Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
The Liberal "Intelligentsia" v. Nader

Things They Should Consider

by AL KREBS

Before the Democratic Party and its "liberal intelligentsia" unleash its expected vindictiveness upon Ralph Nader’s candidacy for president in 2004 it might consider the following:

* Al Gore (with an able assist from the U.S. Supreme Court) lost the electoral vote for president in 2000. He not only lost his home state but that of his president. If his managers had spent less time in that campaign attacking Nader’s candidacy and more time arranging at least one trip to West Virginia, a traditional Democratic state, Gore would have won that state making Florida irrelevant.

* Arguments that Nader work within the Democratic Party for genuine change, as Howard Dean’s populist candidacy in recent months leading up to the current primaries demonstrated, only begets the wrath of a Party establishment intent on preserving its power and the present "two party duopoly" governing our country.

* Progressives believe it is important to "defeat Bush at any cost," but as Nader points out "while it is important that Bush must be defeated," Democrats are currently incapable of it "without someone running a third party campaign with a strong Bush critique pulling them in the right direction."

* The tendency of progressives tied to the Democratic Party, while admitting to the party’s sizable failings, is to still cling to the idea that "this is not the time," to run a third party campaign from the left. "They have no breaking point, no point of termination" Nader points out. "They watch Democrats in office offer them one defeat after another without ever being willing to establish a termination strategy, a point beyond which too much is too much."

Thus if the Democratic Party spent less time and effort trying to seduce its "corporate paymasters," exhibit a willingness to wage an unintimidated and full bore attack on George W. Bush’s domestic and international policies while returning the party of the people to its Jeffersonian populist roots there would be no need to waste its scarce resources continuously and needlessly attacking Ralph Nader.

AL KREBS is the editor of the Agribusiness Examiner, one of CounterPunch’s favorite newsletters. He can be reached at: avkrebs@earthlink.net