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Forum Post: A New Strategy for Labor and the Left

Posted 5 years ago on March 21, 2013, 3:09 a.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

By Richard Wolff

We are overdue for a new strategy. Labor and the left are at low points in long decline processes. One cause of that decline has been adherence to a failed strategy, something admitted by AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka early in 2013. After over 5 years of continued crisis, the audience for new strategic initiatives is larger and more sympathetic that has been the case in decades.

Capitalism is generating extreme and widening gaps between the very rich and everyone else, between business’s and other social groups’ influences on government policy, between merely formal and real democracy. Government policies reflect those realities. Unemployment and foreclosures persist as do banks’ and other corporations’ bailouts, subsidies, and tax avoidance schemes. The pay, benefits and security of wage work keep shrinking while top executives resume high salaries and bonuses. What assets some working people still own, chiefly homes and pensions, suffer falling values. States and towns raise taxes and fees while cutting the public services that distressed people increasingly need. Labor and the left lack sufficient power to move Obama or the Democrats in progressive directions, let alone beyond capitalism. Nothing comparable to the politically effective CIO, socialist, and communist movements of the 1930s shapes today’s capitalist crisis. That is why we have austerity policies in the US today rather than the creation of Social Security, unemployment compensation, and a federal jobs program in the 1930s: literally an anti-austerity policy then.

However deep today’s capitalist crisis, the crises of labor and the left are worse. We need to acknowledge that reality and answer two linked questions: (1) what part of getting into this situation was our own doing? and (2) what changes in labor’s and the left’s strategy could revive them and rebuild their coalition into a powerful instrument for social change? Part of the answer is that labor’s and the left’s strategic attitude toward capitalism undermined both partners and their coalition. Changing their strategic attitude toward capitalism could, I believe, revive them significantly in the immediate future.

The Old Strategy The strategic orientation of labor and left toward capitalism has focused one-sidedly on the nature and extent of state economic interventions. Thus it stressed taxation, targeting enterprises rather than workers, rich rather than the middle or poor. It favored state regulation of the private economy rather than laissez-faire, public over private enterprises, and state planning/controls over private/free markets. Welfare state, social democracy, socialism, and communism – all understood chiefly in the macroeconomic terms of state interventions - were labor’s and the left’s strategic objectives, albeit understood somewhat differently according to left-right divisions within them.

In contrast, they paid little attention to capitalism’s micro level, the internal organization and operation of the enterprise. They only demanded state-enforced limits on employers’ exploitation of workers, deception of customers, and abuse of surrounding communities and nature. The position of capitalist employers (typically boards of directors and major shareholders) as appropriators and distributors of the profits or surplus produced by other people – their workers - went unchallenged. Inside enterprises, the vast majority of workers were totally excluded from those appropriating and distributing functions: not only in private enterprises, but also in the state enterprises often celebrated by labor and the left. Whether employers were private corporate boards of directors or officials in state enterprises, they excluded workers from the appropriation and distribution of the enterprise’s surplus. Rarely did anyone raise the idea of workers themselves becoming, collectively, the appropriators and distributors of the surpluses produced in each enterprise. When that idea surfaced, it was usually dismissed as unworkable, hopelessly utopian, and/or irrelevant to workers’ practical interests.

Labor’s and the left’s implicit strategy for the micro level of the enterprise thus reduced to improving the terms of the employer-employee relation for the workers. There was no strategy to eliminate that relation in favor of something better. It was the modern equivalent of struggles during the time of slavery that aimed for better food, clothing, housing, etc. for slaves rather than demanding the end of slavery.

In the US, labor and the left thus struggled to organize unions, to bargain collectively with corporate boards of directors, and to win better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Their explicit macro-level strategy sought state interventions toward the same ends. Labor and the left allied union struggles inside enterprises for better wages and working conditions with political struggles for maximum state supports (via taxes, market regulations, welfare payments, subsidized public services, socialized medicine, etc.). They ceded to capitalists the roles of running enterprises and, most importantly, appropriating and distributing the surpluses produced there. Capitalists viewed much of what labor and the left achieved as unwanted costs and obstacles to their goals (increased profits, market share, and growth). Thus, they used the surpluses they kept appropriating to evade, weaken, and undo whatever reforms and gains labor and the left could win.

