Green Papers recently ran an article from John Halle, Green Party member and former New Haven, CT alderman, entitled “Why I ran: Reflections of a Green Alderman”. The article was originally published on Progressive Review.
While many of us will shy away from the conversation, a lot of us would probably acknowledge that there needs to be discussion on the effectiveness of the strategies associated with anti-corporate politics. In a recent essay, Naomi Klein came close to broaching the subject in alluding to the limitations of single issue, protest based activism, the best known form of which she calls “meeting stalking.” The ultimate result of protest politics, she suggests, is a one step forward, two step backward pas de deux where a victory on one front – shutting down a WTO meeting, closing a sweatshop, preventing the opening of a toxic waste incinerator, or preventing the extinction of a species is inevitably accompanied by losses on a whole range of issues where the corporate agenda moves forwarded unimpeded by public pressure and with the active collusion of elected officials.
The protest model marks a sharp break with a long tradition of political engagement. Radical politics has generally taken as its explicit objective not influencing actors within government, but replacing them with those who would take control of state power for the purpose of implementing a comprehensive populist, egalitarian agenda. That means, to be blunt, building a party, and competing and winning in elections. Continue Reading