Third Parties (was RE: Fulani's endorsement of Buchanan)

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Wed Nov 17 08:46:52 PST 1999

Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

>I'm just wondering why the Labor Party doesn't want to use electral
>campaigns _as_ a great recruiting strategy.

Because, Mazzocchi argues, campaigns would become the party's raison d'etre, and be fatally tempted to make compromising endorsements just to get votes. There's also the sobering precedent of Jesse Jackson, a personality without a base. Real democracy is about self-organization, not electoral rituals, right? The strategy is to sign up members first, and run candidates at some point. I'm not entirely convinced, but I think these points are worth taking seriously.

>I sometimes suspect, though, that the Labor Party is not actually designed
>to become an independent electral party. I think that it may be better
>understood as a creation of liberal labor officials who wanted to have
>their own miniature political machine to negotiate their place within the
>existing framework of labor officialdom and the Democratic Party.

You can suspect that, but do you have any evidence for it? Most of the LP people I know hate the Democrats and are socialists of some sort or other, not "liberals." The platform was largely written by two more-or-less Marxists, Adolph Reed and Howard Botwinick.


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