Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sanders Movement And the Green Party After New York.

Build the Green Party as an ecosocialist workers Party. 
Sean O'Torain.

For many months now I have been saying that a break would come in the Sanders movement. That it was impossible to say how and when but a break would come. Sanders double digit defeat in NY brings this closer. He will either soldier on as he has lots of money and try to wrest some concessions from Clinton, or he will get out sooner rather than later keep his pledge to support her and at the same time try to wrest some concessions from her.

These it seems to me are the most likely possibilities. But either pose a major problem for Sanders. Namely his huge base of supporters, the illusions in him of this huge base of supporters, and his mountain of funds. What does he do with these. Could he make a break from the Democrats and try and take these resources with him and form a new party. I do not think so. For this cautious capitalist politician who never challenges capitalism this would be out of character. A leap in the dark.

It would also be out of character as he has no concept at all that there is a working class in this country and it is the working class that is the force that must bring about change. But it is not necessary for the Green Party to speculate on what Sanders is going to do after his defeat in New York. What is necessary is to see what the Green Party has to do. Unless some measures are taken to stop her which would be outside the primary voting system Clinton will be the nominee. So what about the Green Party. Timing is extremely important in politics. The Green Party must immediately get out its statement and campaign to explain that this is what we said all along. That Sanders was and will be trapped in the big business capitalist Democratic Party. That the task now is for his supporters to break from Sanders.

The task for the Green Party is to make our position clear and hold out our hand to these supporters. Not to hold out our hand to Sanders but to hold out our hand to those who have come around him and will now be increasingly disillusioned and frustrated. The Green party does not want Sanders. We want to offer a path to struggle for the many who had illusions in him. I suggest that all of us in the Green Party and especially the leadership immediately go on the offensive on these lines. No support for any of the capitalist parties, including Sander's Democratic Party, build the Green Party as an independent party which stands against capitalism and for ecosocialism, which seeks to build itself as a workers party with bases in the workplaces, the union rank and file, the communities and the schools and colleges. That is that the GP become a real independent ecosocialist workers party and we call on the people in and around the Sanders movement to break from that movement and join us. and we call on all workers and youth whether in and around the Sanders movement or not to join us.

Now to address myself to two different groupings in our Party. First the leadership. I believe the leadership of the Green Party are to some extent intimidated by the Sanders movement. There is no need to be. Sanders is a capitalist politician with a long record of capitulation and collaboration with US capitalism and imperialism. Our leadership must get the bit between its teeth now and lead. The time is now to go on an all out offensive.

Part of this is the expulsion from the Party of those sections of the Party who endorsed Sanders. Give a signal of our seriousness. A line must be drawn. We are either a Party or we are not a Party.

Then there are the others, the Sanders sleepers, who have been waiting to come out for the Green Party when Sanders lost. They must either get out of the way or speak out now for an independent ecosocialist party. Then there are, I apologize for speaking frankly here, the many self absorbed members of the Party who see the Party as somewhere they can indulge any and all of their pet fantasies, wear their weird clothes, sell their books which nobody elsewhere would buy and blackmail the Party into letting them do what they want by crying about decentralization. This must be ended. They must not be allowed to damage the Party in the way they do.

The way to solve this problem is to establish an orientation to the working class, that is that to be a member you have to sell the Party publications at least one or two workplaces per month and explain what the response is at these workplaces and from the workers present. That is immerse ourselves in the working class movement. This and the program of ecosocialism and building a mass workers party will select a healthy membership on which we can build a real party. The time is now for these steps. The New York vote means the beginning of the end of the Sanders Democratic Party strategy. The Green Party must stand up and fill the vacuum. Timing as I say is extremely important in politics. Sean. O'Torain.

11 comments:

allen said...

you my friend are delusional

best

Richard Mellor said...

I never wrote this piece but agree with it. What is it about some political people. Is it the class background? Are you all middle class types? I had better responses to ideas, even controversial ones, than this at my local union meetings. And these are forums where the "backward" of us congregate. Where those of us that need "educating" and move in "baby steps" meet. Again with the psychoanalysis. Does Allen have anything useful to contribute?

Laurenceofberk said...

Oh goody.

He wants to build a MASS workers' party, but first, we should GET RID of the people Mr. Mellor doesn't like. The Sanders supporters, actual and potential, and of course those selfish, frivolous decentralists. Booksellers aren't too welcome either.

Nothing better than getting rid of people to attract the masses, right? We may not be able to build a mass revolutionary party, but at least we can conduct purges, just like in the old days.

Richard Mellor said...

