(The following was originally published by Christopher Casey in the blog Love and Rage.)
In a recent article for Truthdig, Chris Hedges reiterated what many of us on the Left have been saying for some time. The Bernie Sanders campaign will NOT bring about any fundamental change, and represents a tragic diversion of social justice energies into the Democratic Party, a place where progressive movements go to die. Hedges also has some very sharp words about the current state of my Green Party, saying it is “crippled by endemic factionalism and dysfunction”. While I think Hedges’ latter comments are inaccurate and hyperbolic, he is correct in suggesting that the Green Party in the United States has yet to become the political force we envision it to be. Indeed, there are some divisions within the Green Party, but to talk about “endemic factionalism and dysfunction” is to harken back to the in-fighting days of 2004 when Nader ran independently and Cobb became the GPUS nominee.
While there is always vibrant political disagreement within the Greens, there is a great deal of unanimity and collective focus at the present time. Are we small? Yes, indeedy. But that is as much about the exigencies of American history, and the aggressive dismantling of the Left by the elites over the past 50 years. We all know that in the heyday of the relatively small, funded-from-above Tea Party movement, the media would cover their every burp and bellow. The Greens and the Left in general have been systematically excluded from the national and local media, and this has had no small impact on our growth.
Despite all this, the spirit of Hedges’ critique of the Greens can hardly be dismissed as completely inaccurate. So what is wrong with the Greens and the Left in general? Are we tone deaf to Hedges’ clarion call for overthrowing the entire corrupt political order? Yet while Chris Hedges talks eloquently about being “in the streets” and “making a revolution”, he has yet to provide us with any kind of a road map of how to get there. In my years of political organizing, I have come to develop my own pre-digital GPS unit for Left praxis navigation, and I would like to share some of it here.