Program of the Greens/Green Party USA
DRAFT IN PROGRESS – DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
This document is a draft-in-progress to update the Green Program of the Greens/Green Party USA. It is proposed that the 2000 Green Congress of the Greens/Green Party USA to be held May 26-29 in Chicago, Illinois accept it as a Draft for Discussion. In practice, as a Draft for Discussion it would not be binding on the leadership of the Greens/Green Party USA. It would be a document for discussion for the coming year.
TOWARD ECOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY
GREEN STRATEGIES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS
PROGRESSIVE AND ECOLOGICAL TAX REFORM
HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
CRIMINAL AND CIVIL JUSTICE REFORMS
TOWARD ECOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY
The Greens/Green Party USA is a political party that stands independent of the corporate oligarchy and its political representatives: the Democratic and Republican parties. In contrast to these corporate parties, the Green alternative is a people’s party:
a party for the working class majority;
a party for all people oppressed by racism, sexism, heterosexism, or any form of domination; and
a party for everyone who loves peace, justice, a clean environment, and a participatory democracy.
For the Green Party, independent political action means much more than running Green Party candidates for public office. It also means direct action in social movements—organizing, acting, and speaking out in every nonviolent way necessary, from popular education, community organizing, and union organizing to demonstrations, civil disobedience, and building democratic counter-institutions.
The Green Party is a movement-based political party. The Greens participate in the democratic social movements as partners with other organizations and provide an electoral arm for the movements that is independent of the corporate parties.
Green politics is an ecological approach to politics that links social and ecological problems. Ecology studies the relationships among organisms and their environment. Political ecology brings human institutions and ideologies into this holistic perspective.
We find that the same institutions and ideas that cause the exploitation and oppression of humans also cause the degradation and destruction of the environment. Both are rooted in a hierarchical, exploitative, and alienated social system that systematically produces human oppression and ecological destruction.
Thus, Greens believe that in order to harmonize society with nature, we must harmonize human with human. For the Greens, the struggles against racism, sexism, exploitation, war, and all other forms of social domination and violence are central to the struggle for an ecologically sustainable society.
Green movements and parties have arisen all around the world in recent decades in response to the ecological crisis that threatens humanity’s very survival. In particular, Green Parties have emerged out of the extra-parliamentary “new social movements” of the New Left that arose in the 1950s and 1960s. The Old Left of Social Democratic and Communist parties had not been responsive to the “new social movements” concerned with issues of racial justice, women’s liberation, gay liberation, peace, and the environment. They tended to subsume and subordinate the “secondary contradictions” of hierarchy, culture, and quality of life to the “central” question of economic class. They had taken sides in the Cold War, while the New Left tried to cut a democratic path that was independent of both superpower blocs. The Old Left had also abandoned economic democracy by equating it with nationalized industries even where the state bureaucracies that ran them (Social Democratic as well as Communist) were as exploitative and authoritarian as private corporate bureaucracies. The New Left wanted participatory democracy, while the Old Left was satisfied with representative “democracy.” To the New Left, the Old Left had been co-opted into the system when it subordinated direct action and movement politics to an almost purely electoral and legislative strategy. In the US, this took the extreme form of an electoral strategy that even abandoned class independence and coalesced with the “liberal” wing of the corporate power structure inside the Democratic Party. Green Parties emerged as movement-based parties in the 1970s and 1980s when movement activists realized that movements alone, without independent electoral expression, have limited impact because the traditional left (in the US, liberal) parties can ignore their protests and still take their votes for granted.
The Greens carry forward the traditional values of the Left: freedom, equality, and solidarity. We want to create a society without class exploitation or social domination. But Greens expand this notion of a classless, nonhierarchical society that is harmonized with itself to include an ecological society that is harmonized with nature as well.
To the social movements, the Greens say that in order for humanity to progress toward a democratic society, we must resolve the ecological crisis so that people are around to enjoy democracy.
To the environmental movements, the Greens say that in order to have an ecological society, we must have a democratic society so people have the power to choose ecological sustainability.
To survive, we must have ecological sustainability. To have ecological sustainability, we must have democracy. In short, we must create an ecological democracy.