I didn't write this piece but I will say Lawrence that the Green Party should have a clause in its constitution that does not allow chapters to endorse Demicratic Party candidates when it pleases them. If you join the Green Party you do so accepting that. It's not about liking or not liking someone. How can u build a serious alternative to the two capitalist parties hopping in and out of the Greens and whole chapters endorsing every liberal Democrat that runs for office? Also, I agree with the authors criticism of the lack of centralization and a common view that people can join and do whatever they feel lik. There has to be some principles surely. Our enemies are organized better than that.

Laurenceofberk said...

Maybe the Green Party SHOULD have a clause that the Green Party should have a clause in its constitution that does not allow chapters to endorse Demicratic Party candidates. Maybe. But the fact is that it doesn't. And neither, for that matter, do the Dems and Reps. If they are better organized than we are, it the reason must lie in some other dimension.

Also, the Greens have not yet declared themselves as an alternative to capitalism. I think I would be happy if we did, but that would first require a prolonged debate about which of the dozens of definitions of "socialism" (or post capitalism) we prefer. Otherwise, our declaration would be just hot air.

3rd. Bernie is not "every liberal Democrat." How many others can you name who call themselves "Democratic Socialists," and who remained independent of the Democrats for 40 years?"

4th, and most important; you seem to be confining your definition of "struggle" to the electoral realm. (So far as I can see, although, since I don't know ALL your ideas, you may have other concepts.) The fact is that until we get good at organizing in workplaces, schools and neighborhoods, so that people can learn co-operation and solidarity in daily life, we will not even BEGIN to be able to challenge the money and media, no matter HOW we are configured politically.
Whether or not we have Bernie supporters in our midst (of whom I am one) is mostly irrelevant to that most primary task.

Richard Mellor said...

Lawrence I certainly wouldn't mind meeting with you to share my views and yours. I was active in the union movement here in the Bay Area gor 30 years or so. The only Lawrence I know in the greens is Lawrence shoup. My e nail is a activist@igc.org

Richard Mellor said...

Here's what some of us around this blog said about Sanders. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B64NVxTm_fFlM2ptMFNVVWJJQXc/view?usp=sharing

Sean said...

I think it was I who started this discussion. So just a few details. I said that the Green Parties which endorsed Sanders one of the nominees for the capitalist democratic Party, the Party that is dropping the drones, the party that was the only party ever in government to drop nuclear bombs on civilian population should be expelled. Let me put this another way. It is the fault of the Green Party and especially its leadership that has allowed a culture of decentralization which in turn has allowed state parties to think they can be in the Green party and support the Democrats. There should be no need for any expulsions. The Green party should have have a constitution and a culture which makes clear that if you are in the Green Party you cannot support capitalist parties. I support building within the Green party a democratic non sectarian current which will advocate the Green party openly adopt socialism as the alternative and also openly state that it seeks to become a workers party. To finish I see this decentralization process not only as i said as a way that a minority can paralyze the Party, but as a way that a minority can blackmail the majority into accepting its views. I was at the Illinois state party meeting recently and a man stood up and said as a stock holder he was against taxing the speculators on the Chicago Board of Trade, Stock Market etc. i stood up and strongly said i disagreed with him and said he should not be in the party. Not a single other person spoke to oppose him. He intimidated the meeting because you see we have to accept decentralization. he blackmailed the meeting. how far does this decentralization go. If a state party came out with racist or sexist positions would they be allowed to get away with this. No this decentralization means that a serious party cannot be built. It has to be replaced with democratic structures, majority rule and the rights of minorities to put their views but the responsibility of all to put the views of the majority, that is the Party. If this does not happen the green Party cannot be built as a serious Party. Sean O'Torain.

Anders Jorgensen said...

This is absurd. I agree on most points with Lawrence.

Richard Mellor said...

"Absurd means really nothing to me Anders, doesn't explain a thing. But tell me. Are you also a Green Party member who is involved in the Bernie Sanders campaign? This is a major problem for the Green Party I think. At a time when the Greens should be making a case for the party, getting involved in different issues that affect the working class whether it be rents, education,workplace struggles etc. so many of them are involved getting a Democrat elected as opposed to urging people to join and voter Green. You can't build a party that way. Lawrence is all excited because Sanders uses the term "Democratic Socialism" and we haven't heard other liberal Democrats say that. So what. He's an ardent supporter of US foreign policy and isn't trying to build an independent direct action movement. This isn't 40 years ago. The term Democratic Socialism is not feared among the young the way it was back then. Why are you on Green lists?

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