this is progressive

Max B. Sawicky sawicky at
Thu Apr 13 17:36:05 PDT 2000

The quote below sounds more like theater criticism than political analysis. Sure show me any demo and I can think of ten ways it could have been handled better. And I can improve any speech any labor leader has ever made.

Why is anybody surprised that the same labor leaders they have complained about and reviled for years fail to emerge in a new political situation as modern-day Debs' and Mother Jones'?

Clearly, chauvinism and scrambled statements are more serious than table manners, but here we are still fixing our gaze on the ainus of the beast instead of the head, studying sphincter pulsations instead of watching where we are going.

Where's the marxist/materialist analysis of the social force labor represents, and how it is moving? Nowhere. Instead we have the invocation of some imaginary beast named 'national capital' which is conniving to use the labor movement to advance its own particular brand of protectionism, somehow in cahoots with business interests who are uniformly supportive of trade liberalization and Chinese entry into the WTO. Ridiculous.

QUOTE I've been talking to a lot of people around here - including AFL-CIO managers - stating opposition to the way this has been handled. . . . . . .It's too bad that the AFL-CIO leadership didn't have the sense to know that something was wrong when Chinese American labor leaders distanced themselves from this. . . . "

[mbs] Unless they are complete dullards, they will figure this out before too long and realize that correcting the deficiencies that have been raised will serve them better.

". . . I've seen this movement ebb and flow over the past two decades - that's been my 'hobby' I guess . . . "

[mbs] Read again. I didn't say you had a hobby. I said you might need to find one.

. . . and like I said, the China rally was a low point. If trade unionists (or economists like you) ignore the very serious dangers and repercussions of US militarism as they did during Vietnam, this movement is going to become mired in chauvanism and racism. Yesterday's rally made that clear. If this is your 'evolving movement,' you can keep it."

[mbs] "as they did during Vietnam . . "? As WHO did during Vietnam? I can pull out my service record too. After all, I was out there to "dump the Hump."

Of course, it doesn't matter what you or I have done. You have probably done more, which does you credit. But you're being a kvetch.

I'd say the bigger danger is we get mired in recriminations, or worse that left abstentionism brings about the very thing it is warning against.

I would suggest the fundamental error is to criticize Buchanan and his contacts for being racist, and not because they aren't. Workers are not mobilized to the extent they are in order to fight racism. We should be so lucky. They are mobilized in their self-interest as a class, to some extent national and to some extent international. The most relevant criticism of PB et al is that they are an obstruction or diversion from heightened mobilization and success in terms of collective self-interest.

Liberalism and anti-racism will not defeat PB. He is not pretending to either. He is posing as pro-working class. That's the greater fraud to expose, in the course of focusing on a positive alternative direction.


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