[Marxism] Troubled times

Jon Flanders jonflanders at jflan.net
Sun Nov 19 21:33:59 MST 2006

On Sun, 2006-11-19 at 19:26 -0800, Wayne S. Rossi wrote:
> It is absurd to try and address the situation in the United States
> without taking into account the fact that reasonably highly paid,
> secure factory jobs -- indeed, reasonably highly paid and secure jobs
> of any sort -- are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Which means that for the moment, workers who still have a "reasonably
highly paid" union job often react very conservatively to threats to
their livelihood, whether from "undocumented" workers or fears that
their job will be exported.

In our lifetimes, meaning those of us in the 50's, 60's age group, we've
really seen nothing but this scenario in the United States. Certainly
for those of us who were in the US SWP at the time, the Eastern Airlines
strike and the P9 meatpackers strike were mis-estimated as the beginning
of a fightback, rather than desperate rear-guard actions, which have 
pretty much subsided.

Despite Joaquin's assurances that the great wave of immigrant protest
earlier this year was fundamentally a multi-class action, I think that
this was in fact, the beginning of a new period of *class* struggle in
the US and other advanced capitalist countries, as the composition of
the working class morphs from predominately white European to
predominately Black and third world. Certainly some employers and other
bourgeois forces supported the immigrant actions initially, even closing
factories for a day, but the immigrant workers will learn, as they are
in the Smithfield struggle* currently going on, that such allies are
very unreliable.

As for the remaining white component of the working class, the baby
boomers are starting to retire and the young white workers that are
following them are likely to be ready to rumble in  a few years, once
they have discovered the lay of the land.

All in all, its as hopeful a time as I have seen for quite a while.
Doesn't hurt that the Democrats are now exposed in power either.

Hardly the time to throw in the towel on the prospects for Marxism.

Jon Flanders

*Back on May Day 2006

"Protesters also marched though downtown Lumberton, N.C. They were
joined by workers from Smithfield Foods Inc.’s plant in Tar Heel. Gene
Bruskin, with the Food and Commercial Workers union, said, “We’re in the
middle of absolutely nowhere, pig farms, and you’ve got 5,000 workers
marching.” (wbt.com)"

Now the Smithfield workers have won a confrontation with the corporation
over the issue of company complicity in the purge of immigrant workers
without documentation. This in North Carolina, perhaps the most
anti-union state in the US.

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