Monday, August 8, 2016

Green Party Convention, Stein and Business Week

Green Party Convention 2016
Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

What is anti-vaccine about Stein's comments when she says that people raised "real questions" about vaccine safety? I am not well informed on the issue but we should always raise questions, especially when we are looking at issues that originate from forces that are hostile to us, forces that have a motive other than the actual health of humanity, society and nature in general. I never knew Eczema meant skin rash until I was in my 40's and got it. The profit driven medical profession like their legal counterparts who provide the legal structure and laws for the defense of the system, intentionally use language that makes it harder for working people to understand what is what. I am not too informed about the vaccine issue but one thing I do know is that questions are good.

As usual
he trade union hierarchy supports Clinton and more importantly the Democratic Party. This socially conservative element is deathly afraid of the potential power of its own members and the working class as a whole as they worship capitalism and the market, see no alternative to it, and certainly don't believe the working class can govern society. In this they are no different than the liberals.

They have their privileged positions through building a relationship with the bosses and their political parties based on labor peace, embedded in the Team Concept philosophy. This view of the world maintains workers and bosses' interests are the same, which negates the reality of class struggle that originates from the battle between the creators of wealth and the owners of it; the buyers of labor power and those of us that sell it. It is the source of all the betrayals, class collaboration and eventually corruption among labor's officialdom and is a disaster for workers and the middle class.

“Vote for Jill Stein, you might as well get fitted for a Make America Great Again hat,”
says one person BW interviews, adding
“You’re helping elect Donald Trump.”. How many times do we have to hear that when it comes to the four year fiasco between to competing forces that represent the ruling class over which sector of it will govern and have the privilege of plundering US and global society. 

“Trump is uniquely dangerous and focuses people’s attention in a way that, say, Jeb Bush probably wouldn’t have,”  Business Week quotes Bob Master, a regional political director for the Communications Workers of America. He is a co-founder of the Working Families Party. This is another example of this stifling bureaucracy's containment of its rank and file to that black hole we know as the Democratic Party. 

Masters backed Sanders until he did what those of us that aren't looking for a savior no matter what organization he or she was representing knew he would. It's old stuff, Carter to stop Reagan, Mondale to stop Reagan, Dukakis to stop Bush, Gore to stop Bush the imbecile offspring of the first one..

"Bernie Sanders has demonstrated that we actually can take over the Democratic Party,” Business Week quotes one Sanders organizer, Lev Hirschhorn as saying at a "socialist convergence" in Philadelphia immediately after Sanders and the Democrats chose Clinton. This view is completely flawed and it is unfortunate that some socialist organizations and individual socialists also fell prey to it (although they dodge the issue as best they can) in the throes of political passion, desperate as they are for a force that can challenge capital. It should be obvious to anyone that understands the political arena in which we find ourselves that the most powerful Capitalist party in the world cannot possibly eradicate the cause of global crisis and looming catastrophe, capitalism itself. It is only the working class that can emancipate the working class and get this monkey off our backs. 

What's more, to bolster his argument, Hirschhorn  "...cited the failure of German communists to unite with Social Democrats against Adolf Hitler...." The Democratic Party is not a Social Democratic Party and certainly not one in the mold of the German Social Democrats in the 1930's-------this comparison is not valid.

We have explained on this blog that we support the Green Party and Jill Stein, its nominee. I do not believe the Green Party is a capitalist Party or a workers party; this has not yet been defined. What it might become depends on events. There are serious problems in the Green Party, a petty bourgeois influence, its lack of an orientation to the working class and our organizations.  Its undemocratic concensus method of arriving at decisions, its rejection of centralization so that people can basically do what they want. We cannot fight a powerful centralized enemy without organization and centralization. It has no dues structure.

I attended the GP socialist caucus in Houston and it was refreshing to meet socialists from different backgrounds looking for a way forward. The convention passed an anti-capitalist amendment and socialists and working class members were elected to the GP steering committee.
As I pointed out in a previous blog,  I commend the Green Party for having Julian Assange speak to us via Skype. Assange seemed visibly moved by the reception he got. The socialist left has completely missed the boat with regard to Assange and others like him as well as the rise of the tech bourgeois that Assange talks about a little in his address to the party and in his book, When Google Met Wikileaks which we have urged our readers to read. You can get it at OR Books.

Naturally, the traditional socialist left and the various competing grouplets and individuals within them that are themselves steeped in petty bourgeois culture, will start from a position of what is wrong rather than what is right and an improvement in the present situation and condemn the Greens unconditionally as they intervene in it. We have many "vanguards" out there all with the "correct" ideas" and the only way forward. 

As some of us have pointed out, anyone from any organization should be welcome in political and economic movements that arise in the course of workers' struggles against capital as long as they are committed to genuinely building that movement. The defining issue is that they are honest about their affiliations and in the case of the Greens who discussed their internal life openly and honestly as far as I saw it, members of other organizations should share their internal difference and disputes openly and allow Greens to attend their meetings. It is legitimate to build a revolutionary current within any movement but in a non-sectarian open way where ideas can be heard and debated by the working class, not in secret between a small clique.

