McChesney: Why I'm Voting for Ralph

Max Sawicky sawicky at
Mon Aug 14 14:38:18 PDT 2000

Sure if we're in the underground French resistance battling Nazi occupation then commitment means a bit more than in non-revolutionary politics. But for social-democratic purposes, Ralph's 25+ years of consistent service does pretty well.

I do take exception to your implication that commitment is a matter of what one believes on some gamut of political questions. If I'm on the lam and casting about for shelter, I'd be looking for someone I knew with certain personal qualities, not somebody who was quite certain that, for instance, abortion was every woman's right. (As you know, police agents often have the 'right' position on everything.)


Commitment visible? One has to temper one's demands that commitment be observable -- just because it is so important, particularly in radical politics where commitment might mean taking considerable risks. It is this question of commitment (i.e., dependability in some concretely unforseeable but abstractly probable situation) that lurks behind some of the more tense debates on this list. Can one who believes X be depended on to help one escape the police? Should one help someone who believes Y escape the police? What are the probabilities of a Weatherman fleeing the police being, in fact, a police agent? Etc. Etc. Etc. Carrol

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