GM strike

charles brown cdehbrown at
Wed Jul 1 09:42:00 PDT 1998

Doug H. writes:
>Justin Schwartz wrote:
>>Well you do. Sound like a Spart, that is. What do you mean by class
>>struggle unionism? It's a fancy phrase, but what's the content?
>You know, like unions represent the organized interest of the working
>class, which is in a rather long-term battle with something called
>and that the bosses' and stockholders' profits come from the workers'
>labor. If you think that way, you are not likely to cut "jointness"
>or enter into jointness joint ventures with your employer.
>>You think workers are afraid of the word "class"? No. But the union
>>militants do carea bout their unions and don't have a lot of patience
>>left wing ignoramuses remote from the practical struggle and blind to
>>extreme fragibility and difficulty of getting and keeping a union.
>>"labor bosses with fat paychecks" sounds to them like right wing
>>on unionism at all. It's rather different when the militants or
>>like Kim Moody says it. Maybe you better stick to Wall Street, Doug,
>>pay some dues in the labor movement before you weigh in with talk that
>>can't help and can hurt.
>Left wing ignoramuses, really? That's really a load of crap,

In my opinion, we need more people using terminology such as "class struggle trade unionism". Yes, one must be ready to elaborate and explain it. No, it should not be said in an insulting or patronizing manner, but the concept and the whole thesis of which it is a part - there is no solution in reform within capitalism - must be popularized, again, to a new generation. Doug is not likely to be mistaken for a Spart, by the way, so he is a good candidate to be one of the broadcasters (as suggested in another post urging him to take his show on the road).We also need some radicals to continue to hold the hands of the labor leaders, as Justin sketches. We need a division of labor among radicals: Good radical, bad radical, sweettalk and scolding. You know the old concept of holding opposite ideas in mind at the same time. We need a combination of Gus Hall and the Sparts, a unity and struggle of opposite tactics within one movement and party.

At this point in history it is easier to demonstrate the long term bankruptcy of class collaboration than twenty years ago. Yes, use the terms "class collaboration and opportunism", but say it with tough love for the working class. The legend of Reuther must be demolished. And my house is six blocks from Solidarity House,on Jefferson Avenue. I know so many people who work there it isn't funny. I have followed a kid gloves policy with union leadership for years. It ain't working.

It does not work to try to creep up on and "reunite" with the UAW liberal establishment with politely, slightly radical propaganda samples. They are experts at squashing these tres petit, 'friendly" insurgencies. It's like a Reutherite reflex. They've been playing it off from CP martyrs for decades. It is a self-destructive farce. We need new open militancy. Change or die, motown petit lords, my little chickadees.

Write class conscious letters to The Detroit Sunday Journal on the GM strike.

Also, the third anniversary of the Detroit newspaper strike is here. The UAW bankrolls the newspaper strikers' newspaper (Sunday Journal)and displaces some of its militancy needed in its own jurisdiction onto the newspaper strike. End vicarious militancy in the UAW.

Another phrase to start tossing around and explaining is "workers of the world, unite." The Sunday Journal actually printed a letter of mine with that in it a year or so ago. Then I think the collaborationist censors started editing more. But out of town letters will dazzle them. It is a "strike" newspaper.

Charles Brown

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