New Labor Forum

Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Why Labor’s Soldiering For The Democrats Is A Losing Battle

In Regular Edition on November 8, 2010 at 7:03 am

- Adolph Reed

The question whether an Obama-era Democratic party may offer opportunities for labor and left-of-center political interests presumes that Obama’s Democratic Party offers potential for significant departure from the rightward tacking we’ve seen since Bill Clinton’s presidency. There is little in anything Obama’s said or done to warrant such a presumption. Read the rest of this entry »

Engaging with Democrats

In Regular Edition on November 7, 2010 at 8:10 am

- Bob Master

Disillusionment with Democrats is one of the oldest—and most familiar—sentiments of labor progressives. Sadly, the first twenty-one months of the Obama era haven’t done much to alter those feelings. Without question, there has been progress on a number of critical issues—economic stimulus, health care reform, financial reform, key appointments at OSHA and the National Mediation Board (which oversees railway and airline labor relations)—which would have been unimaginable in a Republican presidency.

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Identity Politics: A Zero-Sum Game

In Regular Edition on November 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

- Walter Benn Michaels

The current hard times have been harder on some people than on others, harder on the poor—obviously—than on the rich; but harder also on blacks and Hispanics than on whites. As of this writing, the unemployment rate for blacks is at 15.6 percent, and for Hispanics it’s at 12.7 percent. For white people, it’s 9.3 percent. 1 Read the rest of this entry »

Identity Politics: Part of a Reinvigorated Class Politics

In Regular Edition on November 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm

- Alethia Jones

Identity politics has its share of shortcomings. But the problems that plague an anemic class politics won’t be solved by eliminating its supposed competitor. In recent decades, identity politics has mushroomed to include more and more social groups for good reason: numerous categories of persons have been systematically denied rights, privileges, and social respect. Major social categories, like race and sexuality, are not a “distraction” from the “real” problem of economic inequality; rather they are an integral part of an individual’s lived experiences. But identity politics cannot end all forms of inequality. At best, it is one strategy in a larger assault against systems of inequality. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Over The Enterprise: A New Strategy for Labor and the Left

In Regular Edition on November 5, 2010 at 2:06 am

- Rick Wolff

We are overdue for a new strategy. Labor and the Left are at low points in long declines. One cause has been adherence to a failed strategy. We need to acknowledge that reality and answer two linked questions. First, what part of getting into this situation was our own doing? Second, what changes in labor’s and the Left’s strategy could revive the two groups and rebuild their coalition into a powerful political force? To answer the first question: labor’s and the Left’s strategic attitude toward capitalism undermined both partners and their coalition. To answer the second: changing their attitude toward capitalism could, I believe, revive them significantly in the near future. Read the rest of this entry »

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