The Nader Campaign and ‘Lesser Evil’ Politics

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

By JEFF MACKLER

More predictable than Halley’s comet and Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser is the fact that a White Knight will appear every four years during U.S. presidential election time to claim the sword of social reformer and the cloak of anti-establishment criticism, promising to make things better in the framework of capitalism.

Longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader-currently averaging seven percent in the national polls and nearly 10 percent in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington-is the current White Knight. He is the Green Party presidential candidate and has already achieved ballot status in 31 states and counting.

Nader is the darling of those middle-class reformers, liberals, and social democrats whose political vision ranges from the capitalist Democratic Party to pro-capitalist formations that periodically emerge to pressure the Democrats to change their stripes at least a little bit.

Ralph Nader has managed to spend most of his adult life marginal to or uninvolved in the mass social movements that have shaken American society-including the civil rights movement of the 1960s and ’70s, the mass struggles against the Vietnam War, the battle to keep U.S. troops out of Central America and the Gulf, the historic struggles for women’s equality, and the current worldwide effort to stop the execution and win the freedom of the innocent death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Nader and his myriad offshoot citizen-action groups, nicknamed over the years “Nader’s Raiders,” did spend a generation or more lobbying Democrats and Republicans in Congress, filing law suits, and authoring exposés on behalf of auto safety and positive environmental reforms.

Within the framework and norms of establishment politics, and within the parameters of capitalist flexibility when the margins were broader in past decades, Nader has been the champion of compromise and moderate change.

By his own admission, however, his efforts have largely come to naught, as the same corporate powers and the bipartisan capitalist government that represents them not only eliminated most of the few reforms Nader and his followers had helped to engineer but largely destroyed the vast social legislation won by previous generations in the course of mass social struggles.

In today’s world of intensified imperialist competition and the associated globalization of capital, ever narrowing profit margins have rendered yesterday’s reformers, like Nader, obsolete.

In virtually every nation on earth, the ruling classes have crippled or destroyed much of the social legislation, wage gains, labor rights, and environmental laws won by workers and their allies in decades past.

In the underdeveloped world, in the course of stealing natural resources, installing capitalist-friendly dictators, repressing all opposition and chaining poor nations to the imperialist debt machine, capitalism has brought billions to unknown poverty and ruin.

In a world of shrinking markets and shrinking average profit rates, world capitalism is compelled ever more to increase the rate of labor exploitation and cripple or eliminate health care, social security, welfare rights, education, and pollute the very air we breath and water we drink to insure the sole reason for its existence-profit.

Ralph Nader accepts the fundamental premises of capitalism, the private ownership of productive facilities and the expropriation of worker’s labor power for corporate profit. He seeks a few modifications in the distribution end of the equation and a few regulatory measures and reforms so that some capitalists are compelled to take better care of their wage slaves.

Making Democrats a bit better?

The July 17 issue of the Democratic Party-oriented Nation magazine quotes Nader’s intention quite clearly:

“When I saw that the Democrats couldn’t even defend this country against the baying pack of right-wing extremists in the Republican Party anymore, that’s when I said it’s time for a new progressive movement. Can you imagine what Harry Truman or FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] would have done with the likes of Newt Gingrich or Tom DeLay? They would have landslided them.”

Better Democrats are Nader’s ultimate goal, He has been quoted far and wide from The Nation, to CNN, to the Green Party National Convention and his own campaign literature stating that his candidacy will result in getting disillusioned voters to the polls, who will both cast a vote for him and a vote for local Democratic Party congressional candidates.

The June 23 San Francisco Chronicle noted: “While Nader acknowledged that he could cost Gore some votes, most people who vote for him for president will cast a ballot for a Democrat for Congress, boosting the chances of the Democrats to regain control of the House, he said.”

The same issue of the Chronicle observes: “A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Nader is not so caught up in his quest as to believe he has a chance to win. His purpose is to establish the Greens as a ‘significant third party’ that will qualify for [$12 million in] federal matching funds, and serve as a ‘lever to pull the Democratic Party to the left, or make it shrink year by year.'”

A month later, the July 23 New York Times reported a similar theme: “Mr. Nader said a central purpose of his candidacy was to move the Democratic Party left on labor and other issues.”

