imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The International Socialist Organization and the 2006 election

by By Bill Van Auken Saturday, Jun. 24, 2006 at 1:25 PM

The International Socialist Organization is holding a conference this weekend in New York City under the slogan “Socialism 2006—Build the Left, Fight the Right.” An examination of the perspective upon which this gathering has been organized, however, makes clear that it is aimed at promoting a “left” variety of bourgeois politics, in the form of the Green Party, which can serve only to divert a mass movement that arises against the right-wing policies of the two major parties and lead it into a political dead end.

The ISO conference advances no independent policy for the working class in the 2006 midterm elections, which are less than five months away. The organization’s newspaper, Socialist Worker, warns regularly against orienting the protest movements in which the ISO participates to the Democratic Party, yet the ISO is mounting no direct political challenge to the Democrats.

The June 16 edition of Socialist Worker contains an article by journalist Joshua Frank on Senator Hillary Clinton, which notes that I am challenging her as the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US Senate from New York, based on a socialist program that includes the demand for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.

Our party is intervening in this election to fight for a break with the Democrats and the two-party system and for the independent political mobilization of the working class. It is stressing that the war, as well as the attacks on democratic rights and the assault on living standards, is the product of a capitalist economic and political system characterized by an ever-widening gulf between wealth and poverty.

The SEP campaign makes clear that our party’s goal is not the reform of capitalism, but rather its replacement with a socialist system organized to meet the needs of working people, the vast majority of the population, rather than the profit interests of the financial elite. We insist that this goal can be achieved only in a common struggle of workers in the United States with workers in every other part of the world.

That the ISO leadership rejects this fundamental internationalist and socialist perspective is clear. In the course of a three-day conference replete with workshops on various forms of identity and protest politics, only one session has been scheduled dealing directly with the elections, entitled: “Red, Black, Blue, Green: Electoral Challenges to the Democrats.”

This title is a misnomer, as all four listed speakers are members or candidates of the Green Party, including Peter Camejo, Ralph Nader’s running mate in the 2004 election and Howie Hawkins, the Greens’ candidate in the New York Senate race, whom the ISO is supporting.

This is the real heart of the ISO’s political orientation. Its activities serve to provide a “left” and even “socialist” cover for the Green Party, whose program defines it as a bourgeois party.

We have no doubt that there are people, sincerely seeking an alternative to the Democrats’ and Republicans’ shared policies of war and reaction, who look to the Greens. But this makes it all the more important for socialists to explain the class nature of that organization and the necessity of building a new party of a fundamentally different character—one based on the working class and fighting for the socialist reorganization of society. The ISO’s politics serve to obscure these issues and block this necessary political clarification.

The political path of Peter Camejo

The fact that the conference features Peter Camejo as a major speaker has an unmistakable political significance. As Nader’s vice presidential candidate in 2004, and as the Greens’ gubernatorial candidate in the 2003 California recall election, Camejo has been identified with the drive to develop the Green Party as a third capitalist party capable of influencing the Democrats and Republicans.

In California, Camejo blocked with the Republican right in supporting the referendum drive to unseat Democratic Governor Gray Davis, and then campaigned for governor—with the ISO’s support—on a platform that stressed “fiscal responsibility,” virtually ignored the war in Iraq or any other policies of the Bush administration, and rejected any radical, much less socialist, measures. He managed in the course of his campaign to accommodate himself to the Democrats, announcing that he would “understand” if the Greens’ own members voted for the Democratic candidate in order to defeat the Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2004, the Nader-Camejo ticket promoted itself as a political boon to the Democrats, with the supposedly “independent” candidates advising John Kerry on how best to defeat Bush, and proclaiming that their campaign would help the Democratic Party by energizing its base. The line of their campaign was not to build a political movement independent of the Democrats, but merely to push the Democratic Party to the left.

Nader and Camejo established a certain division of labor, with Camejo supplying the ticket’s “left” face, working with elements like the ISO, while Nader carried out sordid maneuvers not only with the Kerry campaign, but also with the Reform Party, ultra-rightist Patrick Buchanan and elements within the Republican Party. While Camejo claimed to represent the interests of Latinos, Nader appealed to the xenophobes of the Republican right, declaring his opposition to an amnesty for undocumented workers, supporting curbs on immigration, and warning that immigrants were threatening the environment.

Camejo’s own political evolution serves as a cautionary tale for anyone tempted to adopt the perspective that support for the Greens provides an avenue to socialism. He joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) as a student radical precisely at the point when the SWP was breaking with Trotskyism and the struggle for socialism in the working class in order to embrace Castroism, middle-class protest and various forms of identity politics.

Camejo spent over two decades in the SWP, running as its presidential candidate in 1976. Breaking with the SWP in the early 1980s—with no political accounting for his break and no explanation of political differences—he reemerged as a left-liberal politician and financial entrepreneur, working to turn the Greens into a respectable party within America’s political establishment.

Should such efforts prove successful, a clear model for their results already exists—in Germany. It is an example that supporters of the ISO who are being directed to campaign for the Greens should take with deadly seriousness.

There, another former student radical turned bourgeois politician in the Green Party—Joschka Fischer—was elevated to the post of foreign minister in the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the Greens. Once in government, the German Green Party abandoned its program with breathtaking speed, jettisoning its previous positions on war, the environment and social policy in order to implement the policies of militarism and austerity demanded by Germany’s financial elite.

As the Greens’ leading figure in power, Fischer organized Germany’s support for NATO’s war against Serbia, its direct participation in the occupation of Afghanistan, and its intimate collaboration with Washington in the “global war on terror,” including the war in Iraq.

Having gone back into opposition following their defeat in the last German election, the Greens have by no means resurrected their pacifist slogans of yesteryear. On the contrary, they remain fervent proponents of imperialist military operations, criticizing the Christian Democratic-led government from the right. In recent weeks, they have become the strongest advocates of the deployment of German troops in the Congo, in what could easily develop into the most extensive German foreign military operation since the fall of the Third Reich. At the state level, they have entered into coalition with the right-wing Christian Democratic Party.

This is the American Green Party’s sister organization. Given the powerful political pressures exerted in the center of world imperialism, the United States, to the extent that the Greens achieve a measure of political success here one can only anticipate that its political trajectory will be even more right wing.

Those claiming to stand for socialism who facilitate such a development by helping to paint “left” bourgeois politics in socialist colors are preparing an immense betrayal of the interests of the working class.

For its part, the Socialist Equality Party is confident that a mass movement of the American working class will emerge against the war and against social inequality. Our party will use its intervention in the 2006 midterm election to prepare for this coming movement, fighting for a political break not only from the Democrats, but from all parties which—like the Greens—defend capitalism. Only such a struggle can open the way to the emergence of a new mass party of the working class capable of fighting for political power and ending militarism and social inequality by means of the socialist transformation of society.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
green party charismatic megafauna Thursday, Jun. 29, 2006 at 4:39 PM

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy