On this holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, the great revolutionary democrat of the 20th century, I’m reminded that working class empowerment depends on people’s empowerment and people’s empowerment depends on working class empowerment. That strategic, dialectical relationship and lever of progressive and radical change goes unappreciated in too many instances.

Back in the day when I was much younger, I remember reading Lenin for the first time and being struck by the emphasis that he, like King, placed on alliance relationships and coalitions at the national and international level. In his view, such alliances were the gateway to freedom and social liberation for the Russian working class. Many decades later, that dialectical relationship and alliance advocated by King (and Lenin) has lost none of its resonance, as I see it.