Once labor and the left won New Deal laws and regulations, corporate boards of directors undermined them (having earlier opposed them). At first, given Great Depression memories and widespread anti-corporate sentiments, the boards focused on evading the unwanted laws and regulations while funding the academics, journalists, think tanks, and politicians to shift public opinion in favor of “private enterprise and free markets.” Post-war anti-communism campaigns proved particularly helpful for that shifting. Occasionally, evasion was supplemented by amending or repealing New Deal laws and regulations as in the 1947 Taft-Hartley law.

Reagan’s election signaled that the corporate roll-back of the New Deal had assembled sufficient means and adequately prepared public opinion for a direct counterattack. The era of deregulation, neo-liberalism, and revived conservatism had arrived. It continued through the second Bush. Then the current crisis quickly exposed major corporate boards begging for massive government supports for their failed, bankrupt private enterprises. Massive government bailouts of major US corporations (e.g., AIG, Citibank, General Motors, and many more) compromised neo-liberal conservatism. In politics, journalism, and the academy, some spaces and opportunities reopened for neo-liberalism’s enemies. But the absence of an organized, politically focused alliance of labor and the left enabled top policy to oscillate between a very centrist, mild Keynesianism and the austerity programs promoted by major leaders of both parties as well as the Tea Party Republicans.

The 1930s and subsequent strategy that did not challenge corporate boards of directors in their traditional positions within enterprises had disastrous consequences for labor and the left. Yet those allies have been very slow and hesitant to criticize, let alone abandon, that old strategy. Thus, they press Obama for laws and regulations favoring workers, especially those unemployed, foreclosed out of their homes, victimized by abusive credit practices, and so on. They demand new government regulations especially of the financial industry, and so on.

Yet, such demands for “reforms” again leave unchallenged the position of corporate boards of directors as appropriators and distributors of the surpluses produced in their enterprises. Even if labor and the left mobilized enough workers to achieve such reforms – far from certain – corporate boards of directors would immediately reapply the techniques they developed and fine-tuned to roll back the New Deal. Their think-tanks, lobbyists, mass media connections, academics, and politicians are already nicely in place. Corporate evasions, weakenings and reversals of unwanted new reforms will then happen faster and be more cleverly packaged than their post-1930s precursors.

The New Deal’s deconstruction since the war exposed labor’s and the left’s incapacity to secure, let alone advance, the reforms, regulations, and other gains workers won in the Great Depression’s wake. Mass worker mobilizations in the 1930s required, trained, and inspired the militants they produced. When the reforms they had won were subsequently eroded or lost, militants became demoralized, the public reputations of labor and the left deteriorated, and their decline set in. Calling workers now to mobilize and struggle again to win reforms again that corporations will eviscerate again is a losing strategy. To retain the old macro-focused strategy as the current crisis distresses masses of people risks dissolving the remaining organized labor and left formations. For labor and the left, the old strategy neither renews their growth nor revives their coalition.




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[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Support Occupies labor efforts


Richard Wolff does.

See him @ the brecht center in NYC. I have many times & he is great


[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Esoteric, ivory tower stuff.

This man could use 10/15 years on a real auto assembly line.

He would have each union so small Wallstreet could crush it with a booger.

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

What about it do you find so "esoteric"? Are you saying that you prefer Labours current strategy of getting its ass kicked from coast to coast for the last 30 years? What about this strategy makes you think that this would weaken the labor movement even more than its already pitiful state? I try to balance out my negative posts with ideas that I think would help the working class. This article I think presents a pretty realistic strategy for the labor movement to persue and some of them already are. The united steel workers are setting up a partnership with the mondragon corp to set up worker controlled enterprises. Do you have any better ideas besides begging the democrats for crumbs? Or giving them hundreds of millions of dollars every election cycle so they can turn around kick the unions in the teeth with trade deal agreements that are unfavorable to the working class?

At some point labor has to break from its current strategy of funneling all its energy into the dead politics of the two party system. This is the same path they've been following since the new deal and they've gone from 35% of the work force to 11% in the last 50years. To keep doing what they've been doing insures extinction

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

He and apparently, you complete misunderstand what's happened to unions in the US over those 30 years.

I was there, in the UAW.

I think it's great for the steel works to save those jobs, but it's a last gasp effort at the end of a long and painful WallStreet led demise.

I have nothing at all against coops and think they are fantastic for certain industries in certain areas, but they remain small and easily manipulated by WallStreet interests.

They have never been used successfully in large scale industries, or sectors.

Organize Wallyworld this way and you've got something, but it won't do a thing to stop right to work for less laws..

