[Marxism] Marshall Ganz, former UFW activist, was hired by al-Assad

michael yates mikedjyates at msn.com
Wed Dec 5 10:14:02 MST 2012


Louis posted a reference to Ganz working for the al-Assad government, training community organizers. On facebook, I wrote, "Marshall Ganz training community organizers in Assad's Syria. No doubt, given his long tenure in the United Farm Workers, he was used to working in an authoritarian state. This is the trouble with 'community organizing' in the Saul Alinsky/Fred Ross tradition. You can train people to organize without ever asking 'organizing for what.' You as the trainer then take no responsibility for what happens later. Like a scientist saying he or she just did the research. How it is used has nothing to do with the scientist." In a review of Randy Shaw's book about the legacy of the UFW, Beyond the Fields, I wrote, "Ganz was a master organizer, of both union and political campaigns, and he has 
put this skill, which he learned in the UFW, to use after he left the union. He 
has led election campaigns for former U.S. senator Alan Cranston, and he was a 
key organizer in getting Nancy Pelosi elected to Congress. He now teaches at 
Harvard’s Kennedy School. Shaw makes much of the get-out-the-vote techniques 
Ganz has mastered. However, these were not new when he used them. The AFL-CIO 
employed them, and most of the tactics Shaw traces to the UFW, in a 1977 
campaign to defeat a right-to-work ballot measure in Missouri. I don’t find 
Ganz’s work for the Democratic Party to be particularly progressive either. 
Nancy Pelosi? An old-line political hack trained in the art of politics by the 
king of pork, John Murtha?" It seems that folks like Ganz, who did a lot of good work for the farmworkers, always end on their feet, while those they worked so hard for, crash and burn, as have the farmworkers, who are now as poor as they were before there was a UFW. The SEIU is very much in the UFW tradition. It too has hired community organizers who went into local unions, trained people but weren't too concerned as to what the national union's goals were. They often left wrecked locals, but they themselves came up on the sunny side of the street. No doubt some of them will work for future as-Assads. 		 	   		  


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