Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at juno.com
Thu Dec 3 07:59:14 PST 1998

On Thu, 03 Dec 1998 13:24:04 -0800 Paul Henry Rosenberg <rad at gte.net> writes:

>After all, Marx supported reforms in his day. Surely there must be
>reforms worth struggling for nearby that have seeds of future
>in them, no?

Well, here's the thing, Paul: Upon returning from Union Summer this past August, fresh from the front lines of the class struggle (such as it is these days) and full of idealism, I decided to hike on down to the local AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and see if they had any use for me. As it turns out, they did. The AFL, along with kindred Democratic Party interest groups like the NAACP and the APRI, was hard at work getting out the vote for Rep. Mel Watt and Senate candidate John Edwards. Now, Watt is a very decent guy, so of course I volunteered. Edwards I had more reservations about, but he did strike me as a bit of a Naderesque crusading lawyer type, so I figured what the hell. So I got the vote out, and you know what? I don't think what I did was the least bit helpful to the struggle, even in a reformist sense. Sure, it was nice to see Lauch Faircloth booted out of the Senate, but really, all I did was help the Democrats maintain the illusion that they're the party of "the people."

Now, as ol' Lou Proyect has pointed out before on this list, Marx himself had no problems with participating in bourgeois parliaments. He did, however, reject the notion of participating in bourgeois parties. Hell, I wasn't even working for "reformism." I was just maintaining the status quo. Sorry, but that's not my idea of worthwhile activism.

There IS something down here calling itself the "Progressive Alliance," but it's nothing but a vanity group for local Clintonite blowhard Jerry Klein. Klein is a columnist for the local "alternative" (ha ha!) weekly, and he's rather fond of penning soporific pieces about The Winter Solstice and similar naval gazing New Age nonsense. We're talking about a guy whose idea of progressive activism is leading a demonstration against Ken Starr when the latter spoke here a while back. I'm just not interested in that kind of silliness.

Now then, that leaves the current strike by USWA Local 850 against Continental General Tire. Now THIS is something that I think would be worth supporting. Lbo-talk's own Tom Lehman has contacted some USWA honchos and passed my name and contact info along if they need any help. So we'll see.

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