A Nader interview published in the July 6 LA Weekly is perhaps the most explicit in regard to his pro-Democratic Party intentions. The bracketed remarks below were provided by the LA Weekly interviewer. Nader states:

They [the liberals with hesitations about voting for Nader] are not thinking tactically. There are very few Green Party candidates: There is Medea Benjamin [running] for the Senate [in California]. There are only 16 Green Party candidates for the House of Representatives.

So where are these millions of votes [brought to the polls to vote for Nader] going to go in the House races? To the Democrats.

That’s why is was clear from my meeting with Gephardt a few weeks ago that he is not displeased with this candidacy. [He’s looking at] a few close Congressional District races. A few thousand votes here and there, and he’s the speaker. That’s pretty important, and they [the hesitant liberals] are not thinking that way.

Also, it all depends on what state they’re in. If they’re in Texas, they don’t have to make the kind of calculation that they would in Michigan, where the Bush-Gore contest is close. They can say: look we want this Green Party to cross the 5 percent threshold [of eligibility for federal campaign funds in the next election], because then it’s going to be a real hammer on the Democrats.

It’s going to pull them in the right direction, where now the corporate lobbies and the DLCs [Democratic Leadership Council] are pulling them in the other direction. In Texas, they can say, I’m going to vote for Nader because Gore is out of it in Texas, he doesn’t have a chance. [Emphasis added].

Nader, a lifelong Democrat, is not shy about stating his real intentions. He wants to pressure the Democrats to be kinder capitalists and less receptive to the so-called right wing of the Democratic Party, the DLC, who Nader considers to be more pro-corporation than the rest of the party.

He “tactically” instructs his supporters that in close races between Gore and Bush it’s really not intelligent to cast a vote for Nader. The latter option is fine only when there’s no doubt about the outcome, as in Texas.

Was FDR a social reformer?

Like many pro-capitalist politicians who harken back to the myth of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman as social reformers, Ralph Nader is at best painfully ignorant of the truth of the politics of these clever capitalist politicians.

Roosevelt, contrary to popular myth, was a capitalist leader of the first order. In the face of the most massive labor upsurge in American history-characterized by massive strikes and labor actions that successfully took on the capitalist courts, politicians, police, and National Guard to unionize the major centers of capitalist industrial power-Roosevelt acceded to labor’s might rather than risk a social revolution that in the era of the 1930s had the potential to end capitalist rule once and for all.

But Roosevelt retaliated as best he could, using federal troops to try to break strikes, including the historic miner’s strike of 1943, and imprison labor’s best fighters-as he did in 1941 when the central leadership of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) was imprisoned under Roosevelt’s anti-democratic and anti-communist Smith Act.

It was the SWP’s role in leading one of the nation’s most powerful strikes, the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strike, that brought Roosevelt into an alliance with the rightist Teamster national president, Daniel Tobin. Their aim was to eliminate the socialist threat to capital represented by the historic fight of the Minneapolis Teamsters, who brought militant and honest trade unionism to the Twin Cities and the Midwest and Western states.

Contrary to the popular myth served up by Nader to make clear his overall Democratic Party orientation, Franklin Roosevelt was known for his wartime wage and job freeze in the face of a rising cost of living; for the fraud of his “equality of sacrifice” program wherein the war profiteers and corporations grew rich while workers starved; and for his anti-strike laws and anti-labor repression. It was Roosevelt himself who declared his so-called New Deal dead.

Nader’s platform statement contains a provision for the elimination of the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. But he neglects to mention that his mentor, Harry Truman, presided over the government that approved the Taft-Hartley Act. It was Truman who gave the go-ahead to the McCarthy witch hunt that Nader decries, and it was Truman who reneged on his famous 1948 campaign promise to repeal Taft-Hartley.

The FDR/Truman myth aside, Nader’s support for a Democratic Party congressional majority today takes one’s breath away. Over the past eight years, the Democrats, led by Clinton and Gore, have engineered the most massive cuts in social expenditures ever recorded.

Clinton’s “new” Democrats put Nixon, Reagan, and Bush to shame when it came to gutting the social gains of past decades that had been won in struggle by the masses in the streets and factories of the nation. The Clinton forces were able to do this more easily especially because they had the false mantle of “liberalism” associated with them and the attendant support of the liberal pro-capitalist establishment, the labor bureaucracy, and the innocent and not-so-innocent believers in the myth of Democratic Party progressivism.

Nader, like those pro-capitalist reformers who preceded him inside and outside the Democratic Party (Jesse Jackson, Ron Daniels, Barry Commoner, Ted Kennedy, George McGovern, Eugene McCarthy, etc.) seeks a kinder, gentler capitalism-an oxymoron if there ever was one.