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

I understand the labor movement quite well shooz

I was "there," too as my union was broken in 1988. You didn't know that. Did you? Painful memories are usually more difficult to share than good ones

I know a good part of the history of the early 20th century labor struggles in this country, and the aftermath

And I have sat in recently on several Occupy/labor meetings in preparation for May Day

There is something out there that has to be better than what we got, a system that keeps reverting back to another Gilded Age


[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Here in Michigan there is NOW pressure being put on the REDs right to work law.

The REDs are threatening retaliation.


That they would do this to higher education, just shows that RTW was never about anything else other that weakening collective bargaining.

There should be a national outcry. There isn't. It's not in the news rotation.

It would appear that Washtenaw County ( home of the U of M), is going to the mat too.


The REDs will threaten them too.

This is what's happening now.

Nothing wrong with planning for a mondragon future, but we NEED support for these things NOW!

[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

That's fine, but this goes far beyond a left/dem vs right/repub struggle

If Occupy is correct in assuming that like every other major struggle, a radical approach is needed to have the systemic changes that we need

Once again.....if not us....Occupy Wall Street that is... who?


[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

That's not a comment on what I posted Odin.

It evaded it.

This is what's happening right now.



A chance to do the correct thing.

The correct thing to do for the 99%.

No word of support, or understanding even?

It must be getting late.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Yes it is getting late for me, and i have a lot to do tomorrow

You "evaded" my heart-felt, self exposing previous comment. Instead you went off on a totally different tangent

This is a simple question that I pose again for you. Do you believe that the systemic change that we both want...can be achieved... without having a radical element, like ALL the other great struggles in history have had?

Case in point: The Civil Rights struggle...Johnson was as happy as shit to be negotiating with King than Malcolm X or the rioters, AND Roosevelt was much happier to be negotiaitng with the reformers than the radical commies


[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

In answer to your question, I don't see anyone at all, other than the unions themselves, and the aforementioned county that's joined in the good fight to stop this stuff..

You haven't offered so much as a word of understanding.

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Despite your massive point total shooz, you do not understand what Occupy is about

You have avoided answering my simple questions over and over with your obfuscating comments

You are simply one more person on here that has teamed with the hacks to bring this noble movement into the folds of the dem party

The dems have let your people down far more than mine in terms of the Prison Industrial Complex which has had bipartisan support

Even MLK knew when it was time to break his support from the Johnson administration and the dems

And I am happy to say that I celebrated 2012 MLK day in Riverside Church where he made that famous speech

I would much rather have my integrity than your huge point total


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

I answered the only question you asked, other than whether I knew you once belonged to a union.

I stand by that answer, whether you accept it, or not.

And you come back with insults, based on a point score I have because I've been here for a long time without being banned?????

Because I dared to asked Peter how he would apply mondragon to current events happening in Michigan?

Events, that like YOU he refused to acknowledge.

If it's not the two of YOU doing the obfuscation, where is the response to that VERY pertinent question?

Your failure to do so is a loss to your integrity.

As is Peter dragging politics into it in first place and making assertions and claiming I said things, he could not prove..


[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

For the third time, I ask you shooz

Do you believe that unlike any other time in our history that we can achieve systemic change without a radical element involved in the struggle?

And the next question is: If not Occupy Wall Street....WHO??

Let's leave Mondragon and Michigan completely out of this so we do not get side-tracked, OK?

You often use 'few words' to leave cryptic messages

Here's your chance to use the same method to answer two simple direct questions

And just for the record, I was banned during a time when the moderators here had betrayed the trust of the anarchists (by siding with the partisans) who put this site up, hence they are gone

And from personal knowledge, I can tell you that your views in wanting to continue the partisan battle are very antithetical to theirs, and mine as well obviously


[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

OK, You want to play some kind of game.

So here again is my answer, the one YOU ignored.

"In answer to your question, I don't see anyone at all, other than the unions themselves, and the aforementioned county that's joined in the good fight to stop this stuff..

You haven't offered so much as a word of understanding."

You still haven't offered a word of understanding.

You are now peppering your responses with attempts at insult and divisiveness.

Now, please answer one of my questions.

How do expect to change anything at all by hiding from the realities of what is happening all around you?

There are those, thank God, who don't share in your endorsement of tyranny, by FEAR of it being partisan.


You and I had the conversation about FEAR some time ago Odin.

