A Movement For A Viable Third Party, A People’s Party- Nick Bana

This is quite interesting. Disaffected Sandernistas are seeking to build a populist-left mass people’s party that crosses over to the populist-right and disaffected Trump voters, and seeks to become a major party by 2024. Kim correctly points out that substantial sectors of the Left will be adamantly opposed to such an effort (“no platform” and all that). They point out that for this to work they need to focus on populist economic concerns and a non-interventionist foreign policy and leave the moral, cultural, identity, etc issues to the side.

I have some experience with this kind of thing. For 20 years, I advocated for a left/right/libertarian/populist alliance against the statist-corporatist-imperialist ruling class, although from a revolutionary anarchist perspective, and not a state-reformist-electoralist perspective like these two,, although I also pushed the idea of secession by regions and localities, and even a “pan-secessionist meta-party” that existed as an alliance of minor parties and regionalist movements for the purpose of dismantling the central government. I advocated that the focus be on economic, antiwar, and civil liberties issues with a “live and let live” approach to social and cultural questions.

What I generally found is that most so-called “radicals” have zero interest in actually fighting the system. For most, it’s more like cosplaying. For the more serious ones, it’s like belonging to a sectarian religious cult (like the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Of course, a “within the system” third party is a far less radical idea than revolution, secession, or anarchism.  The kind of party that Kim and Nick are talking about might attract disaffected Sanders voters, disaffected Trump voters, radical moderates, independents, swing votes, the politically disengaged, the “exhausted majority” in a way that a perceived “extremist” tendency like Attack the System would not, particularly if they had a somewhat popular and well-known figure as their candidate (Jesse Ventura, for example).

But as a general rule, I have found that there is virtually no antiwar vote or constituency of any size or significance in the USA. Even the anti-Iraq War movement was more of an anti-Republican or anti-Bush movement than an antiwar or anti-imperialist movement. Foreign policy is an issue that is barely on the radar for most Americans (except hawks terrified of the “turrrurists”). There is virtually zero concern for civil liberties issues. Even “The Squad” ladies spend virtually zero time advocating for repealing the Patriot Act.

Of course, Kim and Nick are talking about a populist party that emphasizes economic issues, which basically amounts to welfare statism/social democracy, i.e. Medicare for All, free college, strengthening unions, etc. Essentially, Sanders general program. But that is not going to unite the welfare-statist populist-left with the “free market” populist-right who think income taxes, the Federal Reserve, and fiat money are the real problem.

Also, I don’t see how a presidential campaign could effectively ignore culturally controversial issues. What about Supreme Court appointments, which both the Left and Right are pathologically obsessed with? What about federal gun laws? Is the new populist party simply going to favor repealing federal gun laws and let states have whatever policies they wish? What about federal immigration laws? Federal funding for abortion services like Planned Parenthood? Proposed federal laws to include gays under the discrimination prohibition umbrella? These are just a few examples. The populist-left and populist-right also have radically different and often diametrically opposed views on the present COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown.

Additionally, a party of this kind would be fighting a three-front war against a neoliberal establishment that denounced them as Russian/Chinese/Syrian/Iranian/DPRK/somebody agents, a far-right that attacked them as “socialists” and a far-left that attacked them as “fascists.”

Not to mention the way the two-party monopoly is built into the system, and that fact that a genuine “people’s president” would soon be Nixoned, Allende’d or JFK’d. Look how much grief Trump has gotten from the Deep State, and he’s from the ruling class.

It’s definitely an uphill battle.



3 replies »

  1. First off, I have the major hots for Kim. She just keeps staring into my eyes…

    More importantly, at some point, I would like to hear Keith’s take on the Agorist strand that is starting to bubble up on the right recently. Is it too focused on economics? Maybe other forms disobedience are needed as well?

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