WGDCC at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
Mon Sep 25 09:58:00 MDT 1995
MIM's reply on the Detroit strike takes their theory to the point
... "The class struggle" according to Daum is something
that doesn't even target the state. Even if we presume that
these workers are exploited, which they aren't, Engels would
say they have yet to advance class struggle "one iota."
When the various chavinists DO speak out to lead the
workers against the government, they call for closing the
borders, opposing GATT and opposing NAFTA, just like the KKK
did at a recent rally by the way.
The other thing to raise is how heated is this
conflict? And how typical? The bourgeoisie has its own
in-house fights, but they never lead anywhere for the
proletariat in themselves except when the bourgeois factions
kill each other and leave a vacuum. ...
... Meanwhile, in the Third World, the state imprisons
people for organizing or kills them regularly and the
classes really do engage in class struggle, not class
collaboration or negotiation. From time to time the
bourgeoisie sends its members to country-club prisons with
regard to its intra-class fighting--Watergate, Iran-Contra,
how to embezzle etc. How does this Detroit struggle compare
"How heated is this conflict?" "Between bourgeois factions"? Not
against the state? This in a struggle where the pickets have
fought bloody battles with the state's cops every weekend!
And "how does this Detroit struggle compare" with intra-class
fighting when "the bourgeoisie sends its members to country-club
prisons"? If you have to ask ...
For all MIM's fondness of citing Lenin in or out of context, is
there ANY instance of Lenin not siding with workers, however
labor-aristocratic, in pitched battles against the capitalists
and cops? Inconceivable.
The fact that conditions for third-world workers are much worse
does not negate the reality of class struggle here.
MIM does have a point about chauvinists leading the workers. The
workers' struggles have not at all been aided by union officials
and politicians whose "solution" to U.S. workers' troubles is to
keep out foreign workers. But the union leaders' strike tactics
have not all been followed by the militant workers, especially
when it comes to proposals for non-violent civil disobedience
against armed and violent cops.
One example from a report today on several newsgroups from "Scott
C." in Detroit:
When it comes to betraying the union membership, however,
the bureaucracy never gives up without a fight. Their next
tactic was to try to turn the mass picket into a "non-
violent civil disobedience". Among several hundred unionists
that had bussed in from across the country, were a number of
"marshalls" who -- absurdly enough -- were urging people to
sit down "when the cops come across" and "let them to drag
us to the paddywagons". But Detroit pickets would simply not
permit this. "No" they flatly told the marshalls.
"Absolutely not." Many blankly stared when they first heard
the plan, not believing their ears. Then, after hearing a
marshall's windy explanation: "You mean you just want us to
sit down? That's crazy!" Some just pointed at the cops armed
to the teeth, and shook their heads. "We'd just be giving
them the gate. So what's the point?!" In the end, they
wouldn't even allow the marshalls themselves to sit down,
telling them to go home if they couldn't do something
positive. Sizing up the situation from across the street,
the cops wisely chose to stay where they were.
Certainly workers in struggle are capable of overcoming their
misleaders' betrayals in politics as well as tactics.
I do have to correct one thing I had read about Mexican workers
being used as scabs. The same report also says:
Throughout the strike, rumors have circulated that the scabs
include many Mexican immigrants, and this has produced
periodic displays of bigotry on the part of the mainly older
white male strikers. The truth is that the vast majority of
the scabs are themselves white American males. But that
didn't stop Conyers, a supposed anti-racist Congressional
activist, from inflaming the racism and national chauvinism
that has historically been the key roadblock for the
American labor movement.
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