Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sam Gindin discusses the future of labour organizing in the course of reviewing Jane McAlevey’s No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Guilded Age:
(W)e have been struggling with how to combine building the union with raising larger, more political questions. One modest element of this, especially but not only in the public sector, is to confront the apparent constraint of fiscal budgets on what is possible and run educationals for workers on how to read budgets technically and how to understand them politically.

But the larger point is that even the best and most community-rooted unions cannot change the world by themselves and so are confined to the limits of operating under capitalism. Unions can educate about elite and local power but focusing their education on capitalism as a system rarely occurs. They can create organic leaders but not necessarily lead them to the next step of becoming organic socialist leaders. They can support political parties but do not ask what role workers and unions might have in transforming capital states to socialist states. Such things — all vital to dealing with working-class power — can only be tackled within or alongside an institution with a broader and longer-term perspective: a coherent socialist tendency or party.
- Andrew Mitrovica laments the spread of right-wing populism over the past year. And Keman Dervis warns about the dangers of corporate short-term thinking, while Frank Clemente points out the futility of relying on corporate handouts as a basis for economic development.

- But on the brighter side, Harry Leslie Smith offers a hopeful perspective that collective decency will win out over anti-social impulses in the end.

- Peter Goffin reports on the urgent need to make mental health supports available to Canadians without a price tag. And Trevor Young sets out a few suggestions from doctors to improve our current health care system.

- Finally, Idealistic Pragmatist makes a welcome (if brief) return to highlight the need to take people's public contributions seriously regardless of whether they need to use a pseudonym in offering them.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:36 p.m.

    Hm - collective decency will win out in the end. Now that is unvarnished optimism of the highest order.
    I hope he is right. I suspect however that it will fall short enough that some kind of communal revolution my be needed to fuel change!
    Happy New Year Greg.
    Looking forward to your amalgamations / analysis in 2017

    Wascally Wabbit