Everyone agrees: The populist fires are burning. But what’s next? Bob Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, thinks our historic moment could push Obama farther to the left. But only if the forces of the left start pushing.
“Workers, do not be deceived: this is the final struggle, that of parasitism against labour, exploitation against production. If you are fed up of vegetating in ignorance and of wallowing in misery; if you want your children to be men getting the profit of their own labour, and not a sort of animal trained for the workshop of the battlefield, sweating themselves to make the fortunes of an exploiter or spilling their blood for a despot; if you no longer want your daughters, whom you cannot bring up and look after as you would like, to become objects of pleasure for the arms of that aristocrat, money; if you want an end to poverty forcing men to join the police and women the ranks of prostitution; finally workers, if you want the reign of justice, be intelligent and arise!”
– Paris Commune bulletin, April 5, 1871 Continue reading →
“The Commune was a turning-point of decisive importance. It stands at the threshold of the modern age of imperialism. The conditions methods and aims of the proletarian revolutionary movement in the age of imperialism were, so to speak, grandly foreshadowed in it.”
– V. Lenin
“It was essentially a working class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economical emancipation of labor.
This was the first revolution in which the working class was openly acknowledged as the only class capable of social initiative, even by the great bulk of the Paris middle class — shopkeepers, tradesmen, merchants — the wealthy capitalist alone excepted.”
– K. Marx Continue reading →
“To Arms! Citizens, to arms! It is a choice now, as you know, between conquering or falling into the merciless hands of the reactionaries and clericals of Versasilles, or those scoundrels who deliberately delivered up France to the Prussians and are making us pay the ransom of their treachery! If you wish that the generous blood which has flowed like water these last six weeks be not infertile, if you wish to live in a free and egalitarian France, if you wish to spare your children your sufferings and your miseries, you will rise as one man and, before your fearsome resistance, the enemy, who flatters himself he will again submit you to his yoke, will win no more than the shame of the useless crimes with which he has befouled himself for the pasts two months.”
– Paris Commune bulletin, May 21, 1871 Continue reading →
On July 28, 1870, the 200,000-strong Army of the Rhine marching out of Paris to war were sent off by huge, patriotic, cheering crowds. Republicans who opposed the war were accused of having sold out to Prussia. Jules Valles, a journalist and socialist who dared to question the war, was nearly torn apart by a mob chanting “To Berlin! To Berlin!”
The French armies were so confident of victory that they were only given maps of Germany.
By the end of May, 1871, much of Paris was consumed in flames, put to the torch by many of the same people who were singing patriotic songs just 10 months earlier. The River Seine literally ran red with the blood of tens of thousands of Parisians, shot by French soldiers who were taking no prisoners. The French government did nothing to stop this orgy of killing, while the French press compared anyone who resisted to “wild animals” and “appalling monsters.”
As the post yesterday about the study of firings during union organizing campaigns shows, filing NLRB charges is helpful to unions in building a case that demonstrates how bad things are out there. I ran that post by a very successful union organizer working in a very hard to be union state.
Here are some excerpts from that conversation on why unions should file Board charges and why they are not. Continue reading →
39 years ago the first UnThanksgiving Day happened.
Oh, it wasn’t called that then. Nor was it called that the following year. You see, it wasn’t about Thanksgiving at all. It was about the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, and federal policy for native Americans. Continue reading →
I assume that the Democrats will take the White House and gain seats in Congress. But then the hard work begins. There can be no excuses, especially if there are majorities in both houses. With a Democratic president there should not even need to be a veto-proof majority. Just a simple majority with a couple extra for a safety margin. But it will not be smooth sailing. Continue reading →