[Marxism] Fwd: thecurrentmoment | On the politics and economics of the present

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 7 06:44:56 MST 2017

Following the massive Women’s March and the surprising partial success 
of protests against Trump’s immigration ban, many feel that the logical 
step is to escalate. Seize the momentum, put more pressure on the 
administration, disrupt and paralyze as much as possible. I feel it 
myself. There are ways in which there is more possibility in the air 
than there has been in a long time, and Trump has wasted little time 
going about his authoritarian business.

That, no doubt, is the reason why the idea of calling for a general 
strike – a general national strike – has caught the imagination over the 
past few days. After Francine Prose put the idea out in the Guardian, it 
spread rapidly throughout social media, and split into multiple 
proposals and counter-proposals.

Some, including Prose herself, see themselves carrying on in a venerable 
tradition of mass social disruption. But, as much as these proposals 
look like a natural response to the moment, they are severely 
disconnected from reality. Calling for a general strike now bears no 
relation to what mass strikes have meant in the past. The flight from 
reality shows up in activists’ blasé attitude to history and their very 
distant relationship to the working class.

The United States has the most violent labor history of any major 
industrial country. General and other large-scale strikes in the US have 
nearly always been met with major repression, from police, National 
Guard, even federal troops. For instance, the general strike in San 
Francisco of 1934, which developed out of a longshoremen’s strike, led 
to running battles with the police and a number of deaths.

full: https://thecurrentmoment.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/whose-strike/

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