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Why Bother With Party Politics?

Why Bother With Party Politics? image Why Bother With Party Politics? image
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As we begin the BieentenniaJ year. whicli also liappens to be an election year of critica] import anee, we find America ut a momentous crossroads in its history. A growing inimber of it.s citizens are entertaining ever moré serious doubts aboiH its ability to fultill the promise upon wliich the United States was sup-. posedly founded, lel alone the ability of its Current erop of politicians to deliver on more specific promises maáe in the hope of winning our voies. From om vantage point in downtown Detroit, we can't help but see the ruins of Failed programs-of the past and present all aboul us. Looking outward at our city's considerably more prosperous suburbs, we can alsosee clearLy gross social and economie inequalities, wliich seem only to intensify with the passage ol time. And we see tlie inexcusable refusal of the current administraron in Washington to do anything to ameliorate the situation. In the past ten years, we have watched the federal execlitive, the military, tlie corporations, and ilie intelligence agencies involve us in one insane adventure after another in pursuit of their own power, botli in America and all over the world. We have also watched and been privileged to particípate in-the struggle of the victims o!' these policios to have something to say about wliat happens to their lives, their people. their neigliborhoods, and their country. We have sliared their victories and their defeats. In comparison to the period of intense, highly visible, mass politica! action which was the '60's, the present decade may seem at times empty of poteiïtial for true social change. The mass media would certainly like us to thinko. We know, however, that wc'rc still here, plugging away, and that our principies haven't been taken away from us. And we assume the same must be true oiyouafter all, you're reading this! The fact is that we are in a period of regrouping and consolidation, a period of selfexamination and reassessment, a period of preparation for long-range struggle. We need to take a look at ,any tools tbr progressive social movement which come to hand, and in this spirit, we have attempted, in this issue, to begin to examine some of the possibilities which may be available within the established politica] system in the coming êlections. While we certainly do nol believe for a minute that the Democratie Party, for exS. ampie, can deliver us trom tne terminal illv ness of the nioded and grov tesque tions ot continued v on page -9 EClirOricll continued from page 2 late capitalism, with all its extremes of injustice, we do recognize degrees of difference bctween one politici. in and another. And we know full wcll that people need any imniediate relief that those of a comparatively progressive stripe may have to offer. In the long run, we hope tor, and will work for, a socialist America. In the short run, we need a progressive national administration, drastically reordered priorities, and thoroughgoing reforms. We need more people in positions of power who are attuned to our needs. And we need some attainable short-range goals, something to give us hope, while we prepare for the long struggle ahead.