July 03, 2017

A look at the Green Party's Ten Key Values

The Green Party stresses its 10 Key Values as important to how the party runs. As I continue to debate continued public support and affiliation with the party (versus an option like Socialist Party USA, or publicly advocating the regular use of non-voting, at least on a selective basis), it’s time to look further at each.

Grassroots Democracy.

Seemingly wrong with this one, on paper. The reality is that several state Green Parties remain little more than personal fiefdoms with oversized power within the national apparatus. And, on paper, it actually might have some things wrong. Direct participatory democracy? Even on a true declaration of war? Referendums? Would that including corporate capture of the process, as in California?

Social Justice And Equal Opportunity.

Certainly nothing wrong here. (Other than Greens resistant to the eco-socialist idea.)

Ecological Wisdom.

PLENTY wrong here, to the degree alleged “ecological wisdom” informs the party’s anti-GMO stance. In reality, GMOs are NOT “Frankenfoods” and face scrutiny and testing of various sorts. Unfortunately, many hardcorers here won’t even accept the validity of the excellent Grist series, “Panic-free GMOs,” discussed in detail by me.

Many Greens also believe that organic farming is uniquely safe when it’s not, that organic farming holds special agricultural hope vis-a-vis farm-based carbon emissions (it doesn’t; no-till conventional agriculture is better) and other things.

Non-Violence.

Nothing wrong here.

Decentralization.

Problematic. First, how is decentralization different from “states’ rights” when in someone else’s mouth. And, bureaucracies are part of the price of a federal government having, on paper, the authority to enforce environmental and other standards. Yes, the federal government may be subject to regulatory capture. You’re assuming a state government wouldn’t be.

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.

Community-Based Economics.

Nothing problematic here as stated. That said, “communalism,” to the degree it’s the mindset behind this principle, should not be assumed to be a magic bullet.

Feminism And Gender Equity.

Nothing problematic here.

Respect For Diversity.

Nothing problematic here.

Personal And Global Responsibility.

Nothing problematic here.

Future Focus And Sustainability.

Nothing problematic here.

I write this wanting the Green Party to get better. I want it to get more science-friendly, more eco-socialist and more professional, while running ever more candidates.

Basically, I want the best party of the left — and I mean that word "left" — to be my voting vehicle. Per my riffing on Mark Lause late last year, and my comment below, if the Greens stop being that, then I will move on if necessary.

And, it's not just the eco-socialist angle. Though Lause doesn't directly oppose it per se, he has no use for how the "decentralization" issue is exploited by state Green parties.

2 comments:

Harry Hamid said...

It's funny that you highlight the issues with decentralization, because it was one of the things that initially attracted me to the Green Party. At that time, I was fascinated with anarcho-syndicalism (certainly over traditional socialism). I've always assumed that someone else had been, too, and that's how it ended up in there.

In practice, the party's national platform always ties each plank of the platform to one of the 10 Key Values, and the decentralization part is always a bit thin (I think the latest one merely tied planks to the 4 Pillars).

In some ways, this is a shame, as looking into and taking more from anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism, and communism would be intriguing and would more carefully disintguish the party from socialists. In practice, for the Greens, it's their least fleshed out value. I still like the idea of local boards of citizens directly determining what happens in that community in meaningful ways, as opposed to made in Washington.

See the old bitter debates between communists and socialists (who half the time couldn't even sit in a room together) for what happens at the heart of that debate.

Gadfly said...

I'm the other way around a fair amount on this stuff.

1. I'm not an anarchist. I want things done with a semblance of order and control. Doesn't have to be total, but has to have a semblance.
2. I want MORE socialism in the GP. If it has less, especially re the party's other issues on science-relations. I came very close to voting SPUSA for president last year, and will be prepared more in advance to consider that option in 2020, or even to see if it has any write-in options in 2018.
3. On the decentralization, I'll stand by my take on it.