Sunday, May 15, 2016

Jeff Mackler Goes Full (Groucho) Marxist

"Whatever it is, I'm against it" (from Horse Feathers, 1932).

And that's Jeff Mackler's attitude toward all presidential candidates of whatever party--no matter who they are or what they say, he's against them.

And this, he claims, is because the "US left collapses before Sanders." Only Socialist Action (SA) has the presence of mind and class consciousness to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Everybody else is "collapsing."

Mr. Mackler's big advantage over the rest of us is telepathy; he's able to infer other's motivations from even the slightest reference. He is convinced that the candidates, their svengalis, and most of their staffs are all in cahoots with each other to defraud the working class. For example, rather than trying to win the election, Sander's purpose is to sucker the working class into the Democratic Party.
[Sanders] clearly explained his views in a recent KQED National Public Radio (NPR) interview: “I think we are perpetuating the political revolution by significantly increasing the level of political activity that we’re seeing in this country. I think it is good for the United States of America and good for the Democratic Party to have a vigorous debate, to engage people in the political process” [emphasis added by Mackler].
Most people wouldn't expect Sanders to say anything different. But Mr. Mackler is on to the fraud, so certain is he that Bernie is purposely deceiving his public.
Any illusion that these lifelong professional ruling-class politicians [superdelegates--ed.] will accede to the “popular will” and shift to Sanders is absurd. But promoting this illusion is Sanders’ current bait-and-switch tactic.
What does somebody have to do to prove their working class bonafides? Mr. Mackler provides no answer, but he's clear on what he will not accept.
Solidarity and the International Socialist Organization call on Sanders to run for the presidency as an “independent” or as the Green Party candidate. The Workers International League also speaks favorably of an “independent” campaign by Sanders.
These are the leftists Mr. Mackler accuses of "collapsing." But what's so unprincipled about demanding that Bernie leave the Democratic Party? He'd take his fans with him, and the Left would grow substantially. Socialist Action never explains why this would be a problem.

That Mr. Mackler opposes the Republican and (especially) the Democratic Parties is par for the Trotskyist course. But not just them. Even the Greens are in on the big conspiracy, including Ralph Nader.
In the case of the Green Party, let me remind readers that Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader achieved ballot status in six states via heinous agreements with Patrick Buchanan’s incipient fascist Reform Party. Nader ran on the Reform Party’s ballot line in return for making reactionary statements limiting the right of women to abortion and restricting immigrants from entering the country. (See Nader’s June 21, 2004, interview with Patrick Buchanan in the American Conservative.)
A link to the referenced article is here. It definitely does not support Mackler's claim that Nader was anti-abortion. That seems like a slander. And it is only by taking Mr. Nader completely out of context that you can interpret his statements on immigration as "reactionary." Nader objects primarily to a US foreign policy that essentially forces poor people to move to the United States. Finally, the article says nothing about any electoral deal, which would in any case prove nothing about a conspiracy to favor Democrats.

It is very odd that Mr. Mackler doesn't mention Ralph Nader's running mate, Peter Camejo. Mr. Camejo devoted his life to opposing the Democratic Party. Mr. Mackler apparently lacks the courage to accuse him of secretly conspiring otherwise. Nevertheless, SA is against the Green Party, dubbing them "middle class." An odd insult, to be sure, for which he provides no justification. What would the Greens have to do to win Mr. Mackler's support?

A similarly strange omission is any mention of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) campaign. In past years Socialist Action has offered them "critical support." That's obviously not forthcoming this year, perhaps they're too "right-wing," what opposing reactionary groups like Hamas.

But the SWP is as leftist as it ever was, as revealed by a front-page campaign statement.
More drones or fewer, more diplomacy or less, more special forces or more infantry, more money for NATO or less, trade pact or no trade pact — everything Washington does, whoever the occupant of the White House happens to be, is to defend the interests of U.S. capitalists around the world, not working people anywhere. 
Clinton and Trump’s tactical differences are on how to best defend imperialist interests.
If Mr. Mackler can't agree with that then I don't know what he thinks. Whatever their other sins, accusing the SWP of selling out to the Democrats (much less being part of a huge conspiracy to do so) is simply incredible.

So like Groucho, Mr. Mackler is against them, no matter who they are or what they say. Apparently Socialist Action is going to abstain in this year's election--a typically Trotskyist thing to do. Nothing and nobody is good enough for them

Instead they're hosting forums that let them feel good about themselves.
Keenly aware of the rapidly growing interest in socialist ideas generated by capitalism’s deepening crises and sparked by the Sanders campaign, Socialist Action branches across the country have sponsored a series of well-attended public debates where most of the above socialist organizations, as well as representatives from the Labor for Bennie campaign, shared the platform for fruitful exchanges. While the “lesser evil” syndrome was undoubtedly at work in the presentations of these socialist groups, we were heartened to see that the Marxist-grounded revolutionary socialist ideas of Socialist Action were well received and that our proud party, a consistent participant and advocate of independent mass-action united-front mobilizations against all aspects of capitalist racism and plunder, won new members to the cause of socialist revolution.
Yes, it's true my friends. The most important outcome of the 2016 election will be that Socialist Action recruits two or three new comrades.

Further Reading:

1 comment:

  1. You accuse Socialist Action of sectarianism, but in fact they're the only party running that calls for a workers party based on the unions. For that reason alone, its candidates warrant consideration.