[Marxism] Richard Estes on what the Occupy movement tells us about Marxism and anarchism

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 07:47:57 MDT 2013


I also read Richard's article. He doesn't just describe empirically who
turned up when in which numbers. He says explicitly that the working class
has lost forever its collective capacity.

Yes, as Louis says, the working class does not (generally) think in class
terms today (although the profusion of small struggles in NY, of bigger
struggles of teachers in Chicago and nurses throughout the country are
hopeful signs of a turnaround in that).

But Richard is repeating the same old tired arguments we heard from SDS and
the rest of the "New" left ad nauseam, arguments saying workers are
finished as the motive force of history.

And by the way, the CTU's involvement in mass protest against school
closings show in fact that the working class potential for unifying race
and class struggles is as great as ever! (and gender too)

Time to dredge up the rebuttals to them.


On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

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> On 4/1/13 8:51 AM, Andrew Pollack wrote:
>
>>
>> Mark, you should re-read what David wrote. I was a member of the LOC from
>> the beginning, and am still in day to day touch with it. Everything he
>> writes about the LOC and its spinoffs, and about the various struggles, is
>> accurate, both in terms of labor's involvement at various levels in many
>> ways -- for good, for ill, for neither -- and in terms of the politics of
>> the various players.
>>
>>
> I just looked at Richard's article. It does not question labor
> participation in Occupy. It only highlights the "vanguard" role of young
> people, most of whom are not transit workers or telephone company
> employees, etc., who decided to sleep on the cold pavements of Zuccotti
> Park and other such public spaces. It was them taking the initiative that
> created the momentum that led trade unions to lend their support.
>
> But there is no "labor movement" as such. I attended the one and only
> rally organized by the trade unions since the 2008 financial crisis in
> Washington. It was chaired by Ed Schultz and was a dismal affair.
>
> http://louisproyect.wordpress.**com/2010/10/03/report-on-**
> yesterdays-one-nation-rally/<http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/report-on-yesterdays-one-nation-rally/>
>
> The sad truth is that the American working class does not think or act in
> class terms. The trade unions are becoming weaker and weaker, and those
> that exist have leaderships that are solidly pro-Obama. In fact there was a
> lot more labor militancy 40 years ago when radical auto workers caucuses
> were raising hell.
>
>
>
>
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