Dems, mass struggle and California politics (Re: Alterman and Rorty

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Sat Jun 6 08:26:46 PDT 1998

So, Nathan is bringing his Democratic Party apologetics to this list too. He never changes the story, the Dems are better than the GOP and it's silly to deny that there are differences; the reason we on the left haven't made more headway is that we haven't tried as hard as the far right did with the GOP; there's no alternative if we want to make a real difference.

Nathan also puts on these airs of embattlement, as if most self-identified leftists didn't agree with him. In fact, as far as the sane or anyway nonsectarian and organized left goes, I believe the only outfit on the left that takes a strong stand against participation in the DP is my outfit, Solidarity. All 400 or so of us. I wish we were more of a threat to left participation in the DP, but in fact my experience is that whereever I have worked, every other year at election time, the whole left and progressive community stops what it is doing and rushes out to support the least disgusting Democratic candidate. Everyone, that is, except Solidarity and a few Trot sects. I don't see wht Nathan doesn'yt just declare victory and go home; a thousand or two thousand extra bodies in the DP aren't going to make thayt much difference, and he's not going to pry many of them loose with these polemics.

I think Nathan's arguments for participation in the DP are specious. Essentially they involve a call to support an increasing right-ward drifting party as it drifts further right, in the futile hope that we, we are too weak to get our own outfit going (that's a premise) can nonetheless take away from its corporate owners (taht the DP is owned by corporate interests Nathan here concedes) a major instrument of political power. I think that's a fantasy.

I used to write articles on this stuff. Maybe I should again, the problem is that there are no new arguments, just new facts about how dismally the Democrats perform on all the dimensions that matter to us. Yes, Nathan, the GOP is worse. Yes, Nathan, there are real lesser evils. I would support bourgeois Weimar over the Nazis. No, Nathan, I don;t think the GOP is that bad or the Democrats are taht much better. Yes, Nathan, I spent a long time working with the DP before coming to this conclusion. But everyone has to come to his or her own peace with the problem. Mine is, I say it's spinach and i say to hell with it.

In Solidarity

Justin Schwartz

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