You've obviously forgotten.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

No...no game shooz, I have just been busy the past few hours getting ready for tomorrow's OTS/Rolling Jubilee event

You're up next....


[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Replying here shooz, No you have NOT answered my questions. A simple 'yes' or 'no' with an explanation would do fine

Here let me help you get started, OK?

"I believe that we "DO NOT".... or.... "WE DO".... need a radical element in our rev to be successful, "EVEN THOUGH" or "JUST LIKE".... there has been one in EVERY other struggle that has had systemic change in our country

Then we come to the next question; If not Occupy Wall Street...who...??

Please use the same format in this question as on the first one

Thanks, looking forward to your concise reply

Just - 'CONCENTRATE' - on the answers to the questions, and hold off on the FEAR lecture for now, OK?

As I find it most amusing and ironic for a person who has most likely not had near the world-wide life experiences that I have had

And for a person who will never be nominated for a profile in courage award

And who believes that we can tweet, petition, and vote our way out of this mess from the comforts of our homes is lecturing me on FEAR

Come on shooz, even YOU...deep down...can see the humor in that.....can't you...;-)?

And BTW, thanks for borrowing my "integrity" and "man up" lines. I'm flattered....


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

I don't see YOU fighting any of it.

You won't even admit who's doing it, and you barly acknowledge it exists..

Now that's a fear didn't think you would ever show, but there it is.

[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Replying here. So you refuse to answer my questions

That's fair enough, as your silence speaks volumes

If there was one, you would never win a Clara Lemlich profile in courage award shooz

Think about that.....see ya....;-)


[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Man up shooz, answer my questions

STOP with the irrelevant crap and the f...ing liinks, and speak in clear cohesive sentences please

So for the fourth time shooz; Do you believe that this revolution can be successful without a radical element in it, errr... kinda like the kind that has been in EVERY struggle that has seen systemic change...a sea change?? The answer................

And the next question AGAIN; If not Occupy....whooooo?? Answer here.................

And pleeeeaaase do give me your lecture on FEAR.,,, laughing. I found it amusing the first time and I'm sure I will again


[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

I answered it twice.

So you know what Odin?

Time for you to man up.

My only guess is that YOU support right to work, and don't really care much for unions in general..

PS, Glad you find you fear amusing.

What's next? You gonna join a bitch fest about voting around here?

Oooops you already did.

Now there's an issue you WILL comment on.

Divisive hell too.

[-] -2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

The partisans in this country need to open their other eye. While the beast of tyranny continues to grow, the partisans attack one side and support the other. Eventually that beast will grow so large it will crush both sides.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

This thread is about a new strategy for the left, Why do you have to bring "the partisans" into this?

They ain't the problem. It's the anti labor corp lapdogs that stand against labor.

Where do you stand on the thread topic? And try leaving yourdistraction of "the partisans" out of it.

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

The hefty point scores that the partisans and the hacks enjoy here is indicative of a corrupt system that is worried

Rest assured that the people who are in the physical Occupy World are not like this


[-] -2 points by freakyfriday2 (-2) 5 years ago

If it can't be taken to a left/right basic talking point, shooz can;t really understand it;

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

I don't give up easily




[-] -1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Never been used successfully in large scale I industries and sectors?

Yes, there is an alternative to capitalism: Mondragon shows the way

There is no alternative ("Tina") to capitalism?

Really? We are to believe, with Margaret Thatcher, that an economic system with endlessly repeated cycles, costly bailouts for financiers and now austerity for most people is the best human beings can do? Capitalism's recurring tendencies toward extreme and deepening inequalities of income, wealth, and political and cultural power require resignation and acceptance – because there is no alternative?

I understand why such a system's leaders would like us to believe in Tina. But why would others?

Of course, alternatives exist; they always do. Every society chooses – consciously or not, democratically or not – among alternative ways to organize the production and distribution of the goods and services that make individual and social life possible.

Modern societies have mostly chosen a capitalist organization of production. In capitalism, private owners establish enterprises and select their directors who decide what, how and where to produce and what to do with the net revenues from selling the output. This small handful of people makes all those economic decisions for the majority of people – who do most of the actual productive work. The majority must accept and live with the results of all the directorial decisions made by the major shareholders and the boards of directors they select. This latter also select their own replacements.

Capitalism thus entails and reproduces a highly undemocratic organization of production inside enterprises. Tina believers insist that no alternatives to such capitalist organizations of production exist or could work nearly so well, in terms of outputs, efficiency, and labor processes. The falsity of that claim is easily shown. Indeed, I was shown it a few weeks ago and would like to sketch it for you here.

