[Marxism] An emerging labor-led left in the DP?

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Tue Jul 27 15:11:02 MDT 2004

What you write is largely true, but it is only one side of the coin. The
Democratic party's relationship to the labour movement is contradictory in a
way the Republican relationship to it is not, and I don't think there is any
doubt that the Democrats have historically advanced some parts -- though
certainly not all -- of the labour movement's legislative and regulatory
agenda in a way the Republicans never have. The latter's relationship to the
labour movement is explicitly and unabashedly adversarial and it does not
have any support in the unions. This is not, IMO, an unimportant distinction
between the parties. The degree labour can expect its agenda to be acted on
in Congress by the Democrats is contingent on the state of labour militancy
which is in turn related to the economic (in)stability of the system. If we
can agree on these points, then we will have met at least halfway.

Marv Gandall
Paul Bunyan wrote:>

> Marvin Gandall wrote:

> >In fact, the local and national labour full-timers I've met have seemed a
> >lot less alien to the working class than left-wing intellectuals who
> >regularly denounce them. For the most part, with the exception perhaps of
> >pro-capitalist parties as a product of "false consciousness" rather than
> >(historically unexpected) material improvement in their working and
> >conditions. Within this context, the workers, especially those in trade
> What material improvements in living conditions? The decline in real wages
since 1973? Is speed up on the shop floor, and office floor for that matter
a "material improvement" in working and living conditions? With the Carter
administration there was a four year period of a Democrat president and
congress and the same for two years with Clinton. What happenned to union
recognition by card check off, repeal of Taft-Hartley, or prohibition
against scabbing? How about the widespread homelessness and poverty during a
Democratic as well as Republican administration? Ever hear of legislation
called "welfare reform?" How about Democratic Secretary of State Madeline
Albright saying that the murder of 5,000 Iraqi children every month as a
result of US enforced sanctions was "worth it?" As far as Clinton's so
called economic "boom", be advised that half of all new jobs during that
period payed less than $7 per hour. Also almost 1/3 of all jobs during that
time were temporary, casual or
>  parttime, the highest percentage since such figures began to be kept.
> What happens whenever a Democrat gets elected the labor leadership turns a
blind eye to whatever atrocity the Chief Asshole commits (musn't embarrass
"our" guy). I'll meet you half way Marvin. While there isn't much difference
between the Democrats and Republicans, there are between workers who vote
"lesser evil". These workers want some of the same things those of us on
this list want, full employment, access to health care and decent housing,
and the right to unionize, among other things. The problem is none of this
will be achieved under the two party system in this country.
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