SECTION FIFTEEN
EMAIL PAGE EIGHT
 

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COLUMN SEVENTY, APRIL 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

FROM PORTSIDE
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left. Heretofore , we were  under the impression that Portside  is the Internet's voice of the Left.  But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to a fascistic orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY.  Fundamentalists, like all fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.

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DID NADER REALLY HAVE IT RIGHT?

Subject: Kuttner & Nader
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 10:56:56 -0500
From: portsideMod@netscape.net
Reply-To: portside@yahoogroups.com
To: portside@yahoogroups.com

Re: Nader Had it Right All Along

Bob Kuttner's confession of his miscalculation by voting for Gore in the 2000 presidential campaign reveals the agony of the honest, non-demagogic wing of what remains of the liberal intellectuals. But it may be symptomatic of the plight of many on the left as well. Despite our collective acknowledgements about corporate capitalist domination of both political parties progressives persist in adopting the lesser evil fallacy, and disdain the arduous task of building a genuine independent progressive electoral vehicle in this country. Instead, even as no Democratic senator came forward to support the House Black Caucus's call for an investigation into the Florida results in the 2000 election, the failure of any except Barbara Lee to refuse Bush is blank check in Afghanistan, and other calumnies, too many are still hoping for redemption within the Democratic party.

After the November election Todd Gitlin and Sean Wilentz issued an open letter to those such as Ellen Willis and myself who publicly supported Nader. We were accused of having contributed to Bush's election. Their letter was flattering but profoundly mistaken. As Nader claimed, the election was Gore's to lose. We were part of a fairly substantial group of radicals who had determined that if ever the Democratic Party embodied a genuine left-center coalition (an estimate shared, until recently, by Communists and Democratic Socialists) that time was long past. We believe that the complicity of the Democrats in the promulgation of the program of Empire, its steady retreat to the Right, in the double meaning of the phrase on a myriad of social and economic issues, correspond neither to the interests of working people--trade unionists, blacks, Latinos and other oppressed groups, and women--nor to their own beliefs. We saw the Nader candidacy as a bold step towards a new politics.

Nader ran on the Green Party Line because the party's platform is the only consistently anti-corporate, ecological and social justice political statement among ballot parties. Its activists are often on the front lines in the anti-corporate global movement currently picking up new energy.

I have registered Green, become active in the Green Party  and may run for governor of New York State this year. In this state the Green Party has ballot status, meaning that it does not have to petition for every candidate as long as it maintains 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate. This it achieved in 1998 with Al Lewis, a television personality, at the head of the ticket. Green candidates at the local level in New York and other cities and states are receiving between 10-20% of the vote and have elected some officials. While there is a long way to go the Green Party is rapidly becoming a viable force in many communities.

If Kuttner is right the alternative for left and liberal activists and intellectuals in Massachusetts, Connecticut and other northeastern states, as well as the West coast and southwest where Green parties are showing strength, is to openly choose Green politics. Otherwise we will continue to be bound by the chains of illusion.

stanley Aronowitz  ##

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