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Archive for the ‘labor unions’ Category

THE SECOND STEP: FORGET THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 13, 2016

My alter-ego, “Lefty” Hooligan, would no doubt say “Fuck the Democratic Party!” I’m not so belligerent because I’m not at all sure whether the Democratic Party should be abolished, ignored, embraced, reformed, or rebuilt from the bottom up. Nor am I as certain as my ultraleft counterpart that bourgeois political parties or even revolutionary parties have no role to play in bringing about social change, let alone social revolution. The whole issue of electoral politics is highly problematic from a number of perspectives, so I think it best to put aside the Democratic Party in discussing what is to be done in the wake of Trump’s win and the Republican Party’s victories.

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What I am certain about is that an active and engaged mass social base is needed in order to take the next step, whether that is forming a progressive, labor or revolutionary party, building an extra-parliamentary opposition, or attempting radical reforms or even social revolution. The two necessary components to an effective, vibrant mass social base are lively autonomous social movements and independent street politics based on direct action. And crucial to any mass social base with agency in my estimation will be an organized and organizing working class committed to direct action in the streets. Combine these two components, and true social power begins. I can endlessly debate the need for extra-parliamentary politics; what is absolutely necessary are broad, non-parliamentary social movements in the streets.

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Posted in black bloc, capitalism, Democratic Party, direct action, labor unions, life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State of Working America

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 31, 2013

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The Economic Policy Institute is a left-of-liberal think tank that publishes The State of Working America, now in its 12th edition. This 500 page, incredibly well documented tome contains a mass of information on income, wages, jobs, mobility, wealth and poverty, along with tables, charts and graphs, essentially making the argument that for the last few decades income inequality has increased, wages for working Americans have gone down, jobs have been decimated or converted to low-paying service employment, social mobility for those in the middle and lower classes has rigidified, and “the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer,” to quote an old phrase.

The EPI also makes policy recommendations: support workers rights and union organizing, increase the minimum wage, fight against “free trade” agreements like NAFTA, increase spending on the social safety net, etc. The EPI in general and The State of Working America in particular, provide all the factual ammunition you’ll need to fight and win your arguments against your conservative, moderate, or even liberal friends, not to mention make the case for building a democratic socialist United States.

Posted in democratic socialism, economics, jobless recovery, labor unions, life, Marx, United States of America, US economy, US middle class, US ruling class, US society, US working class | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »