Smash it!

Posted by: Barry Stoller on February 06, 19100 at 19:44:45:

In Reply to: Idle speculation with time running out posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on February 05, 19100 at 11:37:39:

: The Greens are only on the ballot in 11 states -- Nader could probably run as an "independent" on most of the rest, thus the Green Party can use the Nader campaign to produce a better campaign in 2004, one uniting more states with deeper grassroots and a better slate of candidates.

That is like saying the Green Party in 1996 could use the Nader campaign (of 1996) to produce a better campaign in 2000. Is it a better campaign?

: Green campaigns are only a chance to create a national complaint about capitalism...

Yes, Green campaigns may very well be 'only a chance to create a national complaint about capitalism,' but Green campaigns are not necessarily the only 'chance to create a national complaint about capitalism.'

A boycott alone does that---and more: a boycott adds to the complaint that not even a Green in the White House would make a difference. And that conclusion is a revolutionary conclusion: it means the White House (etc.) must go.

: This is all contingent upon the popping of the economic bubble.

And the inevitable pop will add even more dissatisfaction to those who boycott the elections, generally supporting the subjective conditions for revolutionary advancement.

: Eventually the Green Party will become dissatisfied with the mere regulation of ATM machines and become a focus for all of the things it currently only claims to stand for. The people must do the rest.

That's right: the people must do the rest.

But: do the people really want to follow Nader or the Greens into the White House where all campaign promises turn to shit? Most working class people are pretty skeptical about Ph.D.s telling them they need to conserve resources in the first place. When the economic bubble pops, will conservation really be a rallying cry for the working class? Cries for the head of Greenspan will more likely be heard...

When concluding that the White House (etc.) must go, why not also conclude that the people THEMSELVES must take power?

: If [the Green campaigns] succeeded, maybe the government could implode and take the corporations with it at the same time as a successful popular action provided the basis for a new society.

This is no less utopian than anything you’ve accused of me, Sam. Will the Greens dissolve their party, their power, once in power? Who then will take that power? The people? Why not propose instead to smash the White House (etc.) and simply put the people in power where it matters, i.e. the workplace itself, in the first place?

That, in my opinion, is the challenge that must be presented to working people. Not on the ballot---where it's assumed that voting matters---but in the street where all social relations have always been challenged, fought over, and eventually changed.

Workers of the World Unite!

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