In May 2012, I had occasion to visit the city of Arrasate-Mondragon, in the Basque region of Spain. It is the headquarters of the Mondragon Corporation (MC), a stunningly successful alternative to the capitalist organization of production.

MC is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make all the basic decisions of the enterprise (what, how and where to produce and what to do with the profits).

As each enterprise is a constituent of the MC as a whole, its members must confer and decide with all other enterprise members what general rules will govern MC and all its constituent enterprises. In short, MC worker-members collectively choose, hire and fire the directors, whereas in capitalist enterprises the reverse occurs. One of the co-operatively and democratically adopted rules governing the MC limits top-paid worker/members to earning 6.5 times the lowest-paid workers. Nothing more dramatically demonstrates the differences distinguishing this from the capitalist alternative organization of enterprises. (In US corporations, CEOs can expect to be paid 400 times an average worker's salary – a rate that has increased 20-fold since 1965.)

Given that MC has 85,000 members (from its 2010 annual report), its pay equity rules can and do contribute to a larger society with far greater income and wealth equality than is typical in societies that have chosen capitalist organizations of enterprises. Over 43% of MC members are women, whose equal powers with male members likewise influence gender relations in society different from capitalist enterprises.

MC displays a commitment to job security I have rarely encountered in capitalist enterprises: it operates across, as well as within, particular cooperative enterprises. MC members created a system to move workers from enterprises needing fewer to those needing more workers – in a remarkably open, transparent, rule-governed way and with associated travel and other subsidies to minimize hardship. This security-focused system has transformed the lives of workers, their families, and communities, also in unique ways.

The MC rule that all enterprises are to source their inputs from the best and least-costly producers – whether or not those are also MC enterprises – has kept MC at the cutting edge of new technologies. Likewise, the decision to use of a portion of each member enterprise's net revenue as a fund for research and development has funded impressive new product development. R&D within MC now employs 800 people with a budget over $75m. In 2010, 21.4% of sales of MC industries were new products and services that did not exist five years earlier. In addition, MC established and has expanded Mondragon University; it enrolled over 3,400 students in its 2009-2010 academic year, and its degree programs conform to the requirements of the European framework of higher education. Total student enrollment in all its educational centers in 2010 was 9,282.

The largest corporation in the Basque region, MC is also one of Spain's top ten biggest corporations (in terms of sales or employment). Far better than merely surviving since its founding in 1956, MC has grown dramatically. Along the way, it added a co-operative bank, Caja Laboral (holding almost $25bn in deposits in 2010). And MC has expanded internationally, now operating over 77 businesses outside Spain. MC has proven itself able to grow and prosper as an alternative to – and competitor of – capitalist organizations of enterprise.

During my visit, in random encounters with workers who answered my questions about their jobs, powers, and benefits as cooperative members, I found a familiarity with and sense of responsibility for the enterprise as a whole that I associate only with top managers and directors in capitalist enterprises. The easy conversation (including disagreement), for instance, between assembly-line workers and top managers inside the Fagor washing-machine factory we inspected was similarly remarkable.

Our MC host on the visit reminded us twice that theirs is a co-operative business with all sorts of problems:

"We are not some paradise, but rather a family of co-operative enterprises struggling to build a different kind of life around a different way



[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

OK. I really don't like cut and paste pressure. I think it sucks and you still can't show me a major industry.

I'm not against what they're doing, I love the Basques, but to be honest, I've never heard of a Fagor washing machine......and they are not immune to the fickleness of WallStreet.

And it still doesn't deal with what needs to done here, NOW!

And that is what makes it esoteric, ivory tower stuff.

Skip Wallyworld and organize a BMW factory in the deep south.

[-] -1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

By the way mondragon is the 5th largest company in Spain if that ain't major then what?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Like I said, bring it to Wallyworld.

Bring it to BMW.

Bring it to the city of Detroit.

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Your right man fuck it. If I ain't never heard of it it must not be important.

Lets just keep doing the same shit and hope for the best. Nevermind that the area of Spain that mondragon operates in has an unemployment level 10 points lower than the rest of Spain despite the European debit and austerity crisis that has savaged the rest of Europe. There couldn't possibly be anything to that.

Do you have anything besides doing it the way that has been getting Labours ass kicked for the last 30 years? That's it? We do it this way and there is nothing else?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Repeal right to work in all States.

