Friday, July 22, 2016

Green Party: Interview With Jill Stein

Richard Mellor

Jill Stein, the presumptive presidential candidate for the Green Party and the best choice for working people in November, does a pretty good job in this interview.   As regular readers of this blog are aware, some of the authors, myself included, are in the Green Party and two of us, Sean O’Torain and myself, will be attending the convention in Houston next month. Sean is also a delegate.

I should add that over a year ago, those around this blog pointed to the Greens as an alternative to Sanders. We were emphatic that Sanders’ supporters should leave him and the Democratic Party and join the Greens, not simply to vote for it as many liberals and left people do periodically, but to build it and work within it to make it a socialist party, and eco-socialist party which a more accurate term as the environment is a core issue for the GPUSA, and a workers party. We explained this in more detail in our “Alternative to Sanders”

Jill Stein is clearly the best candidate for working class people, but there are a couple of issues that hopefully Ms. Stein will think more about. One of them is the question of an FDR type New Deal.  It was the Second World War that that saved capitalism back then, not Roosevelt’s reforms, and in the present period, with globalization and the rise of countries like Russia and China, it is impossible for US capitalism to cough up FDR type reforms, even those Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party populist calls for.  US capitalism’s global struggle for market dominance will not allow it and US workers and the middle class will be driven further in to poverty in order to pay for it.

Related to this is Ms Stein’s refusal to draw a line between herself and the Greens and the Democratic Party populist, Bernie Sanders. She mentions Sanders uncritically. But Sanders is a staunch supporter of US foreign policy, Stein’s foreign policy platform is far better.

I agree with Ms Stein that the Greens can make a change in this election and even win the presidency But a major effort must be made to change the internal structure and life of the Green Party. 

Here are some important issues we think should be discussed and taken up in order for the Greens to become a serious force in US political life. Jill Stein is right to be optimistic; there has never been a greater opportunity than now for an alternative to the two parties of Wall Street.

1. Build the Green Party as an Eco-Socialist party. That is a party committed to ending capitalism and to instead build a world based on the collective ownership of the dominant sectors of the world economy and a democratic sustainable international plan of production, distribution and exchange.

2. Build the Green party as an independent workers party, that is, one with its roots in the workplaces, the working class communities, the rank and file of the unions and the schools and colleges, and with the stated objective of organizing the working class to run the world.

3. Change the internal life of the GP from the undemocratic so called consensus method to the democratic method where decisions are made after full and open and democratic discussion, where majority decisions determine the policies and program of the Party, and where minority opinions have the right to be heard.

I believe these three points could provide the basis for building a serious movement to take on US capitalism. Points 1 and 2 state the basis of the party's policies in relationship to capitalism and what can replace it. Point 3 is also crucial if the Party is to be a viable political force. Unless the internal life is made democratic we can choose any political and or economic policy we wish but members would be able to do anything they wish. This would be a recipe for shambles and paralysis.  Sean O’Torain

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