Posts Tagged ‘class struggle’

Back after long break

January 25, 2009

I started this blog last month, and then my home internet went down for a week, I was traveling for the holidays, and I’ve been extremely busy with work since I got back. So that’s why posting abruptly halted. I am going to try to get back into the routine of blogging, so bear with me.

Rather than try to be a news and analysis type of blog, I may take a more conversational approach, and just post current thoughts and musings. Hopefully this may be of interest to some folks. If not, then its just another random blog out of millions on the internet, which is fine with me. The next Billmon I’m not. (And I wish Billmon would go back to regular blogging, especially about the economy. That guy is sharp! Steve Gilliard was my 2nd favorite blogger and he’s gone now. The internet is just not as fun without them.)

So in no particular order – here’s some thoughts.

Good riddance to George Bush! Not an original thought, of course. In fact, it seems to be the mainstream concensus these days. Now we can finally have some progressive discourse in the national debate, since conservatism is completely discredited. Which comes at the cost of a worldwide economic meltdown. Hey maybe that Karl Marx guy was right about some things – like capitalism is inherently unstable, and the more free reign we give the bloodsuckers, the wilder, crazier and stupider it gets. FDR saved capitalism – George W Bush almost did it in. Now Obama is no socialist. He’s clearly a centrist who leans just a little to the left, as left is defined in America. I think his economic recovery package needs to be doubled at least – and liberal economist Paul Krugmann says the same thing. But at least its a start and far more than what McCain would have done. McCain would have let the economy drown while he bombed Iran. That guy clearly cares nothing about the average American and gets his hard-ons from war.

But lets move on. Hopefully the economic recovery package will be just the first deposit on what we need, which is a lot more public sector in our economy. If it was up to me, I’d say nationalize all the banks (they are busted and on the federal tit already, why not own them collectively), nationalize the auto companies, and take a look at public ownership of energy sectors on top of that.

The big test of Obama will be on the Employee Free Choice Act. Nothing drives American capitalists crazier than the idea of having to let workers have any kind of voice at work – they are already fighting this tooth and nail. Will Obama cave in? Stay tuned. If Obama sticks to his guns, and they ram it through the Congress and sign it, there may be some hope for American liberalism after all. EFCA won’t solve all the unions’ problems. We also need to repeal Taft-Hartley, repeal “right-to-work-for-less”, ban permanent striker replacement (scabbing), and engage in a little thing called class struggle. But EFCA’s a good start.

Speaking of class struggle vs. class snuggle, folks should pay attention to the latest news from the purple plague – SEIU. It’s long been clear to any decent trade unionist that SEIU Pres. Andy Stern is the sleaziest lying hypocrite the American labor movement has ever produced. His “21st century” “we-love-our-bosses” approach to unionism, which means secret back room sweetheart deals with employers is the opposite of real unionism. More and more SEIU members are sick of his bullsh*t, and are in full rebellion against his dictatorial rule of SEIU. The seiu-sh*t is now hitting the fan, and Stern is attempting to put the 150,000 member United Healthcare Workers West in California under trusteeship – sending in hundreds of kool-aid drinking staffer-scabs to take the over the rebel union and do occupation duty. UHW rank and file leaders are saying they will throw the scabs out of the workplaces when they see them. Let’s hope this becomes Andy Stern’s Vietnam and the end of his personality cult for once and for all. Sternism is basically modeled on stalinism without the ideology. To see him disappear would be a good thing. And take his kool-aid drinking corrupt cronies and hacks with him.

And lastly, what about Iowa?

Well, we have a couple of issues. The budget crisis threatens to severely hurt public services that people need and laying off public employees is not going to help the economy. We need to start taxing the rich and closing corporate loopholes to fix the budget shortfall. Culver’s bonding plan is a good thing – borrowing money when interest rates are almost zero is smart. Culver screwed up badly last year when he vetoed open-scope collective bargaining. He’s got a chance this year to redeem himself by helping with fair share agency shop (where everyone who’s in a union workplace helps pay for bargaining and representation, greatly strengthening the power of workers and their ability to engage in collective action by making free-riding a non-option). Will Culver wimp out again? The GOP tried to run against “big labor” in last falls elections and they got nowhere. That dog just doesn’t hunt. It time to tell the Republicans to shove their free market crap where it belongs, and tell them that its a new day in Iowa and the nation. F*ck bipartisanship.