That would be a start.

You keep misunderstanding me. I love what they've done, but the Basques are a unique situation and have been for decades.

I'm asking you to show me how it would work in a place like Wallyworld.

We need to support what we have now as well.

[-] 0 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Repeal right to work in all states? That's a tall order. Maybe someday but it's not going to happen anytime soon. And how do you propose to do it anyway without building the political force to make it happen? It ain't going to be the democrats they were bought along time ago. Why wouldn't you want to build a coalition between labor the left and the cooperative movement to get that political movement going? Why would you sink all of your hopes on a political party that sold the working class out with the election of bill Clinton?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

It's a lot shorter order than converting all workplaces to mondragon and at this point a lot more practical.

Why do you keep dragging outdated politics into this?

I'm talking here and NOW!

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

You are the one with the outdated politics! I'm the one with the new shit! How is voting for democrats and hoping that they'll just do right next time not out dated? I'm talking right now! Do think that some magical democrat is going to get elected with all that corporate Wall Street money and suddenly hand labor the keys to the kingdom? You think organizing every work place in the country will only take a couple of years?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Magical Democrats??

Are you Rush Limbaugh??

Please bring on the quote where I said that or apologize profusely!!!

I can see you've lost your rationality now, so I'm going to bed.

That you don't care about today's working man has become obvious.

Good night.

[-] -1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

How could you possibly get that from anything I've said? You are the one who have lost rationality. I'm a hell of a lot further to the left than you are never mind Limbaugh. It's the people like you on this site that make me wonder wether you care what happens to the working man in this country. What new ideas do you have besides the same old same old? If what you are doing doesn't work now why keep doing it? If the traditional avenues of inacting change are no longer viable then why not try something else?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Because that's exactly what you said.

And it's shades of Limbaugh.


[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Some people will never be able to think outside that box PK. You'd thing Obama would have been the wake-up call.

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Thanks I'm glad there are some people on here that aren't shills for the other faction of the 1%. No it doesn't matter what Obama does. Even when his administration writes the new contract the UAW operates on that makes it impossible for them to strike. Or some how never manages to find his comfortable walking shoes when ever labor is threatend. It doesn't matter they'll line up dutifully like sheep next election cycle and vote for the guy with the D in front of their name. They'll get furious and do the same shit they always do which leads to nothing but getting democrats elected while he whole country goes to hell in a hand basket. It must hurt less for them if the guy fucking them has a D in front of their name. Never mind changing the way capital is owned or who owns the means of production.

I mean I really can't see how it could be anymore clear.

[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Clinton was the wake-up call for me, I think. I learned a lot about the truth of American politics on his watch. After Clinton I said, "Fuck this" and bowed out of politics and got on with my life, for better or worse. I saw the light. During the early days of this forum I compared the Dems and Reps to Chang and Eng. Two factions different in certain ways but hopelessly joined at the hip. I think it's an apt metaphor.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

He was the "wake-up call" for me, and for a whole bunch of other people as well

And let's not forget, I was there at his first inauguration on that f...ing cold January day


[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Yes he was, but apparently there are still people waiting for that hope and change. We got change, but it sure wasn't the change they were expecting. ;-)

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

How true, his betrayal especially in not prosecuting the big bankers had a lot to do with the rise of Occupy

And it is not going away as people continue to become mobilized and politicized

Good Night g


[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Had he at least gone after the bankers he'd be the leader everyone wanted him to be.

Signing off for the night? Good night, my friend.

[-] -2 points by gIogatori (-2) 5 years ago

Why would you sink all of your hopes on a political party that sold the working class out with the election of bill Clinton?

Few people here know the real story behind the Twinkle Team (shooz, DKAtoday, zendog, GirlFriday, VQkag2, and a few others). Shooz and DKAtoday operate from the same IP, the same workstation. They'll often attack users in mob style. They don't believe in Occupy concepts, but instead prone a solution by the democrats. They started coming to this site after a push by moveon.org. Zendog works for the democratic party as an advertizement agent. He makes phone calls in their behalf during weekends. These people have essentially hijacked the forum by acting like self-proclaim "prosecutors". Be careful, or you'll soon be under fire from both shooz and DKAtoday. They're like Robin and Batman. Here to save the day! Their main goal is to tarnish the reputation and feasibility of anarchy.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Fuck Off Golgotha.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

What we really need to know is, are there any moderators at all here?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

I would say - yes - how they operate?

