09 December 2007

AMERICA NEEDS A REAL LEFT THIRD PARTY

And, no, not a fundamentalist "Christian" party to split the Right, but rather a new party to stand for the future...

The Green Party used to be promising, in that direction. Now it looks like a ball and chain. Let's look at its faults:

1) the fact that the various informal systems of economic and political patronage that characterize American economic/political life have all been arranged to benefit Democrats and exclude Greens.

2) The Green Party's custom of holding "beauty contest" primaries -- you can vote all you want, for instance, for the seven candidates running for President next year, but the real decision will be made at the convention in Chicago in June.

3) The Green Party's concentration among middle-class white voters in boutique cities, which has a chance of being remedied this year.

4) The Green Party's habit of pursuing "consensus" and "supermajority" decision making systems at political conventions, which grants inordinate power to those who are holding up consensus.

5) The fact that the mass media, having been stripped of any real obligations to the public through the crumbling of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan, is not even obliged to tell the public of the Green Party's existence.

and, last but not least:

6) The fact that the above non-system has allowed the Green Party to be dominated by "gatekeepers," well-meaning people (Mike Feinstein, Phil Huckelberry, Jody Haug, and so on) whose job it is to make sure that all serious proposals go through them first.

The Democratic Party myth about all this is that the Green Party can't win because of the American electoral system, and that the Greens had better get used to it, and get back in the habit of voting for the "lesser of two evils" candidates. Yeah, right. Nonsense. The Green Party can't win because it has fallen into the mold of the standard US "fringe" party.

Now, maybe Cynthia McKinney can break through that mold, and, after having curried favor with all the GPUS gatekeepers, bring a lot of new, exciting people into the Green Party. But her webpage reveals a way-too-brief pitch for "give us money," to which the average reader will ask, "why?"

None of the other candidates have much besides shoestring-budget webpages, 'cept, of course, that eternal scapegoat Ralph Nader, who still gets attack diaries on DailyKos.com seven years after his supposed "spoiler" effort in Florida (you know, the one in which the Supreme Court elected the President?).

The Democratic Party has the culture of a political party that could realize some important truths about the world, chained to a series of myths about political life that justify acquiescence to the status quo. It's an exasperating combination. The problem is that the Democratic Party is so vast that there are more committed ecosocialists in the DP than there are in the Green Party. Hard to believe, eh?

In the California primary this year, I'm voting for Dennis Kucinich for President. The effort this year seems to be a lot better than the one in 2004. Ignore all the Ron Paul gossip. Something has to give, and it has to be within the ranks of the vast Democratic Party. If Dennis starts to win states maybe I'll remain a Democrat. If not, I'll be re-registering Green. But either the Green Party gets its much-needed overhaul, or something else has to form. It has to.

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27 Comments:

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10:24 PM  
Blogger Urban Harvester said...

I agree with the need...
I can see myself as an EcoSocialist, maybe a bioregional anarchist, I think that the two would be quite similar. They both would be talking about re-designing political philoshophy and structure with ecology. If you aren't aware of it already, permaculture offers a design language apt for the task and there is a forming Permaculture People's Party. Albeit in Australia, by one of the co-founders of the design science, there's a growing permaculture community here that could be tapped into. For more:
http://www.tagari.com/?p=206
http://www.communitypower.com.au/96.0.html

Not an immediate solution, but a possible vision...

thanks,
Oliver

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy ecosocialist New Year!

I’m writing to ask a favour … your site very kindly includes a link to Climate and Capitalism, but the link goes to the old URL.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could change it to
http://www.climateandcapitalism.com

Thank you ….
Ian Angus, editor
Climate and Capitalism

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Blogger Fernando said...

"But either the Green Party gets its much-needed overhaul, or something else has to form. It has to."

There are just TWO ways to go: capitalism, or socialism.

Capitalism will *never* do anything about population, pollution, resource depletion, etc etc.

Never.

If the green party is still capitalist, then it is no use either.

Same goes for most "green" parties in the world.

What else, then?
1) May I suggest we all check what Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Evo Morales said/wrote/did during these last Copenhagen days?
2) Hugo Chavez just called for a new socialist international.

Reps are scum. Dems are scam.
But the name of the monster is capitalism. Itself.

If anyone is going for a break to bipartisanship, might as well go for the real thing.

Greetings.

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