Party for Socialism and Liberation runs Corey Ansel for state representative in Columbus, Ohio

PSLweb:

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, thousands of people will get out to vote in Ohio for the midterm elections. For those in District 22, there will be an alternative to the capitalist candidates. Corey Ansel, a 19 year-old member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, will be on the ballot on the Green Party ticket.

Ansel campaign volunteers protest WBC
Ansel campaign volunteers

This is the first time that a PSL candidate has intervened in the elections in Ohio, but the momentum that has come from the Ansel campaign has been remarkable. The campaign provides an alternative for workers – a candidate fighting for their interests, raising demands such as free, quality education and health care for all and a comprehensive jobs program. These issues are not even mentioned by the corporate candidates running for the State Representative seat.

The campaign has mobilized dozens of volunteers in the streets. Ansel and campaign volunteers have gone door to door across Columbus to pass out fliers and talk to hundreds of workers. PSL volunteers attended dozens of community forums, union meetings, public debates and other events and put forth a socialist platform demanding “People over profits!”  The campaign organized several PSL forums, volunteer meetings and days of outreach.

The campaign was different in its activism, in that it was a campaign in the streets. Ansel and campaign supporters organized transportation to the March 20 March on Washington to demand an end to the wars. They were also in the streets in April after the aid flotilla to Gaza was brutally attacked by the Israeli military. Activists from all walks of life were able to hear about a socialist alternative in the elections that demanded an immediate end of U.S. aid to Israel and stood for a free Palestine.

On Oct. 3, over a dozen campaign supporters stood up to the bigoted Westboro Baptist Church when it came to Columbus to spread its message of hate. Volunteers passed out leaflets demanding full LGBT equality and marriage rights. Students were very receptive to the campaign and many of them began volunteer work with the campaign as a result. Ansel volunteers also worked with the Communication Workers Union to organize transport to the One Nation Working Together rally in Washington, D.C. They joined hundreds of thousands of workers and worked with the PSL in distributing fliers and issues of Liberation newspaper.

On Oct. 16, members of the PSL and the campaign joined the Midwest Regional anti-war demonstration in Chicago to protest on the 9th anniversary of the Afghanistan war. Activists demanded “Money for jobs and education, not for war!”

Many local businesses, coffee shops and buildings proudly posted Ansel campaign fliers in their windows to show support for the working class campaign. Candidate Ansel was also able to speak to hundreds of students on Ohio State University and Capital University campus about the campaign and the struggle for socialism.

“When I told my dad I was working with a socialist campaign, he lectured me about it,” said Taylor Conway, a student at Capital and a campaign volunteer. “I think that’s wrong.  What we need to do is get out there and change these illusions people believe about socialism. You have no idea how willing I am to fight for this.”

Ansel’s campaign was covered widely, from ThisWeek Newspaper, to the Columbus Dispatch, UWeekly and other local newspapers across the state. In addition, Ansel was interviewed by dozens of independent media websites in Ohio.

Most importantly, the PSL campaign reached thousands of workers in putting forth a message of socialism. The Ansel campaign has built an alternative for workers in the elections, which many desperately sought after the failure of the corporate parties to provide real change. The Ansel campaign is fighting  to change the current system and to struggle for socialism.

However, campaign volunteers and PSL members in Ohio know the struggle does not end in the ballot box. What is needed is a mass movement in the streets struggling for workers’ rights and an end to exploitation. The Ansel campaign sowed the seeds of an alternative to capitalism in Columbus. Upon that base the PSL will build a movement to fight back.

30 thoughts on “Party for Socialism and Liberation runs Corey Ansel for state representative in Columbus, Ohio

  1. An Ohio Green

    At the Green Party Convention he asked for our endorsement. When I raised the question of the PSL’s platform being contradictory to the Green’s commitment to non-violence and that we shouldn’t endorse him…he just glared at me and said “you’ve got to be f***ing kidding me”.

    He isn’t a Green, he doesn’t believe in democracy, he is immature and I would not vote for him. If I lived in his district I would vote for Mark Noble, the Libertarian party candidate.

    I really hate the PSL.

  2. Mark Noble

    Having run “against” Green candidate Bob Fitrakis in my bid for Lt. Governor in 2006 I had a lot of opportunities to discuss issues with him. That’s made the contrast with Mr. Ansel stand out.

    Corey has described himself as a Marxist. Since the Socialists have ballot access I wondered why the campaign chose Green over the more appropriate label.

    I’ll gladly accept votes from any party, but I’m hoping that the moderates of my district will feel more comfortable with my message than the alternatives.

    It won’t help if we let the government services go bankrupt through fiscal mismanagement, and the government shouldn’t be the enforcer of social norms.

  3. An Ohio Green

    Socialist wouldn’t fit him either, because they are a democratic socialism party. Corey doesn’t believe in democracy, he only wants to violently overthrow the government and I have no sympathy for him what-so-ever.

  4. Corey Ansel

    To ‘An Ohio Green,’ I wonder if you were even at the Ohio Green Convention when I received the Green nomination. If I recall, you and a couple others were the only ones opposed to me receiving the Green endorsement. Let it be known that everyone at the convention knew of my political affiliation as a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

    When you attempted to subvert my attempts at receiving the endorsement, there was a massive outcry. When it came to a vote, I was supported by the vast majority of the convention, with only a few in opposition.

    This should be seen as ironic to you, since you are the one attempting to call me undemocratic, yet you wish to attack me for winning the endorsement democratically.

    So in the end, I democratically won the endorsement. That’s why I am on the ballot as a Green running as a PSL member. Despite how much you “hate” us, we would like you to know that we won’t lose sleep over it and we’ve had a very successful campaign.

