In the wee hours of Saturday morning I readied myself for the long day trip to Washington. I talked Debbie into giving me a ride downtown because I wasn’t sure if there would be a bus at 5:15 AM on a Saturday. Fortunately, because it was Saturday, that drive downtown was only 10 minutes. Close to 180 union members and supporters gathered at the United Steel Workers headquarters building on the Boulevard of the Allies in the chilly, 48° darkness. Our group was mainly comprised of USW and UWUA members, but there were some college kids there who, I believe, were members of ISO.
After a late start and our bus driver getting mixed up in Washington, we finally arrived at RFK stadium and the largest sea of busses that I’ve ever seen. Take the picture at the right and multiply it x10 to get a feel for the number of busses in the RFK parking lots. From Pittsburgh I believe there were 3 USW busses, 3 SEIU busses, and 2 NAACP busses. Glenn Beck has criticized the One Nation rally, stating that for his rally individuals came at their own expense in their own cars, while for our rally most people came at union expense in union busses. I didn’t see anything to contradict what he was saying, but isn’t this really the difference between us and the Tea Party? They believe it’s every man for himself and we believe we’re all in this together. Continue reading
On September 1, 2010 Social Democrats USA held its biennial convention. Because of the travel distances involved, the convention was held by “web-conference”. The convention was stimulating to say the least. Guests Herb Engstrom of the Santa Clara County Democratic Committee and Roger Clayman, Executive Director of the Long Island Federation of Labor, provided great insight into the SD past, and presented good reason for an SD future. We also celebrated the start of a new relationship with the USW. Fred Redmond, USW VP of Human Affairs and Chairman of the A. Philip Randolph Institute states loudly that workers are severely threatened today and we need help from all quarters. Please see a summary of the convention in the attached report.
2010 Convention Report
Last week, Harold Meyerson, writer for the Washington Post and DSA member, posted a link to Freedom House in his editorial about the importance of the Labor movement. At the Freedom House site you will find a survey of worker freedoms throughout the world. And in that report you will find that Cuba is rated “very repressive”. This will come as no surprise to anyone here at Social Democrats USA. But some members of DSA find attacks on Cuba’s human rights record as “not helpful”.
In a previous message I introduced an article about the agreement between the United Steel Workers and Mondragon Cooperative Corporation to work to together to support the development of worker owned companies and firms. I want to follow that article up with another more detailed article by Carl Davidson of Solidarity Economy which presents his own analysis of the United Steelworkers Union and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation agreement. The link to the article is
Some may wonder why I am so insistent on the importance of this subject. The answer is both ideological and existential. Economic democracy or cooperative socialism as I prefer to call it, lays at the very heart of socialism. And the Mondragon Corporation is by far the most developed example of economic democracy in the modern world or in human history as a whole for that matter. Socialism without an emphasis on a concrete economic democracy in which workers own and manage their own businesses and ultimately the economy themselves is hardly worthy of the name. A statist Socialism in which a small elite in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat or inspired by a Fabian dream of a planned centralized economy by economic experts or scientists suppossedly for the benefit of a passive working class is anathema. Such dreams will not work as the communist experiment in the Soviet Union proved nor are they worthy of the respect of those who believe in human freedom and autonomy. Enough for now. I suggest that you read the article.
My “God and Socialism” article has been one of the best read of the articles on my blogs. Unfortunately the initial article was not all that well written. About two months ago I re-edited, rewrote, and posted it on the “Social Democracy for the 21st Century” web site. Please click the links to read the revised version of God and Socialism within this blog at http://socialistcurrents.wordpress.com/page/2/. or at my own Cooperative Socialist Perspectives at http://ladyofjustice.wordpress.com/category/bible/