Nader proposes to cut $100 billion from the military budget, leaving the bipartisan Congress a paltry $200-$250 billion or so to spend on death and destruction, the approximate amount budgeted by Clinton’s first administration. In the interview in the July 6 LA Weekly, Nader advocates that the United Nations be used for military interventions in the world as opposed to U.S. or NATO troops.

Nader’s co-thinker Greens in France and Germany, whose parliamentary representatives daily broker deals for the corporate rich in the coalition governments they help run (Germany and France), voted approval for using European military budgets to support the worldwide imperialist assault on Yugoslavia.

Like Milosevic, the imperialists rejected Kosovar self-determination, as they did during Milosevic’s genocidal war against Bosnia. Their aim, as with the Greens, was the restoration of the capitalist market in Yugoslavia and eventually throughout Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR. While the European Greens in the main called for war and blood against Yugoslavia, they remained outside and opposed to the large antiwar mobilizations that simultaneously opposed the imperialist war and supported Kosovar self-determination.

The Mexican delegate to the U.S. Green Party’s national convention, Arnold de Ajager, supported his party’s “lesser evil” decision to back the rightist National Action Party (PAN) candidate, now president of Mexico, Vincente Fox.

Protectionist trade policies

The central focus of Nader’s campaign-his seemingly vigorous attack on global corporations gone wild, on the WTO, the IMF, and World Bank-is, contrary to popular opinion, his most backward and conservative quality!

Nader has latched on to protectionist trade politics as his stock in trade. This is in accord with the pro-capitalist labor bureaucrats who seek to use Nader’s campaign to more effectively pressure the Democrats for reactionary ends such as keeping foreign products and Mexican workers out of the U.S. and stopping trade with China and many other poor nations.

Like most labor bureaucrats today, Nader employs left-sounding phrases that score U.S. corporations for moving their plants abroad. He appears to defend the interests of working people in the United States and internationally. But sadly, nothing could be further from the truth, Nader’s best intentions notwithstanding.

In order to defend “American” jobs as opposed to jobs everywhere in the world, the labor bureaucracy (appropriately named by Daniel DeLeon at the turn of the century, “labor lieutenants of capitalism”) has employed a myriad of chauvinist tactics. These range from “Buy American” and “Union Label” campaigns to supporting well-meaning but misdirected “anti-sweatshop” efforts, to pressuring Democratic Party “friends” to pass legislation that “protects” American workers and products from foreign competition.

In each case, regardless of the rhetoric, the logic is the same. The interests of American workers are counterposed to those of foreign workers.

Because this doesn’t sound very progressive to most working people, and especially to the new generation of radicalizing youth who have taken to the streets to protest capitalist injustice everywhere, the bureaucracy utilizes left-sounding arguments to deceive honest people who really want to help the oppressed in the United States and worldwide.

Thus, we are told by the bureaucrats, and by Nader, that foreign workers are paid less than American workers. We are informed that they are in fact often paid wages of just a few cents an hour, that in some instances they work virtually as slaves (with no pay), that their working conditions are barbaric, that child labor is employed, and that environmental protection and labor laws barely, if at all, exist.

But from these terrible truths we are supposed to conclude that the U.S. government must not trade with countries tolerating such conditions, that the United States must ban products from these countries, that the United States must insist that they comply with so-called international labor standards, and finally and most important to the labor bureaucrats, that no U.S. factories should be permitted to operate in these countries.

In truth, however, neither the U.S. government nor the corporations it represents, nor the labor bureaucracy has any intention of challenging any of the horrendous conditions that capitalists the world over subject working people to in the interest of maximizing profits. In many instances, it is the U.S. corporations or their subsidiaries who are the direct beneficiaries of these policies.

And from the vantage point of the labor fakers, who live on the dues and authoritarian control they largely exercise over the membership, no U.S. job should ever be shipped abroad, no matter what the wages and working conditions.

If we accept the argument that foreign products produced by oppressed and exploited workers are not to be allowed in this country or in any other, “foreign” workers would soon be fired and/or their plants closed, leaving them in even worse conditions than when they did have jobs.

Closing Mexico’s maquiladoras, or banning the products produced by their workers, for example, would not benefit Mexican workers one iota; nor would banning Mexican truck drivers or any other Mexicans from entering the United States to work.