    Also, to Mark: with all the recent changes to parties and their ballot access in Ohio, I was actually unaware at the time that the Socialist Party had ballot access, thus I saw the Green Party as the only progressive group in which I would be able to find ballot access for my campaign.

    If anyone has any other questions, I’d be glad to answer them.

  5. pete healey

    I have a question for you, Corey. How would a reconstituted socialism deal with the question of “democracy”? Would we have multi-party proportional politics instead of the usual one-party state?

  6. Corey Ansel

    Hi, Pete.

    When it comes to democracy, you have to analyze what we have now and what we strive for. Currently, we have a system of bourgeois democracy — run and operated by the capitalist class. The ruling class chooses the candidates and makes sure that third party voices are suppressed by making elections only accessible to the massive amount of funds needed to run a campaign.

    This is bourgeois democracy. We fight for workers democracy, where workers interests are represented equally. The biggest obstacle to this is the rule of Wall Street, corporations and the capitalist class.

    Wealth should be produced collectively and used to fund people’s needs and to promote the interests of the working class as a whole. That is what a socialist society would look like.

  7. pete healey

    C’mon, Corey, you can do better than that! I got that in Socialism 101 more than forty years ago. The problem with “really existing socialism” has been, and continues to be, that it doesn’t have democratic political structures. Until you confront that and work to resolve it, I’ll dismiss you and your party out of hand.

  8. Corey Ansel

    You can feel free to dismiss us at your own loss. Workers are consistently realizing that the system doesn’t provide for them. That is why there are revolutionary movements in India, Nepal, the Philippines and across the globe demanding workers rights.

    The problem is that imperialism is an impediment to socialist construction. From Russia to China, Cuba to Korea, imperialism rises up to attack countries building socialism, which tend to be the must impoverished and oppressed countries. Thus, these nations attempt stand up to imperialism while still attempting to provide for people’s needs, but this becomes impossible in the fact of the powerful military of capitalist countries.

    So where do we go from there? We need revolution in imperialist countries to dismantle the military hegemony of capitalism, especially in the United States, the most powerful empire in history. You may consider socialist states “undemocratic”, but it becomes totally impossible to sustain workers democracy in the face of such a powerful threat. You would seek to blame the people of these countries, whereas I identify imperialism as the culprit.

  9. An Ohio Green

    The PSL is apolgetic to Cuba and yet claims to support LBGT rights. Castro was the homophobic hatchetman, remember?

    We need to copy the Libertarians non-violence pledge…

  10. paulie Post author

    Lake, I said nothing about supporting organizations, just ideas. Libertarian ideas go far outside the Libertarian Party. Roderick Long’s views don’t have a lot to do with Wayne Root’s, and Wayne’s initials have what to do with what, exactly?

    Libertarianism was around long, long before Mr. Root, and before the Libertarian Party for that matter. Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, was the first known libertarian (6th century BC), but, I’m sure, not the first libertarian ever. See

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_tzu

    BTW, since class analysis was brought up in this thread, I would recommend people interested in the topic read up a bit about libertarian class analysis. See:

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0606b.asp

    http://agorism.info/AgoristClassTheory.pdf

  11. Corey Ansel

    A libertarian class analysis is nothing short of loony, much like the Libertarian Party’s “non-violence” pledge. The bourgeoisie perpetuates a state of violence and inhumane attacks on the working class, yet we’re expected to sit back and wait for petty reforms to change the system? It comes down to a simple issue: The Green and Libertarian parties support reformism; petty appeasement to the system. Socialists call for revolution to push inequality aside and into the dustbin of history.

  12. paulie Post author

    Libertarian Party’s “non-violence”

    It’s actually not a non-violence pledge. It’s a non initiation of violence (and other forms of force including fraud) pledge, see this short video for a basic explanation of the concept

  13. Corey Ansel

    I’m quite familiar with the analysis of the Libertarian Left and the theories of Anarcho-Communism, Libertarian Socialism and the like. I’ve read enough Chomsky to make my brain want to crawl out my ear. The problem is where is it intertwined in the proletariat struggle? It isn’t. That’s why oppressed nations do not take up the banner of Libertarian Socialism. They take up the banner of Marx and Lenin, which is in turn struck down my imperialist hegemony. The only answer to that is the destruction of the system of imperialism which is, as Lenin put it, the highest stage of capitalism.

  14. paulie Post author

    I’m quite familiar with the analysis of the Libertarian Left and the theories of Anarcho-Communism, Libertarian Socialism and the like. I’ve read enough Chomsky to make my brain want to crawl out my ear.

    Those are different.

    The problem is where is it intertwined in the proletariat struggle?

    It is the proletarian struggle.

    But if you don’t want to read the links, that’s fine -they are still there for anyone else who may be following along.

  15. Corey Ansel

    I’m not the kind of debater that posts links in an attempt to make an argument. I state facts and points, which you’ve chosen to ignore. That’s your choice.

  16. Corey Ansel

    Then I’ll leave this knowing that your only means of formulating a coherent argument is throwing links at me because you cannot develop your own statements. Not exactly a good way to prove me wrong.

  17. paulie Post author

    Sure, I could. I just have better things to do with my time than spending a long time re-formulating what others have said.

  18. Ross

    Corey, I’m surprised you have so much time to be on the computer, given that it’s the day before the election.

  19. Corey Ansel

    Ross,

    I’m a student. Most of my work is done online. Also, we’ve spent weeks going door to door, holding events, organizing demonstrations and leafleting. At this point, our work in this election is done. We’re building the struggle for tomorrow.

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