This individual "Red Jeremy" was posting to the "Green Alliance" group awhile back... about this old matter of how Nader let Gore won and how George W. Bush is such a horrible plague and how it's all Nader's fault. My response:
"Let me suggest that most of your outrage at G.W. is due to the fact that the atrocities that have been going on in his regime are so outrageous _not_ because there's something radically "new" about them, but _rather_ because such atrocities are going on _out in the open_ rather than _in secret_, as has been the case for so long. So, in sum, you are outraged at George W. because you KNOW he's a mass-murdering asshole, whereas with Clinton maybe you only had a suspicion that this was so. So what's outrageous today is, qualitatively, the same thing that was outrageous yesterday, only it's more outrageous because it's being hidden with a lesser degree of secrecy.
Name a President, I can find you a ton of corpses he's responsible for creating. They're all responsible for doing horrible, horrible things in the world. The problem is not that one President is so much worse or better than another, though the Bush Jr. program is distinctly a product of the Project for a New American Century (http://www.newamericancentury.org/ ). (The DLC has its equivalent, trust me. ) The problem is that human society is still run by Chairman Mao's maxim: "Power emanates from the barrel of a gun." Clinton did nothing to change this, Gore cannot be welcomed as our savior either. Nothing new is going to happen unless this reality is changed in some way, and the best we will be able to do if we accept it as a "given" is to delay the inevitable slide to global dictatorship. If we had had Gore, maybe less bad stuff would be going on, but it would be happening in secret, and the people would generate no outrage to generate a solidarity against it. With Bush, at least we have our outrage, our solidarity.
Forget about Presidential candidates altogether -- the whole thing is a charade to determine who is going to be our "elected" Global Dictator, having nothing to do with people power. And people power is, right now, the only thing that is going to save us.
But we're selling _it_ out too. I went to the Los Angeles solidarity demo yesterday, in the pouring rain. Lots of people showed up. Too few Greens, but at that point I don't really care a whole lot. The thing that concerned me was the speeches that implored the US government to have "respect for international law." Law won't save us here. Law only works when there is a monopoly on the use of violent force -- "the police" -- which is of course what the US government is trying to establish today with its invasion of Iraq. So nothing that was said in respect of "international law" on that rainy day presented any contradiction to the aims or motives of the murderous imperialists. Much more impressive, then, was the fact that so many people had the ganas to stand against war on such a rainy day.
The US government, of course, has been violating the law, internationally or otherwise, practically since it was formed. It doesn't really matter: what matters is the _unethical_ behavior of the US. Its repeated and constant use of violence is a danger to us all, and if we care for our lives we should stand in a 24/7/ 365 solidarity against it. See, in the final analysis, people do what they want, and the law only serves as an expression of some lawmaker's desires in that regard. We need something stronger than law: we need _daily solidarity against organized violence_.
The maxim that "power emanates from the barrel of a gun" may someday become untrue, but "people do what they want" will always be true. All of our legal structures are, therefore, only products of our desires, though our desires will be more or less armed depending upon the realities of violence of our era. In such circumstances, then, you can forget about Nader for President or dictator or Grand Poobah, in 2004 as well as in 2000. He's just another protester like you. The question he posed was one of whether you wanted to vote for a protester, or were you satisfied with the blood on our hands. Forget about the result, too; the fact of the matter is that he had the ganas to pose the question, and that constituted his defiance of the regime. If Nader is to be taken to task, then, it should be for his failure to build a daily solidarity that fights the regime.
American society is a violent society, and this is to be expected from violent Europeans who destroyed native civilizations and disrupted their
ecologies in order to dominate each other and the African slaves they imported at genocidal cost. Centuries-old traditions of violence are not eliminated in a year, or a decade. Stop obsessing over yesterday's failures, and build some hope for yourself. And make sure it's the real hope that originates in solidarity, too."
Well, that's what I said. In that regard, one sees waaay too much regard for "law" in the antiwar left these days. Witness, for instance, the commentary on Justice Antonin Scalia's recent speech in a blog called Lean Left. Scalia's idea of "rights" is clearly in contravention to the Constitution. But at this point one needs to remember that "law" is only a reflection of the contradictory will of the ruling class in the first place. In the past, "progressives" have been able to jump through the holes created by the contradictions in ruling class idealism, and use concepts such as "rights" to support the claims-to-life of working people. None of that means anything anymore. The ruling class can create whatever laws they want, and interpret the ones on the books to deny all rights to those they don't like. So killing Rachel Corrie was illegal? Enter "war," the all-purpose loophole. And now, for the sake of illegality, is the time that all will be devoured by the rich and their hired bureaucrats for the sake of the class struggle. All we will have left is our solidarity. Urging our Grand Poo-bahs to the creation of more laws, insisting on the enforcement of the ones on the books, none of that will be effective. More to the point is Tanya Reinhart's article. The first step to stopping short of mass suicide is total disbelief in the system, and total solidarity in that disbelief.
We may even have to "break the law" in order to get out from under the coming fascism. Can you leftists live with that?