The U.S. labor bureaucracy’s protectionist policies in reality target capitalism’s victims rather than capitalist corporations. Taking on these corporations is the last thought to enter a bureaucrat’s mind. That would mean a fight with American bosses entailing the mobilization of labor’s broad ranks, a return to cross-union and international solidarity, a real campaign to organize the unorganized 86 percent of the U.S. workforce, a fight for the unemployed with a program for massive public works to rebuild schools and the deteriorating urban infrastructure, and a coordinated battle to reduce the work week with no cut in pay.

But these actions risk the bureaucracy’s security and cozy relations with the employers, relations that guarantee them a standard of living that rivals some of their capitalist benefactors. The mobilization of labor’s ranks for a real struggle against the bosses is a bureaucrat’s worst nightmare. They fully understand that such a fight would open the door to the ranks to regain control of their unions by breaking the bureaucratic stranglehold.

The bureaucracy, desperate to protect its own narrow interests, sees the corporations, the capitalist state, and its twin parties as its most critical allies in the reactionary fight against foreign products and workers.

In recent years we have witnessed the spectacle of the U.S. Steel Corporation joining with the United Steelworkers Union of America (USWA) in one protectionist campaign after another designed to pressure Democrats as well as Republicans to keep foreign steel out of this country. And since China is today, for the first time in history, the world’s largest steel producer, China-bashing has become the central preoccupation of both the steel bosses and labor bureaucrats.

In Seattle, Steelworkers president George Becker led tens of thousands of AFL-CIO members in a mock dumping of products made with foreign steel into a Seattle river. A USWA truck-mounted billboard read, “The WTO: Destroying Millions of American Jobs.”

In Washington, D.C., the same protectionist bureaucrats mobilized for a rally that featured the proto-fascist Pat Buchanan, the bureaucracy’s demagogic champion when it comes to placing a “pro-worker” caste on deadly racist and anti-labor ideas.

Buchanan, like Hitler before him, is preparing to counter the real battles that a mass independent and fighting labor movement will generate. However, with a revolutionary-minded leadership, there is no force on earth capable of defeating a united working class in the U.S. and worldwide.

Ralph Nader, introduced to the Green Party Convention by author/activist Ronnie Dugger as “a one-man social movement,” sees no potential for such a renewed fightback. He aims to substitute the intellectual few allied with “enlightened” Democrats of the FDR type for the organized millions who themselves are the only force capable of winning real social change that requires a challenge to the capitalist order itself.

Not too many years ago, United Automobile Workers leaders encouraged workers to take sledge hammers to foreign cars imported to the United States to symbolically demonstrate their protectionist as opposed to internationalist ideology. The destroyed vehicles were denounced as “Jap cars,” a reference to the racist term employed by American chauvinists during World War II.

Today the bureaucrats and bosses present their racist attitudes with more pleasing leftist rhetoric designed to hide their chauvinist policies and to attract genuinely anti-capitalist students and other angry youth to their anti-worker, protectionist cause. The flaunted “Teamster-turtle alliance,” is a happy-sounding term connoting a labor-environmentalist alliance, but it has yet to produce a single deed on the part of the corrupt Jimmy Hoffa Jr.-led Teamster officials.

Labor’s misleaders don’t restrict their efforts to protecting faltering U.S. industries. Where it suits their needs they favor free trade as well, as when AFL-CIO President John Sweeney endorsed a letter published in the Oct. 29 Washington Post along with 34 heads of trade groups and corporation officials that approved the bargaining objectives laid out by the United States in preparation for the Seattle meeting of the WTO. Said Sweeney and his capitalist cohorts, “We support the emphasis by the U.S. in increasing market access.”

Neither protectionism nor free trade offer any solutions to the problems facing U.S. or foreign workers. Both trade measures are utilized by capitalists, depending on which is more advantageous at the moment. When a U.S. corporation reaches a technological level surpassing its international competitors, it presses for free trade, demanding that all obstacles to the importation of U.S. products abroad be eliminated.

But when a U.S. industry lags behind the technology achieved by foreign capitalists, the affected U.S. corporation and its associated lieutenants in labor become protectionist. Since they can’t profitably export, they demand that the government they own and control protect its products against competition from superior products abroad. In both cases it is the workers who lose.

