labor politics

I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition; as it is now the capitalists use your heads and your hands.
—  Eugene V. Debs

Trump has barely been president for an hour and the LGBT protections page has been taken down from the Department of Labor website as well as the LGBT, Civil Rights, Climate Change, and Healthcare sections from the White House website.

This is the America we now live in.

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The people who worked for Trump’s labor secretary pick are in the streets opposing him

  • In 24 cities on Monday, fast food workers took to the streets, hung banners from the tops of buildings and even shut down a corporate office in St. Louis. 
  • They had one simple goal: to stop Trump from making fast food CEO Andrew Puzder the top government official for protecting workers’ rights.
  • Puzder serves as the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the umbrella company that owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. burger chains.
  • Less than a month ago, cooks and cashiers filed 33 legal complaints against CKE. One complaint says that the company surveilled employees and sent out intimidating memos warning them not to speak to the press. 
  • One woman fought off advances from a manager who, after he was rejected, allegedly told her, “If you don’t start giving me what I want, I’m going to have to start taking it from you.” Read more (2/13/17 8:12 PM)
But in its blind unrestrainable passion, its were-wolf hunger for surplus-labour, capital oversteps not only the moral, but even the merely physical maximum bounds of the working-day. It usurps the time for growth, development, and healthy maintenance of the body. It steals the time required for the consumption of fresh air and sunlight. It higgles over a meal-time, incorporating it where possible with the process of production itself, so that food is given to the labourer as to a mere means of production, as coal is supplied to the boiler, grease and oil to the machinery. It reduces the sound sleep needed for the restoration, reparation, refreshment of the bodily powers to just so many hours of torpor as the revival of an organism, absolutely exhausted, renders essential.
—  Marx - Capital Vol 1 Ch.10 1867

I’m legitimately baffled that Trump has this much of a lead. I apologize to all of you for being so cocky over the past couple months, with regard to me saying how definitive it would be in Clinton’s favor. This is….shit.

Friends: Now more than ever we’re gonna need to build some anti-capitalist alternative. A labor party with working class interests needs to be built from the disparate leftist factions and organized into a cohesive opposition against the reactionary right. Worker councilism as an idea needs to gain traction so that socialism can once again earn favor among working class folks who are ignored by the two-party system. Electoral politics alienates people left and right; we need to bring politics to the grassroots level and the workplace level. Now more than ever, a genuine alternative to neoliberalism, to imperialism, to capitalism is needed. It won’t take form through the Democrats, guys – we need to build something truly revolutionary here, something that takes the energy of the Sanders campaign and multiplies it tenfold towards full economic democracy beyond capitalism.

The bourgeois political apparatus wants people to “get out the vote”, is SUPER EXCITED about you voting, because it gives people the illusion that they have the power.

We don’t have the power in this system, though. Power rests in the hands of those who control the economy and the resources: the capitalists. You can’t expect a system that runs on class divisions in the most important aspect of social reproduction to be sufficiently democratic. Our working lives aren’t democratic – our working lives that reproduce society daily – so why should the political apparatus that maintains the working day be genuinely democratic??

I still recommend voting as a means to use what little bullshit power they present you with, but just realize that qualitative changes won’t happen until people start organizing outside the Democrats and outside the electoral system more broadly. Everyone in power has accepted that capitalism is the “end of history” and understands politics as merely managing economic crises when they happen, not as a means for people to proactively meet their needs and hold real political power.

We need a labor/socialist party ASAP. Pour class conscious sentiment into it and focus it primarily around grassroots activism and labor organization. A concentrated attack over the last several decades from the establishment has decimated the left’s popularity, but recent capitalist crisis and growing class consciousness is reversing the tides. For that reason, now, we need to take advantage and build a party for the working class and eventual socialism. Reforms are good, as they’ll show people what’s possible and what their mobilization yields, but eventually we need to accept that a social revolution will be necessary to fully unravel capitalism and replace it with a genuine people’s democracy.

Now is the time. Propagate, organize, agitate, revolutionize.

Chicago Police open fire on striking steel workers and their families killing 10 and wounding around 100. Anarchist Dorothy Day, who was present at the March and massacre, is quoted “On Memorial Day, May 30, 1937, police opened fire on a parade of striking steel workers and their families at the gate of the Republic Steel Company, in South Chicago. Fifty people were shot, of whom 10 later died; 100 others were beaten with clubs.”

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Bernie Sanders | Standing Together for a $15 Minimum Wage