ANSWER: Name this socialist

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Sun Aug 15 09:21:11 PDT 1999

>Take an issue as obvious as universal health care. The
>importance of this for women, minorities, and gays, to name
>a few, does not need elaboration. Moreover, polling shows
>the majority of the public favor it. But none of the constituency
>groups (including labor, by the way) see this as important enough
>to make it a major, constant focus. Why not? Their own parochial
>concerns are more important. So there is no meaningful campaign
>for universal health care, except from our teensy-weensy Labor Party
>(rah rah) and some "health" groups.
>That's what I mean by prioritizing, focusing, and making the
>compromises that leave you better off than when you began.
>In the health care struggle, for instance, it could prove feasible to
>get a universal system at the cost of foregoing public funding for

Max, need I remind you again that LP has made no such compromise? Again as an LP member, you are suggesting the very mentality that led Cockburn astray.

Or rejecting free distribution of needles to heroin

Which means health care for everyone but very poor people.

> Or failing to abolish patents for government-subsidized
>pharmaceutical research.

Which means needless death for a lot of brown and black non Americans; hey, who the fuck cares?

> Any number of things. An a priori
>purist approach is doomed.

You don't understand a word of Marxism. The labor movement, alone with the latent social power to change society, takes on broader concerns to demonstrate that its victory promises universal progress.

As Marx wrote in 1866:

"Apart from their original purposes they must now learn to act deliberately as a organizing centers of the owrkign class in the broad interest of its *complete emancipation*. They must aid every social and political movement tending in that direction. Considering themselves and acting as the champions and representatives of the whole working class, they cannot fial to enlist the non society men into their ranks. They must look carefully after the interests of the worst paid trades, such as the agricultural labourers, rendered powerless by exceptional circumstances. They must convince the world at large that their efforts, far from being narrow and selfish, aim at the emancipation of the downtrodden millions."

Quoted in Howard Botwinick, Persistent Inequalities, p. 276.

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