Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Take the Red/Green Pill -- Join the Green Alliance

Discontent that the Green Party missed a great opportunity to capitalize upon a giant gulf between the pro-war Democratic Party elite and anti-war rank-and-file Democrats and other voters on the left in 2004? Angry with the Democratic Party's undemocratic violation of voting rights of supporters of Ralph Nader/Peter Camejo and other candidates on the left? Dismayed that the Green Party, favoring an electoral college over the principle of one person, one vote, ended up nominating a candidate for whom only a tiny minority of rank-and-file Greens voted in primaries? Want a political party that grows out of, and in turn helps grow, social movements on the left?

Many of you are already on the mailing lists of Nader/Camejo 2004 and Greens for Nader. What if you want to get more politically active and directly participate in defining the future of the Green Party and independent political action? Try the Green Alliance (click on the logo below to join it):
Click Here to Join Green Alliance
It's an embryonic national network of Red/Green activists, organizers, and intellectuals, with whom you can discuss what is to be done and put it into practice.


Carl Davidson said...

The real problem is to split the Democrats--and I don't mean rank-and-file vs leadership, which is a semi-anarchist, nonpolitical approach. I mean a political splitting of the progressive Democrats--the Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, etc--from the DLC corporate caucus. In this election, they are sharply divided antiwar and prowar, a division that will continue and deepen. Developing a strategy and set of tactics to unite one side of that split with the potential of the Green movement is one of the most critical political tasks of the left. But it will require a break with anarchism and ultraleftism to figure out how to do it successfully.

Scott said...

There is already a "Green Alliance", and Nader snubbed it for some reason.

Yoshie said...

Green Party members are not necessarily Red and Green in equal measures. Some Green Party members are, for instance, simply environmentalists. Hence the necessity of building up a Red/Green network of activists, organizers, and intellectuals who work inside and outside the Green Party.

As for splitting liberal career Democrats -- such as the Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, etc. in Congress -- from the DLC, that won't be our primary objective, though it may be one of the side effects if we become successful.

Samuel said...

The political pitch of Greens for Impact is a contradiction in terms. There is really no point for any voter who supports "Kerry in the swing states" to vote for Cobb at all. As long as Kerry's election is in doubt, Kerry supporters will not vote for Cobb regardless of Kerry's poll-showing in their state. A "Kerry in the swing states" position is a Kerry position, period.

It's really amusing, however that a large number of prominent left-wing spotlight-hogs have taken up this "Kerry in the swing states" position. Medea Benjamin? Peter Coyote? Tom Hayden? Daniel Ellsberg? What this is, in my opinion, is a big left-wing show-biz gamble that a Kerry Presidency will somehow be "better" than a Bush Presidency. Cobb is merely a money-chip in the gamble of these high-profile Kerryites.

Now, before you all decide to roll the dice and cast your ballot for Kerry with Benjamin, Coyote, et al., let me suggest the possibility that you will lose:

1) Kerry's most unpardonable sin this year was to silence the antiwar contingent within the Democrats. The war needs serious debate this year; don't expect it to happen under Kerry, and all of the Kerry-gamblers will feel obligated to stay behind the DLC agenda, as they do today, for fear of the Republicans. And expect the Bush police state to become the Kerry police state, as Kerry has endorsed the USA PATRIOT Act.

2) All of Kerry's promises as regards social programs, environmental protections etc. have been weasel-worded so as to make them practically meaningless when it comes to "keeping his promises." Look, for instance, at Kerry's health care plan: "Their plan will lower family premiums by up to $1,000 a year." "Up to" $1,000 a year could mean $1,000 a year, or it could mean nothing. So amidst all the talk on that Greens for Kerry website about things Kerry might do, it doesn't really come down to much as far as the future is concerned, past the promise that "Kerry will actually fund programs which have been mandated."

3) One of the most sinister aspects of the Kerry "promise" as regards social programs, BTW, is his near-total reliance upon the device of "tax breaks" to push corporations to foot the bill for what little support the working class can expect under a Kerry Administration.

4) Even those (weasel-worded) promises are in jeopardy. For the current economic situation is likely to come to a head, with the slow collapse of the dollar appearing to be in process already. Kerry will be pressured to make good on his promises to further buttress the military industrial complex, against his shrinking ability to do so (given the inevitable fall in the value of the dollar that $8 trillion in national debt will engender) and with the connivance of "Kerry's neo-cons," military fantasists with the Kerry Team. Expect the DLC motto of "fiscal prudence" to kick in, as well, to make everything especially painful.

This is what makes Kerry's silencing of the antiwar movement within the Democrats all that more egregious. For any moves a John Kerry might make, to do anything outside of the Republican consensus, will be limited by his need to keep the Democrats down so as to maintain the troops in Iraq. Kerry will be put under immense pressure to maintain his macho posture whilst the dollar crumbles, interest rates go up to contain inflation, and investors run for cover by putting the financial bubbles into raw materials and real estate.

After all, the war, which costs $5 billion a month, won't make much else affordable, especially if there's a drawdown in the dollar. So the anti-war effort is crucial to success with all the other issues. Pro-Kerry liberals like to say that we non-voters-for-Kerry "have a few (petty) issues" with Kerry -- but not all issues are equal. The ones that count are the ones we won't win with Kerry.

So to me this Kerry gamble looks like a whole lot of wasted effort. Would you all rather have a weak Bush or a strong Kerry? Who cares? Fight for your own rights -- not Kerry's.

Daniel said...

While the Green nominating convention might not have been as democratic as we all might like, I still can't understand why Greens want to get behind Nader? He's the one who decided not to seek the nomination! Asking for our endorsement was a pathetic move to try to get on ballot lines. All those years we worked with Ralph to build the party, and he later snubs us (apparently, the Green leadership was as split about him as the rest of us are).

My other reasons for not supporting Nader is that 1) he's not a Green; 2) he's blown his political capital. He didn't update his message when he came out with his candidacy and basically sounded like a broken record. He only scratched the surface of what really went down in Florida.

Cobb may not be perfect, but at least he's Green. Honestly, I don't give a damn about presidential politics as Kerry & Bush both make me sick to my stomach. Local elections are where it's at.