And that’s the word from the frontlines of the class war in Iowa.

Hopefully I’ll be back next week with another rant.

Happy class struggle everyone!


P.S. – Iowa blogs I recommend are

Bleeding Heartland

Iowa Independent

Iowa Politics


The Des Moines Register is pretty clueless, and seems to be laying off so many reporters that they are becoming a 3rd rate rag. Dead tree journalism is in pretty deep sh*t these days and thats a shame.


Listen to Mother

December 3, 2008
Mother Jones, the angel of the miners.

Mother Jones, the angel of the miners.

Mother Jones was one of the greatest heroines ever produced by the American working class. Completely fearless, she fought to organize workers, especially miners, from the 1870s to the 1920s. She lived at a time when forming a union could mean losing your life.
Excerpts from Mother Jones speech to striking coal miners, on levee at Charleston, West Viriginia, August 1, 1912. “Mother Jones Speaks” pages 163-165
Now you have gathered here today for a purpose, Every movement made in civilization has had an underlying purpose. You have reached the century in human civilization when the charge of human slavery must forever disappear…. This industrial warfare is on. It can’t be stopped, it can’t be put back, it is breaking out over all the nation…
When we had a fight in 1900, the Governor was going to clean us up, and four thousand women went down at three o’clock in the morning. There weren’t ladies, they were women. A lady, you know was created by the parasitical class, women, God Almighty made them. The crack thirteenth were sent down by that govenor to meet those four thousand women. Their sleeves were rolled up on their arms, they walked fifteen miles over mountains. What did those women do? They licked the crack thirteenth of Pennsylvania, the “two-by-four” lawyers, the bank crooks and corporation rats — they don’t know how to fight. So the militia begged for mercy. The Colonel says “Move back, we are going forward in civilization. I will charge bayonets on you people.” Not on your life, you don’t charge bayonets on us, because if you do — I will tell you now, we are fighting the robbers who take our bread and butter, if you go to shoot us we will clean up the high-way with the whole bunch of you. You ought to see them run! Their mustache wasn’t curled that day. They went up amnd hit the pike and didn’t bother us any more. The sheriff said to me, “Take these people away.” No, I didn’t come here to take them away, I came to meet them. He said, “I will have you arrested, I will call on the Governor for the militia.” I said, “We will lick the militia.”
It is the fighting of the classes. You have today in this country two warring forces, the one the lying oligarchy, the other the crush pin, the breath is taken from them.”

Time for the Democrats to deliver

December 2, 2008

Goodbye to the Bushies. Good riddance!

Now we have a president-elect who at least pays lip service to the aspirations of the working class. And who also owes a large campaign debt to the organizations of the American working class for his election. At a minimum, we should see a substantial economic stimulus package (aid to states and cities, plus extensive jobs programs), passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, and universal health care (hopefully something that approaches singlepayer, not a health insurance industry scam). Plus an industrial policy to rebuild the auto industry (and American manufacturing in general) and achieve energy independence with renewable fuels. A tall order.

Here in Iowa, workers should also have high expectations of our elected officials. Governor Chet Culver, unfortunately acted like the usual gutless centrist Democrat earlier this year, and caved into the howls of big business over the expansion of public sector collective bargaining rights, vetoing the bill. Despite this setback, Iowa labor worked hard and delivered a stronger Democratic majority in both chambers of the state legislature. It’s time for Chet to redeem himself, and sign into law both an expansion of public sector collective bargaining and fair share/agency shop legislation, once those bills reach his desk. It’s time to show once and for all – is Chet on the side of Iowa working families or on the side of the bosses?

The past few weeks show to anyone who is not blind, deaf and dumb (or bought and paid for) that unregulated laissez-faire capitalism is a disaster. Three decades of privatization, deregulation, “free trade” deals and union-bashing have led to economic collapse. It’s time for the working class to wake up and put America on a new course.

As the P-9 strikers used to say in the 1980s — If not now, when? If not us, who?

Time to fight back.