Marxist theory

More on why I’m running for mayor as Oaklandsocialist

It is important to learn how to answer capitalist politicians, and running for office is one way of doing so. I’m learning a lot by running for mayor of Oakland, mainly through my own mistakes, and I hope some of my mistakes can help others.

Here is a video of my final statement in an interview I did with Oaklandside magazine. For a one and a half minute summary, I think it hit the key issues pretty well. It is a reply to the question “are there any questions that have not been asked?” Below are some further comments on what I’m learning.

In my first forum, I focused almost exclusively on the larger issues, especially the need for a working class movement, a working class party and socialism. I think it came off as being almost like a broken record and also as being overly general.

So in further forums and interviews, I think I went overboard in the other direction. For instance, crime and violence is a huge issue in Oakland, just as it is elsewhere. My original response to questions about this was to point out that poverty is a basic cause of crime and that we need a $28/hour minimum wage and guaranteed jobs for all. I also pointed out that we live in an increasingly violent society and that until we revers this through a working class movement the issue of crime cannot be resolved. What is the alternative, after all? A cop on every corner – in other words Fortress America?

I think it’s fundamental to point this out, but I should also have pointed to some direct steps, which from a socialist point of view revolve around democratically elected worker/community committees of public safety. In some ways, the Black Panthers showed the way, at least partially.

So in latter interviews, I focused too much on that and not enough on the former.

That’s an example of how we have to learn to get a balance.

Overall, though, I feel pretty good about this final statement on my campaign.

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