Communists and Socialists, Oh My!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Communists and Socialists, Oh my!

One thing I've been meaning to get into at some point is the diversity of people and groups that show up at events. MECHA, ANSWER, RAPJA, The Libertarian Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Millitant Labor, The ACLU, Revolutionary Communist Party, and the Mexica Movement to name just those I ran into on the day of the protest. (Please utilize the links to learn more about these groups). If you know anything about these various groups, you can probalby see what a diverse group it really is. If you don't know, I'll point out some of the conflicts.

The Mexica Movement is critical of MECHA for being too pro-colonial. The Libertarian Party is interested in the curtailment of government. A government small enough to drown in a bathtub. The Revolutionary Communist Party, on the other hand, favors a transition to Communism based on Maoist principles and articulated by Bob Avakian. But isn't that what the Left is really all about? Diversity isn't just a trend, it's the key to evolutionary survival. That can be seen in the prevailing dogma that the only way to rule is through sheer force. In a nuclear age that limited thinking could get us all killed. Diversity of thought would help here.

Despite the great many differences of all these groups, we were able to come together for a common cause: support immigrants and keep the government from demonizing these people. What's interesting, however, is how each group sees its prospective role in this larger struggle.

People at ANSWER and other peace groups, like RAPJA, are not at all shy about the fact that they would like to see the pro-immigration people merge with the anti-war crowd. There's nothing deceitful about this. For us at RAPJA it's simply a holistic approach to our quest for peace and justice. "No Peace, No Justice; No Justice, No Peace" is more than a catchy slogan to us; it's a way of life. And it also has historical precedent. It was the merging of various social movements in the 1960s–Civil Rights, Anti-War, Feminism–that really helped end the war in Vietnam.

The folks at Mexica see this as a case of "Asking for better knee pads, but not asking to stand up" in the words of an organizer there named Carlos. They reject the pending legislation, HR 4437, but see this more as an opportunity to educate and elighten their people–Nican Tlaca–to their true history and the genocide inflicted upon them by Europeans. They reject the labels imposed on them by Europeans as well as the artificial borders.For them the Americas were one continent, not North and South, and one people.

The various communist and socialist groups I spoke with all saw this as an opportunity to organize workers. To them it's ultimately an economic issue. While I would agree on the surface of this issue, what struck me as odd was that without exception the three Communist/Socialist groups I encountered all agreed with the idea of a transition to state socialism as a goal, despite the horrofic results in the former Soviet Union and Communist China. Syndicalism was shunned as unrealistic (FYI, I favor Syndicalism).

Groups like the Student United and ACLU see this ultimately as a human rights and civil rights issue. The hard-working immigrants of our country are not criminals. They contribute mightily to our economy and receive little to nothing in return. For groups like this the imperative is to petition government leaders to offer full amnesty to all immigrants and push for legislation that grants dignity and respect to all immigrants.

Apparently the anarchists were in Claremont. (must click on link to get joke) At any rate, I think this is an inspiring example of just how the various elements on the Left can come together for a common cause. Although I don't agree entirely with the views of any of these groups, I hope that many of them are successful. It's beautiful when someone understands and appreciates their background; in this indeavor I wish the people at Mexica good will. To all the Communists and Socialists out there who are working to organize and educate workers, I salute you. To our friends at the ACLU who tirelessly fight to protect oru Civil Rights, a mighty Thank you from all of us. Let's all hope that ANSWER is succesfull in its campaign to Stop the War and End Racism; who exactly is against this anyway? And despite our possible misgivings of these groups, let's all celebrate and honor the great diversity of thought on the Left.

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Published in: on April 17, 2006 at 12:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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