Authenticity Crisis

alexlocascio at alexlocascio at
Sat Aug 7 04:01:12 PDT 1999

On Sat, 07 Aug 1999 11:04:16 -0400 Tom Lehman <uswa12 at> writes:
>Alex, you can't make a side-show into the main event!

Yeah, and I don't think anyone was trying to, least of all Bensinger. I've yet to hear anybody, at the Federation or elsewhere, say something to the effect that bringing students into the movement was some sort of panacea.

>From my humble perspective there is as CounterPunch said, a lack of
>co-ordination and and focus on realistic goals! You cannot separate
>organizing-political action-education, all three must work in concert
>each other.

Yeah, but there's this tendency, as Josh pointed out, to lay all the blame for labor's ills at the feet of the Federation. I think Tom Geoghegan gets it right in Peter's piece: the main problem is the way the law is set up. The game is rigged. The NLRB basically exists to stop organizing drives. If CounterPunch wants to knock the AFL-CIO for failing to lobby for significant labor law reform, that's one thing. But every failed organizing drive is not the fault of the top brass, or the organizers, or the workers involved.

>Alex, if CounterPunch had spelled out the suicidal idea that is being
>by some hindsteiners of eliminating and combining the county feds--which
>CounterPunch didn't do---would you or Josh think any differently?

Dunno. In my experience, a lot of the local feds tend to be among the most reactionary. But that doesn't mean I'd be in favor of eliminating them. I'm just asking folks to drop the infantile romantic view that the folks in D.C. are to blame for everything.

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