Template for change

I have argued on many occasions against a “class (capitalist) against class (working class)” strategy and politics. Life, experience, and politics reveal its shortcomings. In bygone eras it didn’t work nor is there any reason to think that it would work now. At the same time, any strategy that writes off the role of class, class struggle, and the working class in comprehending and changing the world can only become a self inflicted wound too.

It is true that the great social movements of the last half of the 20th century and first two decades of the 20th century didn’t arise out of the labor movement. They were animated by other social constituencies and motivated by social desires that were not at the top of (or at all on) labor’s agenda. That reality, however, shouldn’t become the template for social change in the period ahead. Given the immense challenges facing people here and across the world, only a movement of great breadth and depth, only a movement in which a revitalized labor movement is an essential part in the leadership and on the terrain of struggle, stands a chance of emerging victorious and securing a sustainable world.

A masterpiece

Last night Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo “painted his masterpiece” on the basketball court – 50 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocked shots. His “for the ages” performance took the Bucks across the finishing line, winning their first NBA championship in 50 years.

 

 

Wilmington’s Lie

Finishing up Pulitzer Prize winning “Wilmington’s Lie: The murderous Coup of 1898 and The Rise of White Supremacy,” authored by David Zucchino. It reminds me that the white Southern ruling elite reclaimed its position of exploitative and racist dominance in the states of the former Confederacy by eagerly and vengefully embracing Mao’s dictum before it was a dictum: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

A burial or new path

Here is a struggle that should concentrate the mind and energy of the coalition – including the left – that elected Biden-Harris. The passage of this budget plan was a first step in an effort to restructure the role of the federal government and set into motion a new form of people’s governance. Next comes the budget reconciliation process in which each item and the price tag attached to it will be contested and voted on.

This struggle shouldn’t be confined to the corridors of Congress. Tens of millions should be informed of what is at stake and encouraged to take part in this great policy debate. Republicans and their media network will surely spread distortions and lies about what is at stake. Our side should counter their lies as well as spell out the significance of this battle – its meaning to those who’ve been left out, discriminated against, ignored, slandered, abused, and exploited.

After all, the outcome of this struggle will go a long way in either beginning the burial of Reaganism, Trumpism, and neoliberalism or setting the country on a new path in which people and nature are the overarching priorities of government and society.

Not smart politics

Every time a candidate of the left loses in a Democratic Party primary to another candidate (usually a liberal), her or his supporters are quick to cry “Foul Ball” and rail against “The Establishment.” Never is the idea entertained that maybe the other candidate had greater appeal, maybe a better game plan and maybe a more accurate read of voter sentiments. To ignore the latter interpretation, to dismiss it out of hand isn’t smart politics. It may feel righteous, but I doubt it will serve the left well in the longer run.

Share This