April 26, 2017

Did you know there are TWO Green Party organizations in the US (updated)?

Indeed. And, kind of like splits between various Socialist groups in the last 50 years, the interlocking parts of the histories of the Green Party USA and Green Party US (the folks that you're normally voting for if you vote Green) is fairly contentious.

Wiki, in its piece on the GPUSA, has a bit more on this split, and its fallout, and more on its piece on the history of the GPUS.

The GPUSA, in turn, has a long, fairly bitter piece on the split. The GPUS, in its history piece, only refers briefly to "tensions." It details more to the split between Naderites and others in 2004. (From what I know of that issue, there were problems on both sides. The GPUS had established a more formal nomination process in 2004; if Nader didn't want to go through that, that was his problem. On the other hand, even more with more insight and more backstory, David Cobb's, er, "accommoGreen" strategy isn't one I totally agree with. It's no surprise he's close to 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, who carried the idea to new, generally bad, levels. The GPUSA, in turn, alludes to some of that, noting the GPUS formed out of the previous Association of State Green Parties in 2001 and alleges that this was in part due to reaction to the Nader campaign.

If the GPUSA piece is correct, the GPUS, or "Green Party," has some transparency issues. Of course, so did the gentlemen in Philadelphia 1787.

I understand some of the GPUSA bitterness. On the flip side, it had done nothing to organize a national party, from what I can tell. On the flip side to THAT, the GPUS would probably argue that a national party wasn't necessary.

On the third hand, and related to that, Green Pages News, the GPUS official newsletter, in its generally good history of the US movement from 1984-2001, notes that many Greens, over the issue that state parties differed on the issue of requiring dues payment or not, felt the GPUSA was non-representative by excluding some state parties.

In turn, re Nader, that piece notes that he ran a limited-funding campaign in 1996 under a Green invite in order to avoid Federal Elections Commission campaign finance filings. (The more and more I've read about Ralph, and even more, what I've heard from his own mouth on things like lamenting low interest rates in his investment income, the more I say, I'm glad he's not a Green. And, related to that, in my judgment call, the GPUSA might have an extra degree of rigor, but I think it's also butt-hurt over 1996-2004 political and organizational events.)

The above pieces combined also shed more light on things like the "Ten Core Values" of Greens. Those are listed on Wiki's GPUS page.

1. Grassroots democracy
2. Social justice
3. Ecological wisdom
4. Nonviolence
5. Decentralization
6. Community-based economics
7. Women's rights
8. Respect for diversity
9. Global responsibility
10. Future focus

One alleged factor in the increasing split between the two, according to the GPUSA, has been that GPUS officials and candidates, over things like the Iraq War, haven't fully honored the nonviolence principle.

Although admitting that the "just war" concept can itself possibly be a slippery slope, nonetheless, if nonviolence is an absolutist principle ... I don't totally back it.

The other principles?

I support decentralization only to the degree it's actually beneficial, and definitely not as a one-size-fits-all policy. After all, another phrase for "decentralization" is "states' rights." Or, per the top half of this piece, yet another phrase for "decentralization" is "GPUS vs GPUSA discord."

Beyond that, things like air and water pollutants cross city, county and state lines. Deregulation, beyond the degree where it's actually beneficial, can't address the needs of the modern regulatory state.

I support many of the key ideas of "community-based economics" even less. Many communitarian organizations fail, for various reasons, first. Second, the use of local currencies means that you're self-isolating. Nobody will accept anything like that, whether it's "Community Bucks" or Bitcoin, if it's not accepted by banks. Third, contra organic-world myths, organic farming promoted by such groups can't outperform conventional agriculture.

To the degree such communities fully succeed, do you really want to be like them? To put it another way, do you want to be Mennonite? 

Also, communitarian groups are ripe for exploitation by gurus. And, while that, or other leadership issues, don't always become a problem, they do at times.

On the other hand, this piece on the Ten Key Values offers a somewhat different look at them. I don't agree with everything there, but it's worth a read.

Overall, I've learned more about the Green Party in the last 12 months than I had, or tried to, might put it better, in the previous 12 years. That said, per Sergio Leone via Plato through Dostoyevsky and The Brothers Karamazov, it's certainly been a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly on what I've learned. We'll see what the next 12 bring, up until about the 2018 Texas state convention, and then the next 18-24 after that.


Update: Finally, at The North Star, somebody totally gets it!

The Green Party US, as in the national party, is nothing more than another state party. That's why the GP has disorganization, not decentralization, with state parties acting like the equivalent of British parliamentary rotten and pocket boroughs of 200 years ago.

1 comment:

PDiddie said...

This year's state convention is in Corpus Christi on June 10-11. (I'll be in Fort Worth attending my nephew's wedding.)