This will strengthen the working class and our struggle to change society for the better as we all learn form our mistakes and successes both last and present. It is also sheer insanity for groups to hide their differences from the working class in this tech age when the bourgeois can read and listen to them anytime they want. The real reason for course is the lack of confidence in their ideas and that a competitor might "poach" their members, and a refusal to ponder their mistakes. How can they if they never make any.

Here is a short explanation of how we see this process, how those of us involved in this blog approach the issue of a mass direct action movement developing, it's program and organizational principles and how to relate to relate to members of groups that wish to be a part of it. The views expressed in the flier are not set in stone other than the general principles.

Here is the article about Jill Stein from Business week.

2016 Is the Best and Worst Year to Be Jill Stein

August 4, 2016
  Bloomberg Businessweek
On a sweaty Sunday afternoon in late July, John Griffin happened upon Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, in his North Philadelphia neighborhood. Joined by a couple dozen people, Stein was pointing out the economic inequality and environmental degradation in the area, which she referred to as an “open-air prison.” Griffin, 37, who works security and facilities maintenance at a church, had a Bernie Sanders button pinned to his white T-shirt. “I love Bernie,” he told Stein.

“I love Bernie,” Stein repeated. Then she ticked off areas where she was promising more than Sanders had: guaranteeing a living-wage job to every American who wants one; canceling all student debt; cutting military spending in half. “She’s awesome,” Griffin said afterward. “No one else is in 

Stein, a physician, is expected to become the Green Party nominee on Aug. 6 at the party’s convention in Houston. When she ran in 2012, she won less than 0.4 percent of the popular vote—more, her Wikipedia page notes, than any other woman running for president has so far. “I’m not holding my breath that we’re going to win the White House, but I’m not ruling it out,” she says.
She does, however, have other goals in mind. Stein has yet to break 5 percent in national polling averages. She’ll have to get to 15 percent to secure a spot at the presidential debates alongside Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and possibly Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, whose polling averages lie south of 10 percent. The better Stein does in November, the more states will guarantee the Green Party’s 2020 nominee a spot on the ballot. If she reaches 5 percent of the national popular vote, the party will get millions in federal campaign funds in the next election. As of June 30, Stein’s presidential campaign had taken in $859,000.

The closest the Greens have come to reaching that 5 percent goal was in 2000, when Ralph Nader won 2.7 percent of the popular vote. That included more than 97,000 votes in Florida, where Republican George W. Bush was ultimately declared to have won by a few hundred ballots.
Democrats worry about history repeating itself. “Vote for Jill Stein, you might as well get fitted for a Make America Great Again hat,” says John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a Sanders supporter who implored Sanders fans at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to get behind Clinton. “You’re helping elect Donald Trump.”

“Trump is uniquely dangerous and focuses people’s attention in a way that, say, Jeb Bush probably wouldn’t have,” says Bob Master, a regional political director for the Communications Workers of America union and a co-founder of the Working Families Party. He backed Sanders in the primary and now supports Clinton.

Stein says Democrats have always tried to deter people from voting Green by making Republicans sound scary. “Trump is a completely reprehensible demagogue with despicable policies,” she says. “On the other hand, Hillary Clinton’s track record is devastation.” She cites Clinton’s support for welfare reform as first lady and her Senate vote in favor of authorizing the Iraq War. Stein’s 2012 running mate, Cheri Honkala, says: “It’s time for us to leave our abuser and get something better.”

That message appeals to Roberto Ojeda, president of the Young Democrats at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, which he’s considering reconstituting as a Green Party group. “We don’t have time to wait another eight years with another Democratic president that’s not going to do anything,” he says. “Meanwhile our planet is dying, people are dying on the streets, there is abject poverty.”

Ojeda took a selfie with Stein at a rally outside Philadelphia’s City Hall during the Democratic convention and immediately Snapchatted it to his friends. Asked why he was so excited to share it, he seemed confused by the question: “It’s Jill freaking Stein!”

Yet Stein has run into trouble with some public comments. In a July 29 interview with the Washington Post, she said people had raised “real questions” about vaccine safety and suggested the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical lobby. Stein subsequently clarified her position on vaccinations, asserting on Twitter that she was “not aware of evidence linking autism with vaccines.”

Melissa Byrne, who was Sanders’s digital director for the New Hampshire primary, says Clinton’s embrace of some elements of Sanders’s platform has given many of his backers hope that they can achieve some of their policy goals if she wins. “You can see we have a power block, and we can move this,” she says. “We can move things forward.”

Lev Hirschhorn, a former Sanders organizer, made a similar case at a Socialist Convergence panel in Philadelphia the night after Clinton was nominated. “Bernie Sanders has demonstrated that we actually can take over the Democratic Party,” Hirschhorn told the crowd. He cited the failure of German communists to unite with Social Democrats against Adolf Hitler and announced, to a chorus of cheers and boos, that he would vote for Clinton to block Trump.

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