Michael Moore

Jeffrey Booth booth2 at husc.harvard.edu
Wed Sep 20 13:52:56 MDT 1995

	Hi Louis,
		 While I agree with your conclusion I think it's
important to realize that there was and is significant opposition to GM's
attacks and the virtual acceptance of them by the UAW bureacracy.  I'm
somewhat familiar with internal union politics at three different auto
plants and I know a few activists in the New Directions movement within
the UAW.  In the plants I'm a little familiar with, there are
"opposition" caucuses.  New Directions also has members and influence
in many additional plants.  In fact, within the last six months a
whole string of successful strikes were conducted (the most well-known
one at Dave Yettaw's plant in Flint) that forced management to rehire
laid-off workers.  So, then and now, it would have been easy for
Moore to find a dissenting voice to the concessions.  Sure, interview
Bieber.  But what about the tens of thousands of workers who didn't
support him or his bureacracy's policies?
	Along the same lines, do you realize that the workers at Hormel
in Austin, Mn. and Atlanta have just rejected a concessionary contract
that the Union leadership and management were trying to shove down
their throats.  What courage!  Only ten years ago they got the shit
kicked out of them by Management and the union bureacracy.
	So, I don't think the choices are just "socialist realism" or
petit bourgeois cynicism (which has greatly influenced Moore).  The
working class is more complex than either of these views show.
	Anyway, I still like Michael Moore's work and I will continue to
urge my co-workers, etc. to watch his stuff.  But I stand by these
criticisms and would like to talk about them with Moore himself.

				-- Jeff Booth

On Wed, 20 Sep 1995, Louis N Proyect wrote:

> On Wed, 20 Sep 1995, Jeffrey Booth wrote:
> > deepening cynicism and sense of powerlessness.  For example, when his
> > film Roger And Me was playing here in Boston, I managed to organize a few
> > groups of my co-workers to go and see it.  In 3 or 4 trips, I got about
> > 15 people to go.  The reaction afterwards was depression rather than
> > anger; hopelessness rather than inspiration to do something about the
> > conditions in the film.  If Moore had just ONCE interviewed a union
> > activist from New Directions or any union activist with some fight in her
> > or him, I believe the reaction of my sisters and brothers would have
> > been different.
> > 	
> Louis:
> Michael Moore is not into "socialist realism". "Roger and Me" was an
> unblinking look at the state of the working-class in Flint, Michigan at a
> time of fierce ruling-class attacks. Most workers sought personal
> solutions to their problems: selling rabbits for meat, moving to Houston,
> etc.
> Since the time these attacks began, there has been no significant
> fight-back effort on the part of the working-class. All you have had are
> small scale holding-actions within the context of a general rout.
> The only resistance was that which composed of ink and paper in the small
> sectarian presses. Things are beginning to change now in perceptible ways.
> That is why a socialist party needs to be built that can attract this new
> generation of radicalizing workers.
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