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Strategy for Moving America Left
March 4, 2017
by William P. Meyers

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Hopefully the Left will finally display a learning curve

From the 1930s to the 1950s conservatives worried themselves sick that Communists were taking over the Democratic Party. That led to the Red Scare and similar events you may have heard of. Most liberal Democrats now deny that any such takeover strategy ever existed.

The problem is not so much that the conservatives were right: the Communist Party U.S.A. (CPUSA) was indeed trying to take over the Democratic Party, and the U.S. government, though peaceful means.

Nor is it a problem for me that the CPUSA did not succeed in its plans. Communism, of the Bolshevik variety, was based on Marxism, a pseudoscience that has proven to be false in most of its theories. It was authoritarian, which I hate in general, and particularly hate when it pushes a false authority.

The CPUSA did not fail in its plans because of J. Edgar Hoover's spies and thugs, or the Red Scare, or conservative finger pointing. It failed because of its own internal inflexibility and because enough people had the good sense to reject it for wanting to put in the only social system that could possibly be worse than capitalism. And that would be considerably worse than New Deal restrained capitalism.

Most of the socialist groups in the U.S. (they maxed out in numbers around 1975) rejected the boring-from-within strategy that failed the CPUSA. Not because they examined that strategy and figured if it did not work for the CPUSA, it could not work at all. They looked at either the violent revolution blueprint that worked for Lenin, Mao, Castro and Ho Chi Minh, or they tried to develop their parties within the electoral system, but independent of the Democrats.

[Disclaimer: I have tried every which-way, with a variety of groups, over a long life. I knocked on doors for the McGovern campaign in 1972 and at times joined groups that were Leninist, Maoist, Trotskyist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, and eventually the Green Party. Plus many issue-specific campaigns. I also was elected to and served on a public school board for 7 years.]

While it does not specifically say so in the U.S. Constitution, the structure of our government pushes almost all politicians into one of two political parties. That is not going to change anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the world's human population is about 6 times higher than what is sustainable in the long run. The world's very habitability is being destroyed. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of injustice in these United States.

So I agree with those who say the Left should work to take over the Democratic Party. And soon. For that matter, I would add we should take it over in such a way as to obtain a Democratic majority in statehouses and Congress first, rather that alienating left-of-the-middle voters and guaranteeing Republicans permanent power.

But I don't think the Left should lose its identity (or identities). There can still be organizations that are separate from the Democratic Party, and that vigorously debate what should be done when the Left is able to exercise power.

My own priority is saving the ecosphere, which means implementing a one-child policy in the U.S.

Social justice and economic reform are important to me, as well. I am against most ownership of business by government, but would consider it case by case. I am for worker ownership of business, as long as the workers don't let businesses fall to ruin. I believe that mixed systems, with some private ownership and some public ownership, work better in the long run that pure capitalism or pure socialism, but it helps to get the mix right. If socialism is reduced to just taxing the rich and redistributing the money, I am okay with that too. But we already have a mild form of that.

I have noted in earlier writings how Puritans of the Right and Puritans of the Left are united in an inability to see that the world is complicated, and so unable to be pragmatic when it comes to economic questions.

I have a friend who says something like "Leftist organizations march into the swamp of the Democratic Party to die." Sounds catchy, but history also teaches "Leftists outside the Democratic Party starve to death in the desert." Pick you poison. I'm changing mine.


1. We need a one-child policy.

2. The left should work within the Democratic Party for electoral purposes, but maintain a separate identity.

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