Is John Sweeney a Socialist?

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Sat Jan 29 12:22:30 PST 2000

>On Behalf Of Rakesh Bhandari
> Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2000 2:47 PM
> > Jesus H Christ, Nathan, I said unionization is a good thing. I'm not
> > some Spart fundamentalist, you know.
> And now I note out of frustration that severe critics of Sweeney's
> business unionism are not fundamentalists either. In the latest New
> Politics for example such criticism is voiced by Kim Moody, Peter
Rachleff, Staughton Lynd.
>And I am bit taken aback that such great labor historians and
> activists are being dismissed here here in such absolute terms.

I don't dismiss them in absolute terms; I am defending the right of Sweeney to call himself a socialist, not attacking the right of folks like Kim Moody to argue for alternative strategies for the labor movment.

Hey, I've written a number of articles for Moody's LABORNOTES magazine and have great sympathy and admiration for his commitment to union democracy and against simplistic pro-"team" rhetoric. I agree with some of the criticisms voiced against Sweeney and disagree with others. I have great belief that people of good faith and generally shared values can have sharp disagreements over strategy and tactics.

All I am against is excommunicating other people because of those differences over tactics and strategy.

-- Nathan Newman

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