Posts Tagged ‘Communist Party USA’

Masque of the Red … Revolution?

May 7, 2020

¡Viva la huelga!

I’ve been wondering when someone in the mainstream media would write something about the potential for increasing union membership and labor strength in the Year(s) of the Plague.

Here’s a start. It’s short, focused largely on the so-called “gig economy,” and written before a Washington Post-Ipsos poll that indicates some laid-off and furloughed workers may be overly optimistic about whether they will be able to return to their old jobs.

How does an activist pitch a union to a worker with no job? Is a patchwork of small, decentralized, tightly focused labor organizations preferable to One Big Union? Are people ready to rethink their notions of who is an “essential” worker? Will stock clerks trump stockholders?

Nick French at Jacobin gives us a look at the protests that arose shortly after the Great Depression took hold. He argues that radical groups, among them the Thirties-vintage Communist Party, forged a bond of solidarity between the jobless and those still working that helped make FDR’s New Deal possible.

The conditions are different today, he concedes. But the public-health issue may give workers more leverage this time around. Writes French:

By forcing sick people to come to work, or by unnecessarily exposing people to coworkers or customers who might be infected, employers are hastening the spread of the coronavirus and putting everyone at risk. This means that all workers, employed or unemployed, have a common interest in these workers winning their demands.

Boy howdy. Dead broke is bad enough. I hear dead is worse.

• Addendum: As white-collar types join workers from the restaurant, travel, hospitality, and retail industries on the sidelines, experts say there’s no way to calculate how many jobs might come back as states consider lifting shelter-in-place rules. according to The New York Times.

Many businesses, particularly small ones, may not survive, while others are likely to operate with reduced hours and staff. The job search site Indeed reports that postings are down nearly 40 percent from a year ago.

“We don’t know what normal is going to look like,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist and a labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative.

• Addendum the Second: How should unions organize? From The Nation.

• Addendum the Third: Comrades, identities, and attachments. Also from The Nation.

Jesus wept?

April 11, 2012
April showers

Good day for a bike with fenders. Either that or kit with a brown stripe up the back.

There was water on the deck when I arose this morning. Was Jesus weeping over the news that Rick Sphinctorum had suspended his campaign for the GOP pestilential nomination? Nope. Just a bit of rain, overdue and very welcome.

Then again, the moisture could be heavenly tears of hysterical laughter after Rep. Allen West (R-Tinfoil Beanie) declared he had “heard” that as many as 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party.

Ho, ho. As a retired commie — Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), Class of 1977 — I get the giggles every time some right-wing cartoon character tries to crank up a good, old-fashioned Red Scare. The CP (M-L) was kissing China’s ass long before American capitalists began puckering up, and we didn’t even get any cheap plastic trinkets for our trouble. When it went away nobody noticed, not even the Chinese.

As for the Communist Party USA, with only a few thousand members and a longstanding renunciation of violent revolution today’s Party poses as much of a threat to the Republic as a New Black Panther Party chapter in Luckenbach, Texas.