Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Reform or Revolution?

amnesiascope has a stirring call for leftists to put faith in the Democratic Party behind them, to stop, "settling for -- and fighting for -- a dime's worth of difference." I remember similar arguments from four years ago, when Nader was running as the Green Party's candidate for President. The situation is quite different now, obviously. And I'm sure amnesiascope would not want to be reduced to tilter at windmills, the way Green Party supporters were in 2000. Reading this argument for renewed radicalism, though, I felt torn. Here's what I wrote:
I'm not sure how I feel about your very eloquent call to arms here. Part of me agrees. But another part -- perhaps the same part that had you out volunteering yesterday? -- of me, the part that is a parent and a teacher and someone who cares about actually existing people existing right now all over the globe, that part of me would take a balance of two parties in the short term. I suppose you still can't have Bernstein and Luxemburg at the same time. Nevertheless, I feel like we need to think and act on different levels at the same time, even if our actions and thought at one level seem to contradict our actions and thought at another. I think it's important to recognize that the perception of contradiction sometimes comes with the conflation of things that should not be conflated, the collapsing of one level onto another. Will I vote Democratic in two years, in four years? Probably. Will I really be working and hoping for something a lot better than the Democratic Party? Absolutely.
I may reconsider this position as the particulate matter settles into the inner recesses of my political lungs. But it will do for now.

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