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Stories about Thinking Politically.
As predictable as death and taxes is the quadrennial injunction from liberals for progressive third parties to cease and desist. Equally predictable is the admonition that this will be the most decisive presidential election in US history. Given the prospect of four more years of Trump, do they have a valid thesis or are they once again just sheep-dogging those of little faith back into the true church of the Democratic Party?
Prominent left-liberals Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters and Michael Albert issued an Open Letter entreating third parties to “remove themselves as a factor” in the 2020 presidential election to “benefit all humanity and a good part of the biosphere.” They were addressing Howie Hawkins, running for the Green Party’s presidential nomination, who wrote The Green Party Is Not the Democrats’ Problem. In short, these left-liberals are adverse to an independent left outside of the Democratic Party.
I lived in Bolivia for about 9 months in 1991, in a small town near Vinto.
Vinto is the place where, a couple of week ago, a mob of thugs dragged the mayor, Patricia Arce, out of her office, cut all her hair off, drenched her in red paint and shoved her barefoot through the streets, before forcing her to kneel and sign a paper of resignation.
She remained defiant.
Her offense: support of President Evo Morales.
At a time when socialism is resurgent but fragile, Marx’s views on popular democracy deserve closer attention. How we choose to realize his insights is up to us.
Let’s start off with the original sin of the Green Party. They cost Gore the election in Florida with their 97,000+ votes. With a margin of losing by 543 votes, surely of those 97,000 + at least 544 could have ‘seen the light’ and voted the way they were ‘suppose’ to vote. So do we ignore the fact that 12% of Floridian (about 200,000) Democrats voted for Bush in Florida?
The Open Letter is a response to my article (The Green Party Is Not the Democrats’ Problem, December 25, 2019). The signers want the Green Party presidential campaign to adopt the “safe states strategy” of campaigning only in safe states where the outcome is a forgone conclusion. They want the Green Party to support the Democratic presidential ticket in the battleground states where the race is close.
A 620 km long human chain from the northern part of Kerala to the south was formed on Republic Day by the CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front, to register the protest against the ‘unconstitutional: Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). People from all walks of life including newly weds participated in the human chain.
While Gramsci died as a victim of fascism in 1937, in his life there was no trace of pessimism, if not the famous “pessimism of the intellect.” For Gramsci, it was worth imagining the worst possible situation, from time to time, “in order to be able to marshal all one’s reserves of will and optimism, to be able to overcome the obstacle.”
Thanks to careful reading of Marx’s Notebooks, Saito brilliantly shows how Marx abandoned the idea that agricultural productivity could increase indefinitely under socialism until, in 1865-1868, he came to the opposite conclusion that only socialism could stop the absurd and destructive capitalist tendency to unlimited growth.