When a free-trading boss introduces new machines, U.S. workers lose their jobs. When a protectionist boss can’t compete, he either closes his plant and workers lose, or he keeps the plant open and demands lower wages, longer hours, and less safety and environmental enforcement. At the same time, the less competitive capitalists press the government to ban foreign products and foreign workers. Again, the workers lose.

Of course, following the long-term laws of capitalist production, in order to remain competitive, the protected corporation must either eventually close down and invest its capital more profitably elsewhere or introduce new technology and fire workers. Yesterday’s protected factories are today either out of business or modernized at the expense of workers’ jobs.

In the long and short run, the workers of the world lose in the face of ever increasing capitalist competition. As history records, any labor strategy based on tying workers and their unions to the success of U.S. corporations is doomed to failure.

The world’s capitalists are aware of their own inherent contradictions. They eventually saturate the world’s limited markets and turn on each other in trade wars orchestrated by competing governments on behalf of their own corporations.

In the meantime, they try to mitigate their contradictions by inventing one world arbitrator-type organization after another from the WTO to GATT to the IMF and World Bank. These institutions are designed to temporarily resolve what cannot in the long term (and now in the short term as well) be resolved: the inherent “survival of the fittest” competition that both drives the system forward and also ends in its destruction, or better, the destruction of everything, everyone, and any nation that stands in the way of unimpeded profit.

As he never-ending trade wars-which history has demonstrated hold the potential of closing down all trade-continue, a grave threat to the entire worldwide capitalist system is posed. In these circumstances the gentlemanly rules of combat embodied in the WTO and similar institutions will prove incapable of protecting profits. Real wars will become the order of the day, as with the past two world wars that devastated whole continents and killed tens of millions on the altar of profit, not in the name of a mythical democracy.

The unending wars of intervention on the part of the United States and its international competitors today in the Middle East, (Iraq); Europe (Yugoslavia); and in the semi-colonial world more generally are a harbinger of the larger wars to come, unless the working people of the world construct a new leadership independent of and in opposition to capitalism, its political parties and offshoots, and its agents in the workers’ movement.

Capitalism must be replaced

While there is no solution to labor’s plight in the framework of capitalist politics, there are real and practical solutions-national and international labor solidarity and class-struggle politics (as opposed to Nader’s class collaboration) that can win day-to-day victories.

In the long run however, only the replacement of capitalism itself by a socialist society, organized on a worldwide basis, can eliminate the horrors brought on by capitalism’s deadly pursuit of profits.

The abolition of capitalism and its apocalyptic traits of war, racism, chauvinism, poverty, and disease will pave the way for the immediate construction of a new society based on the fulfillment of human needs the world over. The rule of the capitalist few will be replaced by the rule of the vast majority through their own institutions.

Working-class rule in alliance with all the oppressed will place on the order of the day the creation of a pristine environment for the enjoyment and health of all. It will immediately move to organize productive wholesome and good-paying jobs at remarkably reduced hours for everyone.

Environmentally safe technological innovation will serve all humanity and will mean better lives and more free time as opposed to ruined lives and/or never-ending overtime. Free quality education, housing, and health care; a flowering of culture; an end to war and military spending; and the allocation of untold billions to eliminate disease and poverty will be the norm of a society democratically governed by the vast majority.

Such a world is far from the vision and consciousness of the labor bureaucracy and its temporarily adopted spokespersons, Ralph Nader on the “left” and Pat Buchanan on the right. While lambasting the conditions of labor abroad, offering no solutions, both are essentially silent in regard to the conditions of labor at home, at best aiming their fire at an abstract “corporate” power while taking the capitalist system itself for granted as the only social system worth defending.

Slave labor exists in the expanding and ever-privatized U.S. prison industrial complex, where capitalists force prisoners to work for some of the nation’s largest corporations at 25 cents an hour or less. While prison labor is denounced by labor tops in respect to China, it is more than tolerated in the United States, in which more than two million Americans, the highest proportion in the world, are incarcerated.

The AFL-CIO is represented on the Board of Federal Prison Industries, which operates more than 100 prison factories-manufacturing everything from computer circuit boards to sewing “made in the U.S.A.” labels in clothing.

Similarly, U.S. corporations have run rampant over environmental protection laws, labor rights, health care, drug costs, and virtually every other aspect of life where profit rates are in competition with human needs.

“Reforming” the Democrats?

