Monday, August 08, 2016

US Green Party is not left-wing at all—supporting them is a waste of time!

This election year has given the voters two of the most unpopular candidates in the nation's history. Especially hard not to notice is the "Bernie or Bust" crowd. They are the millennials who are so disillusioned over the cheating and biased actions of the DNC and the Democratic Party in general they just refuse to support Hillary Clinton. Some of these millennials and many other voters I know are planning to vote for the Green Party. Jill Stein is the party's leader and presidential candidate.
But before people vote for Stein or any other Green Party candidate it is important to realize that the US Green Party is not a left-wing party, it is certainly not a socialist party at all.
Probably the most well known Green Party in the world is in Germany. The German Greens do have left-wing factions. It includes leftists, socialists and Marxists.
But the US version of that party is different. There are no socialists. The Greens do not advocate socialism. They do have a lot of progressive platforms, such as supporting a national health care program and generous social welfare benefits for workers and others. But in essence they are a bourgeois  party that supports capitalism.
To illustrate this I've gone to the Green Party Platform:

"A. Ecological Economics

1. We call for an economic system that is based on a combination of private businesses, decentralized democratic cooperatives, publicly owned enterprises, and alternative economic structures. Collectively, this system puts human and ecological needs alongside profits to measure success, and maintains accountability to communities."

It almost sounds like a socialist platform. Some past communist governments, such as the Soviet Union, had cooperatives, publicly owned enterprises (state owned) and some private businesses. Many people don't realize that most communist movements support some small businesses, or at least they tolerate them. But the next line tells us a lot:

"2. Community-based economics constitutes an alternative to both corporate capitalism and state socialism. It values diversity and decentralization......."

This statement is most likely a rebuke at past communist or socialist style governments. It is basically an anti-socialist statement. There is little to doubt about this.
They also make it perfectly clear they don't want to abolish corporations, they want to reform them:

"C. Curbing Corporate Power

Greens want to reduce the economic and political power of large corporations, end corporate personhood and re-design corporations to serve our society, democracy and the environment......."

They call for reforming corporations and the language they use is somewhat utopian:

"Greens believe the legal structure of the corporation is obsolete. At present, corporations are designed solely to generate profit. This legal imperative — profit above all else — is damaging our country and our planet in countless ways. We must change the legal design of corporations so that they generate profits, but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, public health, workers, or the communities in which the corporation operates."

This statement ignores the very definition of a corporation. They are primarily to make profit at all costs. That is the only goal of a corporation. To believe that these entities can be changed to be democratic and serve society while at the same time producing profit is absurd. Corporate mangers and owners are greedy. That is their primary reason for all that they do. Since corporations were founded the goal has always been to maximise profits and minimize costs- including the cost of labor. Trying to "reform" such institutions doesn't make any sense. The only logical move is to convert them to democratically run coops. The greedy managers must be dismissed or put under constraints. They can't be allowed to make as much money as they want to. In other words the corporations need to be destroyed and replaced with either coops, state run institutions or something of that nature.
Rather than following any kind of worker led models, the Green Party promotes small businesses and corporations not all that different from any other capitalist model. This is in no way a socialist, worker's oriented, labor style or Marxist movement. This is a bourgeois model for business:

"G. Small Business and the Self-Employed

Greens support a program that counteracts concentration and abuse of economic power. We support many different initiatives for forming successful, small enterprises that together can become an engine of (and sustainable model for) job creation, prosperity and progress. Small businesses are where the jobs are being created. Over the past decade and a half, all new net job growth has come from the small business sector.

The Green economic model is about true prosperity—Green means prosperity. Our goal is to go beyond the dedicated good work being done by many companies (referred to as "socially responsible business") and to present new ways of seeing how business can help create a sustainable world, while surviving in a competitive business climate.

We believe that conservation should be profitable, and employment should be creative, meaningful and fairly compensated.

Access to capital is often an essential need in growing a business."

Some of the wording of this platform is quite bourgeois and could easily have come from one of many conservative news sites or the Republican Party itself:

"Government should reduce unnecessary restrictions, fees, and bureaucracy. In particular, the Paper Simplification Act should be seen as a way to benefit small business, and it should be improved in response to the needs of small businesses and the self-employed."

As we see the Green Party is in some ways quite reactionary or at least a conservative party. Some of their ideas are even primitive, such as:

"The creating and spreading local currencies and barter systems."

I have seen a lot of comments on Facebook recently from leftists who decided to vote for Jill Stein as a protest vote against Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. On one hand Stein has no chance of winning. Because of the Electoral College she can run, but will be unable to win any delegates. Our founding fathers decided the people were too stupid to vote directly for the president so they came up with the Electoral College. We only vote for electors who really chose the president. There is no way the Green Party can win those electors. So if the idea is to register protest vote, it won't really matter. But organizing or campaigning for Stein or any other Green Party candidates is to vote for the opposite of what most leftists want. Support for the environment and generous benefits for workers are always a good idea. However the Green Party is not worth supporting. It is too reactionary to work for us.   

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