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Seems to be the very occasional stormtrooper drop in, strafing, and chopper out again.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Only 1 ?

[-] 1 points by Builder (3889) 0 minutes ago

Wouldn't concern me, but it seems I have attracted a one-person fan club.

Oh well, we're not meant to live forever. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] -3 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Yeah, one person fan clubs can number in the dozens around here.

Hence the questions about the stormtroopers.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Heh - funny visual.

[-] -2 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Wouldn't concern me, but it seems I have attracted a one-person fan club.

Oh well, we're not meant to live forever.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Ah yes - how many trolls have gone on 1st appearance? Or should I say how many repeats of the same troll?

[-] 1 points by Builder (3889) 4 minutes ago

Yeah, one person fan clubs can number in the dozens around here.

Hence the questions about the stormtroopers. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

Is inclusionman one of VQkag's personas? He been digging up a lot of old posts this morning in an effort to bury something.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

You want names? VQ is the only one you need to know.

The rest are his annoying twits who spam this board daily.

It's neither amusing, nor informative.

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

I'm not doubting what you say is true but do you have any proof of it?


[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

And the article never said stop fighting for the scraps you have now it says you have to fight for what you have and build something different. It looks to the future while the labor movements strategy today does not.

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

And by the way why don't you explain what's happened to the labor movement in this country if we don't understand? Explain why it is labor should continue on its "winning" strategy, instead of moving in a different direction? Say there was a resurgence of the labor movement and they didn't work on fundamentally changing the ownership of capital. What's to stop them from taking all of those hard earned gains away just like they've done once before? Why would you keep doing the same shit? If it didn't work once why do it again?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

The labor movement did work. Unfortunately employers caved to the essentials prior to every worker getting into a union. This allowed them time to break down the unions.

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

So, what do you propose to do about it? The same shit we already did that they figured out how to beat?

[-] -1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Yeah that's shitty. But what does that have to do with what I'm talking about right now? What do you propose to do about it? Funnel money to the next democrat that runs against Snyder? Because that worked so well in Wisconsin a couple of years ago. When you said earlier that the strategy that the article proposes would leave unions so small that Wall Street would be able to crush them easily you seem to forget that the way unions have been doing things have already left unions so small they are easily crushed. I mean for gods sake they lost Michigan... MICHIGAN! What more proof do you need for a change of course?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You shouldn't talk like a right winger.

You're using their talking points.

Now that you mention it. I posted stuff on all these things happening in Michigan and you didn't say word and now you want to say you KNOW?

Now you try and recap it in a handful of sentences??

Sentences made of those talking points!!!????

No!! You haven't really said anything at all.

[-] -1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

I'm sorry I'm not one of your forum groupies. I posted something about Michigan earlier today. Where were you?


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

An insult??

So you go there too?

As a far as your thread??

Your weeks late and several dollars short.

The Cypress thing was already posted too, so it appears that it's you who desires groupies.

On the other hand it doesn't change the fact that you used right wing talking points when referring to unions.

Interesting, but not changed.

[-] -2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

What do you mean right wing talking points? You realize I am pro union don't you? What I propose is that the unions have a secondary strategy of building worker owned enterprises. Not that they be destroyed. However I am pretty sure that if we keep doing things the way we have been doing them they will be destroyed

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

The amazing part is, you spit out those talking points without blinking an eye.

Here. Let's go over that again, as the real struggle continues.....


Here's one of many corporate perps. This has access to a powerful media network.


How will you apply mondragon principles to stop these things dead in their tracks, when you refuse to understand what they are?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

No this time I would like to see - "everyone" get Involved and STAY involved.

[-] -3 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

That's pretty vague man. Is that all you got? If you don't have anything besides that we ain't got nothing to talk about here

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Well scuse you.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

I agree whole-heartedly with you Peter, and that from what I can tell is the feeling of most of the people in Occupy that I know

We are learning from the early 20th century labor struggles in how to organize

We also have to learn though, not to settle this time

Only today I received an email where classes are starting in NY on how to organize both in the physical and in the cyber world

While all RESISTANCE is good, as an older Irish union guy, who now works in the boiler room of NYU told me, "you need radicals if you want real change."

So if his assessment is correct ...which I believe it is...if not Occupy, who?


