"Who to reach?" vs "What is our program?"

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Wed Jun 10 15:09:24 PDT 1998

> I only add that those who
> have been talking of 'how we reach militia, white male workers,
> christians,
> christian left, anti-abortion working-class people, etc.' are in effect
> spelling out what is _not_ to be included in _public discourse_ of
> leftists, even though the only person on this list who are _consciously_ +
> _explicitly_ doing so is Max Sawicky (whose honesty and candidness in this
> regard I would like to see others of his persuasion emulate).

Others have different views and don't deserve this, but they can speak for themselves.

I've said nothing about leaving any person out. Funny you would see an interest in the excluded as exclusionary. This suggests you see a basic incompatibility which prompts exclusionism on your part.

I did say a movement must prioritize its demands, and race/sexual preference/gender would not be in my top three. My top three would deal with monetary policy (for full employment and, incidentally, non- discriminatory lending), national health care (yes, minus abortion if necessary), and labor rights (including all matters pertaining to discrimination and the international dimensions, incidentally). Any l/g/b/t or LS-MFT who is down with this would be welcome in my political house, so to speak.

Nader, as Bill L. implied, is more well-rounded than Doug makes out. To an issue pertaining to gays during his ill-conceived presidential campaign, he said something like, "I don't do gonadal politics." This was refreshing. He's also strange and an ascetic, which to me is more worrisome than if he was accumulating some stash of wealth. If so, he certainly isn't spending it on clothes.

I think this program could be sold to those with socially conservative views, including religious people, I wish this is what more lefts would do, and in my own little way this is what I try to make happen. I do not think academic talk typified by POMO but not absent from marxoid discussions is helpful in this enterprise. Nor do I think challenging peoples' basic views on matters secondary to class, like gay marriage or late-term abortion, is a helpful prerequisite to building a class-based movement.

Finally, I have NO DOUBT that before a random sampling of l/g/b/t's (it does save a lot of words), minorities, or womynkind, my view would prevail over yours. Not among activists, but among those whose identity is not circumscribed by Identity.

After all, I'm about ensuring living standards, access to enterprise, social insurance (incl. health care), and the means to pursue these things (labor rights), FIRST. I daresay that l/g/b/t's et al. with such advantages will be well-situated to take care of themselves in other matters. Economic security is a pretty powerful bulwark against bigotry. Employment rights are more useful than a marriage certificate, and a health clinic more valuable than a Mapplethorpe exhibit.

Maybe you have too little confidence in them. Having known some for a long time, I don't.



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