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

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Wed Nov 17 18:05:52 PST 1999

>>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

To be honest, I don't think that those who know the "secret handshake," as Max put it, in the Labor Party have much interest in real democracy or self-organization. (LP members who are not in the know, however, must think otherwise.) If they were, besides signing up members, they'd be getting involved in some practical politics of protest _as the Labor Party_ and recruiting through this avenue. Since they seem to be neither running candidates now nor organizing for/against something practical, isn't it natural for us to ask, "So, what's the point of joining the party, then? Just to become a nominal member?" Besides, how are ordinary, non-unionized, non-media-junkie Americans to find out that the Labor Party even exists???

>>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.

The platform ain't bad, but how are we to make use of it, if the LP keeps sitting on its ass???


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