Ralph Nader offers little or nothing to fight this American reality other than to pressure capitalists and their parties, especially the Democrats, to reform their image and grant a few concessions. In Nader’s last less ambitious Green run for the presidency, he actually made a list of those Democrats he favored in state and local elections. Today, he serves the same function in a more sophisticated manner.

Recognizing that the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Albert Gore, has a record indistinguishable from that of President Clinton, Nader knows that a repeat of the 1996 election’s historic low voter turnout (less than 50 percent of eligible voters) could result in an even greater disaster for the Democrats.

Like Jesse Jackson, he hopes to register and otherwise bring to the polls those who are most likely to vote for him AND his “lesser-evil” friends in the Democratic Party, thus ensuring the Democrats yet another “important” (according to Nader) congressional majority. And as we have demonstrated with Nader’s own words, he has judged that his campaign poses no real threat to a Gore victory.

Albert Gore’s personal record, of course, differs little from any other capitalist politician, however “left” his speech writers and managers may find it necessary to pose him. According to social critic Alexander Cockburn:

  • Gore took full credit for the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which threw 2.6 million people into immediate poverty, including 1.1 million children. An additional 14 million were given three years to find a job or starve.
  • His “Reinventing Government” initiatives of 1993 aimed at gutting what was left of federal affirmative action.
  • He campaigns in Texas by attacking Republican George Bush as soft on crime, while maintaining a position on the death penalty indistinguishable from Bush’s.
  • Over the past four years, Gore has solicited and accepted campaign cash from arms companies, the nuclear industry, bond traders, runaway firms to Mexico like Mattel, and exploiters of child labor like Disney. Occidental Petroleum, in which the Gore family has a stake worth over half a million, is trying to drill in the Colombian rain forest on land belonging to the Uwa Indians, who are being murdered by Colombian soldiers-who are now about to receive another billion, courtesy of the Clinton-Gore administration.

Alexander Cockburn, who compiled the above list in the Anderson Valley Advertiser (shortened by this author considerably due to lack of space), is a current Nader advocate. However, Cockburn used similar arguments to support Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign against George Bush Sr., though he now claims that a vote for Clinton was a wasted effort since the president went on to forget what Cockburn terms the “bold promise and bright expectations” of his campaign.

Cockburn and Nader have spent a lifetime in lesser-evil politics. They cannot bring themselves to reveal that today’s Bill Clinton, whom they formerly supported, is yesterday’s George Bush Sr.

In truth, there was no evolution in Clinton’s politics. His coming to power was the product of a decision of the U.S. ruling class in general, who today and yesterday tout the Clinton administration as the best friend corporate America has ever had in the White House.

Nader and Cockburn today serve up yet another “lesser evil” White Knight version of politics wherein an enlightened hero will force reluctant Democrats to “return to their roots.”

Nader and his campaign managers foster the discredited idea that life can or will be changed by casting a ballot on election day. If Nader receives the necessary five percent to qualify for $12 million in federal matching funds for the next electoral adventure, so the argument goes, everything will be different!

Sadly, Nader’s supporters include various currents who profess socialist politics-including groups like Solidarity, Socialist Alternative, the International Socialist Organization (ISO), and too many others who see capitalist electoralism as a viable political arena.

The ISO’s July 21 Socialist Worker newspaper endorsement ends with an amazing judgment:

“Nader’s campaign provides a focus for labor and anti-globalization activists to break with the Democrats. This could open the way to the development of an independent working-class political party. For that reason socialists should welcome Nader’s campaign-and get involved with it.”

The ISO, whose international organization in the past endorsed similar anti-socialist candidates in other countries, is sorely mistaken in this matter. Nader has never given the slightest indication in word or deed that these are his intentions. To the contrary, he follows in the footsteps of a long line of professional critics and Democratic Party reformers.

This White Knight would-be savior is no substitute for taking on the capitalist bosses and their system with the full force of all those who suffer under its domination. The work of human liberation has been assigned by history to the masses, not to White Knight champions who urge our oppressors to treat us more kindly.

Socialist Action News

Related Articles

How Revolutionaries Use Elections

By LAZARO MONTEVERDE
Calls by social democrats to elect “progressive” Democrats exemplify what Engels called “parliamentary cretinism.” Marx, Engels and Lenin devised a different tactic for revolutionaries.

Vote Socialist Action in 2020!

Break with two-party capitalist duopoly! By JEFF MACKLER Glory hallelujah! If the Lord’s “terrible swift sword” had descended from the heavens to witness the Democratic