Monday, August 1, 2016

Seize the Time. Greens must stand apart from Democrats.

Even socialist were fooled. Let's not make their mistake
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
Member Green Party

The bankers are in a quandary. Bankers, like capitalism itself, hate volatility, change, uncertainty; it’s bad for profits.

Finance capital has flocked to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton but as Business Week points out this week, this move, “…is less a measure of insider influence than it is a gauge of desperation for an industry looking for a safe harbor.”  Obama was very good for Wall Street and the defense industry not to mention the immigrant deportation business.  In the early days after the crash when he went after the bankers pretty hard he was careful to assure them that “now is not the time” for profits, they will be ok with a little patience. The mood in society was too combative and hatred of bankers and the rich too great after 5 million lost their homes to the moneylenders and a whole generation of African American wealth was wiped out by the subprime loan fiasco.

Cautious as they are, the bankers, and  even the Koch brothers are steering clear of Trump. “They’re not buying a ticket on the crazy train”, says one former Treasury Dept. figure in the Bush administration. The financial sector has donated a mere $109,004 to Trump compared to $113 million to Romney in 2012. Clinton has received $41 million from the financial sector according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Ronna Romney, Mitt Romney’s niece who is Michigan’s Republican Party Chair person is more favorable to Trump than her uncle because Trump is clearly understanding the mood out there. “I think there is a recognition that there have been a lot of Americans left behind in this recovery and Donald Trump is talking about those people specifically.” She tells Bloomberg.

It’s staggering to be honest that someone can mention Trump and his politics and not mention that he is a racist, a misogynist, and anti-worker in general.  But why would she raise these issues? Trump is not talking to “those people specifically”. He’s consciously appealing to a section of “those people”. He’s talking to those white workers who have been left behind or in the case of many places in the US, thrown on the dung heap, places like West Virginia which is a basket case; a prime example of so-called free market. The liberals have pretty much abandoned them thinking the white working class is thoroughly reactionary.  He’s also appealing to those community businesses that have been savaged by US capitalism and those committed racists who, in most cases are ideology driven and will not be changed by sensible argument

But most importantly Trump’s approach is an attack on the working class. He is just more direct with his strategy. Divide the working class along, race, color, religious and gender lines; blame immigrants or victims of colonial and imperialist aggression for our problems. Candidates in both parties do this. It is the bedrock of these parties and this system to divide workers at all times. In good times it is less pronounced, subtler, and carried out in a way that will not disturb that social equilibrium that capitalism needs for healthy profit taking and capital accumulation. Racism will be on the back burner a bit in the good times but when the class division breaks more in to open conflict which tends to be accompanied, at least in the beginning, by conscious efforts to overcome social divisions that weaken this unity, then racism and nationalism will be used to undermine this as Trump is doing.

To support Trump is to condemn your children and grandchildren to poverty and war.

But supporting Clinton and the other Wall Street party leads to the same place. The finance sector and even right wing sectors of the big capitalists (the neo-cons are with Hillary) may be reluctant in their support of the Democrats but it is their party. They are choosing between one or the other of their political institutions. In the last analysis, both parties defend the interests of US capitalism and if that means killing millions more than they already have including their own citizens so be it.

Readers of this blog are aware that we have supported Jill Stein and the Greens and have joined the Greens. But we have not simply called for a vote and that’s the limit of it as some socialist groups opportunistically have after endorsing and supporting Sanders all this time.  We opposed Sanders form the beginning. We urged his supporters to join the Greens and help build that party (read what wewrote a year ago, and the details here).

It is frustrating in the Aftermath of Sanders revealing intentions he held all along, to see the leadership of the Green Party invite prominent Democrats in as public figures or possible candidates in order to “raise the party profile.” This is a serious mistake. It is clear to this writer in the short amount of time I have been in the Green Party that the party is populated by a significant number of members who simply use the party as some sort of left cover. They are in actuality Democrats and the Green Party needs to ensure that this infiltration by people who are not really concerned with helping build the Green Party in to a real alternative to the two capitalist parties must be dealt with.

It is not well known public figures that will allow the Green Party to take advantage of perhaps the most favorable period in long time. What matters is politics and party program.

We can see the opportunity that exists as the two capitalist parties are in a crisis with the Republicans possibly splitting completely before too long. “Maybe it gets better after Trump….”, a John Kasich strategist tells Bloomberg, “…But I wouldn’t count on it. I think it’ll be like Night of the Living Dead.”

If the Green Party leadership wants to avoid that scenario it needs to be seen by the best youth and Sanders supporters who come in to it as distinctly different to the Democratic Party and in opposition to it. I will share again three points of principle we believe would be an important step in building the Green party as a real option:

1. Turn the Green Party into an eco socialist party that would base itself on the collective ownership of the dominant corporations which dominate the world economic, military and environmental policies and with these corporations collectively owned draw up an international sustainable plan of production distribution and exchange.

2. Transform the Green Party into a Workers Party which would have its roots in and represent the interests of the working class and the indigenous peoples and the rural poor and which would organize to end capitalism and in so doing learn the lessons of history: that capitalism will not give up its power without a struggle.

3. Change the internal life of the Green Party from its undemocratic so called consensus method to a democratic method where decisions are made on the basis of majority opinion with minority opinions always having the right to be heard. Only in this way can the Green Party become a living breathing organism which would have the power and flexibility to take on and end capitalism.

And part of this includes ensuring those Democrats who live in the Green Party and want to build a Democratic Party wing in it return to the party they support. Let the Bernie Sanders liberal wing of the Democrats build their opposition within that party if they think they can change it and capitalism
in to a human friendly and eco friendly system. I do not.

*This was updated on 8-10-16 at 5.30pm

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