cj#1099, rn> Nader & third parties


Richard Moore

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 18:19:04 -0400
From: ltbrin <•••@••.•••>
Organization: brinson&associates
To: •••@••.•••
CC: •••@••.•••,
        Frank Van den Bosch <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#1098, rn> Whole Earth article | "Vision Thing" | Ralph Nader

Richard, etc . . .

Yes, it is highly unlikely that Nader would be elected
President in November. Nevertheless, he is the only moral
choice that people of our persuasion currently have. To my
mind, it is irrelevant which of the other two candidates is
in office -- they both incompetently represent the worse of
our culture and society.

What a vote for Nader and the Green Party does do is that it
provides a viable platform upon which a "grassroots movement
of government for the people, by the people, of the people"
may begin to be built. If he captures 5% of the electorate
vote, it is my understanding that he will warrant a portion
of government moneys for election campaigning as well as
representation on national debates and other necessities to
break the two-party system monopoly, which panders to the
stewards of multi-national corporatalism that capitalism has
evolved in to . . .

thomas brinson


Dear Thomas,

What you say sounds reasonable, but in Europe you can see
where the line of thinking leads.  They have Green parties
there which participate in debates and which succeed in
getting some national and EU officials -- even cabinet
ministers - elected.  

The result is that the Green Party is now part of the
system, and it contents itself with victories on marginal
issues.  Globalization continues; NATO imperialism
continues; loss of democratic sovereignty continues.  Green
voters feel they are making a difference and are seduced
into passivity. Is this a scenario you wish to emulate?  The
third-party scenario plays itself out in different ways,
which we can observe around the world and in history, and
none of them have led to government of the people.  

If people vote for Nader, and if he gains access to
television debates, that's not a bad thing.  That can be one
tactic among many on the path to building a lasting
movement.  In fact, a movement is already beginning to build
momentum in the US, and in Europe, and these are joining the
tide of Third-World movements which have been underway for
some time.  Our attitude toward Nader, and to electoral
politics in general, I suggest, should be defined within the
context of this larger global movement.

Until the movement is strong enough to win an election, it
is counter-productive to be overly concerned with elections.
Elections are an 'event', like a WTO conference, which may
provide opportunities for expanding the movement -- but they
are little more than that.  Even when the movement is strong
enough to win elections, elections are not the goal, they
are a means -- a means of bringing official government into
line with the movement.  It is the movement which will be,
can be, the embodiment of democracy, and democracy is only
as strong as the movement.  If 'good people' get elected,
and the movement grows weak, then we are being once again
_governed instead of being _self-governing. 

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 16:36:36 -0700 (PDT)
To: •••@••.•••
From: John Lowry <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#1098, rn> Whole Earth article | "Vision Thing" | Ralph

I would just like to point out that Nader has been at this
business longer than you or I, and has, over those years,
developed more connections to democratic process than any on
this list.  As to "magic bullets," I believe you made some
reference to Vaclav Havel, who demonstrates the opposite.
(Yes, I know the history.)


Dear John,

I agree that Nader could be described as a 'champion of the
people', and that none of us, presumably, can lay claim to
such a title.  So what?  That doesn't lead to the conclusion
that our best movement strategy is to devote ourselves to a
Nader electoral campaign.

I'm glad you brought up Havel.  There you had a situation
where the overwhelming majority of Czechoslovakians wanted
to oust the Communist regime, and Havel arose as very
competent and devoted leader.  The movement came first, and
its goal was the removal of Communism, not the election of a
particular candidate.  _After the movement grew to majority
proportions, _then Havel offered himself as the candidate. 
Thus he was not an example of a 'magic bullet'.  A magic
bullet is when you try to get a quick win without building
the movement first.

all the best,

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 20:19:44 -0500
From: aat <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#1098, rn> Whole Earth article | "Vision Thing" | Ralph Nader

Dear Richard,

I don't know whether you'd be interested in 
discussing this Nader question in more detail.

Shall we have a go at it?



Dear Austin,

The question I prefer to discuss in more detail is how we can
get rid of capitalism and build a decent world -- and how we
can build the movement to do that.  If you think discussing
Nader contributes to such goals, then please let us know
what you have to say.   But I don't like the sound of 'have a go at it'.
That suggests one of those academic debates people get into so they can
show off how clever they are.



Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org
cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/
book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri.html

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