[-] -1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement buddy. Every few weeks I swear I'm going to give this site up but for some reason I keep coming back. Some of these liberals And democrat sniffers leave me wondering if they are just what would have been considered republican 40 years ago with the shit they say on here.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

You're welcome. It is discouraging that this forum does not reflect the feelings of the Occupy that i know in NY, and to a big degree I suspect, that is the reason that so few of them ever come on this forum

So everything Peter has a silver lining, and in this case that is, our movement is healthy!....;-)


[+] -4 points by goglatori (-8) 5 years ago

If it's discouraging do something about it. Start working on a Bridge to the Ground to connect those using the Internet with the great people in your affinity groups so that they can collaborate on projects. How do you expect those on the Internet who cannot have access to live Occupy events to understand what is going on without a real connection. It's Occupy's fault, no one else. We must care about this protest enough that we are willing to create the ways in which it can be shared around the world.

It's mind boggling that long time users like shooz and DKAtoday still don't understand Occupy and think it's some kind of protest for Obamapologists. Did you write your letter to the president today? No? You also believe in anarchy? Well then, it's time for a Bridge to the Ground.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

You need to build a bridge from your mind to reality.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

If you want twenty-five new members for your forum, just sign up VQ.

His band of trusty alter-egos follow him through thick and thin.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

So why don't you Build The Bridge to the ground, but try building it on a good foundation of trust

In the meantime, I will continue with my outreach efforts both here, and in NY, and

Those efforts most recently being...running off 50 copies of my flyers that i made up linking our struggle to the labor struggles of the early 20th century (today).......attending several meetings in NY....exchanging several emails with a labor activist group leader on the different but helpful roles that we can play to the same shared goals that we both have, and....getting ready for OTS's collaborative event with the Rolling Jubilee this Saturday



[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

A New Strategy A new strategy would not leave in place a corporate adversary with both the incentive and resources to first oppose and then undo what labor and the left can win. A new strategy would be micro-focused, aimed at transforming the internal structure of enterprises from capitalist to workers self-directed (WSDE). Enterprise directors must increasingly consist not of boards elected by shareholders, but rather of the collective of all its workers. This new strategy identifies new objects for struggles: the internal transformation of enterprises into WSDEs and the formation of new WSDEs. Transformed job descriptions for every worker would henceforth include both his/her particular tasks in an enterprise’s division of labor and also full and equal participation in its collective board of directors.

This new strategy, if successful, would democratically transform production. Workers who were also their own board of directors would make different decisions from traditional boards elected by shareholders: about what to produce, how and where to produce, and what to do with the surpluses their labor generates. Their decisions would be made democratically by themselves rather than being made for them by others (the boards) chosen by still others (major shareholders). Workers who must live with the consequences of board decisions would finally be the ones to make them. Because various residential communities must likewise live with WSDE decisions, and vice-versa, a system of democratic co-determination by both workplace and residential communities would need to be established. Workers functioning in and responsible for democratically structured enterprises will more likely understand and demand parallel democracy and responsibility in their communities and from their government. This new strategy thus fosters a society-wide transition from today’s merely formal to a genuine democracy.

The new strategy calls workers to recognize the need for, make, and take responsibility for change in their workplaces, inside the enterprises that occupy most of their adult lifetimes. It gives workers the sequential tasks of either establishing new WSDEs or else transforming capitalist enterprises into WSDEs and then maintaining and developing the new production organization. Beyond their role as the laboring foundation for society’s economic development, they would finally also become its decision-making foundation. This could concretely realize long-standing commitments of labor and the left to workers’ empowerment, liberation, and self-actualization: commitments that too often remained only vague, rhetorical gestures.

This new strategy also offers workers their best chance to secure reforms against the undermining reactions of capitalist boards of directors. The micro-level transformation of enterprises would finally give workers the position, incentives, and means to pursue and successfully sustain their traditional macro-level goals (planning, social welfare, greater wealth and income equality, and so on). Workers in WSDEs would be the tax base for government both as individuals and as members of the collective board of directors. State policies would change as a result.

The new strategy emerges from the exhaustion of the old as the means to revive an alliance of labor and left adequate to the struggles of the 21st century.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

In the same way that workers need unions to secure their gains

Society on the whole needs a new system of government to not only secure their wins,

But to meet the incredible challenges that we face on an environmental level



[-] -1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 4 years ago

"And so we remain, nearly all of us, left and right, clinging stubbornly to the tiny freedoms that remain: to object, to denounce and to resist, until a real oppositional force emerges. Or SEAL Team Six shows up at the back door."