(Note: If you have already read my long essay State of the Revolution, you will find this piece largely redundant. This piece presents a certain portion of the former article for the logistic reasons of focused reading and a focused reference I and others can link to from other articles.)
Part one dealt with flooding the system with good people displacing the corrupt ones. Part two dealt with direct action. Part three deals with:
Third or New Parties
Besides flooding existing parties and performing direct action such as protests or ballot initiatives, there is also voting for third parties, when worthy candidates in the big parties are not available, or, simply, to put pressure on the major parties — or even replace them. Some third parties can be old ones, like the Green Party which has a highly progressive platform without being so tiny that hardly anyone has ever heard of it. Unfortunately, The Green Party may be too typecast in our psyche to let us give it a new role as bad-old-party buster. I hear some old socialist parties have unprecedented membership growth these days, thanks to Bernie Sanders calling himself a democratic socialist in his campaign, or, possibly, because many young people are redefining their relationship to capitalism, which, in the last decades, has reared its ugly head so openly. Still, a brand new party that starts with a clean slate may be best, one strategically created to take advantage of our current situation: the current mass exodus from the “Democratic” Party and the simultaneous existence of a widely-popular politician who could lead all these disillusioned former Dems, as well as many independents and even some awakened “conservatives” formerly under GOP hypnosis, into that new party.
Formation of such a party is currently in the works as a Sanders-inspired breakaway from the “Democratic” party. It is designed to give a new home and – for the first time in over three decades – a voice to the millions of betrayed former “Democratic” Party members who have been storming out of the “Democratic” Party since last year’s election debacle. Last year, first the “Democratic” primaries were rigged against the American people and their most popular candidate and then a totally absurd general election was marked by both major parties trying to convince voters that their deplorable candidates were less deplorable than those of the other major party. Indeed, both major parties are, in essence, a single party, the Establishment Party — the “right” arm dressing itself as “conservative” and “small government” and the “left” arm as socially and culturally “progressive” (a.k.a. “liberal”). Neither are what they claim, serving our plutocrats instead. The turned-corporatist-by-neoliberals “Democrats” occasionally throw the non-rich majority of the people, who are struggling badly in today’s lopsided society, a tiny bone so as to pretend that they are still the working man’s party, as they once were a generation or two ago. Mostly, though, they just chant sultry lip service, not meaning a word of it.
The effort to form this new party to truly represent us calls itself Draft Bernie – for a People’s Party. Shortly after it went public, I wrote an in-depth article about it, where you can get into a lot of analysis and pros and cons. Its own Facebook page (now renamed to Movement for a People’s Party) is also a good source. Recently, I wrote a more emotional piece with a personal slant which goes into the main reason why I like the idea and why you might like it, too.
A last word: Personally, you may loath the existence of so many efforts when, in your opinion, only one effort is worth pursuing (the one you believe in) and all the other efforts are merely weakening THE ONE. In this case, I would like to point out that the splintering occurred long ago and was quite unavoidable. It won’t go away, at least not until one of the many party-reform or new-party efforts I mentioned races ahead of the others and proves itself as the one we can all unite behind. I think that, until we have a clearer picture of unity, we should give all the varied efforts our best, as long as they appear to have a chance and not engage in a kind of family feud. The splintering can, in fact, be an advantage: it makes us a more difficult target. Furthermore, in the military, splintering is often the path to victory. We talk about combined arms, pincer movements, and encirclement when overwhelming a foe from many sides. The splintering also provides flexibility and fallback solutions when some efforts go wrong.
As always, your comments below are most welcome and help make a difference.