[Marxism] Labor, Wisconsin and Occupy

audradavid at aol.com audradavid at aol.com
Sun Jun 17 19:37:15 MDT 2012

From: Mark Lause

As workers radicalize, they will have to build many more unions and
the process will reconfigure many of the existing unions.  However,
the dynamic that makes part of the labor movement predisposed to
mediate, bargain and do deals is part of the process.

What has disturbed me a bit has been that I've really seen little or
no effort by organized socialists to explain this process or provide
alternative to tailing the union leadership within Occupy.  The unions
and Democratic advocacy groups pretty quickly demobilized Occupy here
for the present, and it really shouldn't have been that easy for them.
From: Kenneth Morgan

Any fight back movement in the US is going to have to be independent of the
> union leadership. They didn't get involved in the Occupy Movement, until it
> got underway, and then the motive of the union leaders was to co opt Occupy
> into the Democratic Party. ?As much as I hate to say this, I'm not sure
> unions in the US are going to play that much of a role in organizing any
> movement for social and economic justice.
From: Mark Lause
"I think the entire recall campaign was a diversion to get the movement

>> "on the reservation." ?The Democrats sucker punched the AFL-CIO
>> leadership into it. ?That leadership had been addled on such questions
>> after generations of abuse from that quarter anyway. ?The people in
>> the streets were so flattered by having the organized labor movement
>> out and by their sides that every iota of skepticism seemed to have
>> gone by the board."
Without going into detail, what I would like to say is that the role of the union bureaucracy, in Wisconsin 
and in the Occupy movement, is nuanced and contradictory. Just as an example, the CWA was involved with
Occupy Wall Street within days of its beginning. And Bloomberg's first attempt at eviction was largely thwarted by 
organized labor. On the other hand, the union leadership supported the big May Day march in New York but did
little to mobilize for it. The labor bureacracy has to be considered in and of itself when analyzing its role. To call
it a tool of the Democrats is as simplistic as calling it the leadership of the working class.

David Berger


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