From a Marxist listserv comes this reasoned response to Peter Camejo’s article, ‘The Crisis in the Green Party” (see next post.) The primary thought here is why isn’t Camejo isn’t doing anything to stop the Cobbites except raise the alarm, something I’ve thought about too.
Instead of lamenting on the existence of a Green Institute, he should form his own, pay for rides for delegates etc etc etc. This is not incompatible with “one green, one vote” but rather
Camejo’s moralist “democracy-conquers-all” attitude is very similar to that of Salvador Allende, although in less griveous circumstances. Allende’s failure to allow the re-direction of State resources to arm his supporters (who were the simple majority of Chileans) signified that his enemies were able to march on him with little effective opposition.
Many think Allende made a literally fatal mistake by not arming his supporters when he was elected, a error the fascists who overthrew his government and murdered him did not make.
Likewise, Camejo and other real, honest Greens, have politicaly disarmed themselves in their seeking unity with the Cobbite leadership. These people are Democrats, they are a Democrat Fifth Column. If I were a Green, I would be purging the party with notes saying “Go back to your real party”.
By abdicating to the Cobbites in their fight for control of the Green’s soul, by not providing an alternative control structure, the Camejo strategy essentially is liquidationist. Indeed, and in spite of a subjective opposition to this, he is giving the party away to the Cobbites.
This is the crux of the matter. Many in the GP have decried what the Cobbites have done, yet no organized group (with a plan) has risen up to take back the party. Camejo’s article seems oddly conciliatory to me, hoping things can be worked out if we just have a dialogue or something, with no actual plan for how to do so or even a sharp call for action. Maybe he’s not sure if he has the numbers, or more to the point, maybe he knows how difficult it is to organize Greens ( ‘organizing Greens is like herding cats.’)
It seems there is still hope of saving the Greens from Democratic corruption, yet Camejo’s inability to forcefuly deal with the fifth column, with the disloyal opposition will destroy the Green Party and turn it into a glorified, national non-labor, Working Peoples Party at best, and merge it with Progressive Democrats of America at worse.
PDA is a liberal Democratic Party group. Again, the only way to take back the GP is to organize and do it, something that will take hardcore organizing, months of work, and a serious determination to win.
Now, one has to ask oneself how a sophisticated and experienced political operator like Camejo is doing all of this?
Could it be that he fear confrontation for reasons of losing his own funding?
I doubt it. Camejo is independently wealthy.
Could it be that the majority he so much purports to represent is slowly eroding into “Lesser Evilism” as construed by the ABB crowd?
Could be. The influx of GP members in 2000-2003 tended to be Democratic defectors, who brought their ideology with them. They stand in contrast to many long time members, who are considerably more Left and activist. The new members tilted the party to the Right. However the 2004 numbers show the GP losing membership as many have returned to the Democratic Party with the Lesser Evil faction in the GP basically functioning as an adjunct to the Democrats rather than being an independent party.
Is Camejo truly commited to his stated goals, or is himself being slowly attracted to a position in which the Green Party acts as a pressure group on the left-Democrats instead of a real third party capabable of electing National candidates (Senate, P/VP)?
I know Peter a bit. He’s commited to real change and has shown that with decades of political activism. He sees the GP collapsing, wants to stop this, but isn’t sure how to, or even if it can be done. That’s my take.
I have not a clue, but those are interesting questions
Camejo also laments that part of the PDA’s “goal is to co-opt the Green Party back into the Democratic Party”. Yet he fails to see the obvious thing: The Green’s militant liberalism, and lack of a cohesive political project beyond “anything progressive that is not the democratic party”, is precisely what allows the Democrats to spin the web for the PDA spider. There is so little real difference between the mass of the Green Party and the PDA, that the PDA’s job is done for them.
Well put, if biting. The GP has no real issues with which to differentiate themselves from the Democrats. Oh yeah, they issue press releases decrying this and that, but as for hardcore on the streets organizing, well, it’s just not happening. Press releases not backed by organizing change nothing.
And all of this remains incredibly clouded by Camejo and Nader’s essentially breaking the Party by not figthing the Cobbites alleged stealing of the convention (in courts for example) and instead running a personalist, party-less sideshow presidential campaign.
All in all, the analysis remains the same:
Militant Liberalism + Political Idealism = Go back to the Democrats