Or, why is there still socialism in the United States?
Why, then, would we look for evidence of socialism only where a state seized by radicals of the Left inaugurates a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or, to lower the rhetorical volume and evidentiary stakes, why would we expect to find socialism only where avowed socialists or labor parties contend for state power? We should instead assume that socialism, like capitalism, is a cross-class cultural construction, to which even the bourgeoisie has already made significant contributions – just as the proletariat has long made significant contributions to the cross-class construction we know as capitalism. What follows?
Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
RadioLabour "presents 'The Solidarity Report', a half hour audiocast of international union news every Sunday morning." Main mover and presenter Marc Bélanger describes the journalistic and educational goals of the new service.
June 4, 2009 marks 20 years since Poland's first semi-free election under Communism. The election marked the beginning of the end for Polish Communism with its overwhelming mandate for the pro-democracy movement, Solidarity. Today, the world recognizes Poland's accomplishment.
The China Labour Bulletin reports on the state of the worker's movement in China and sees a potential role for the official All-China Federation of Trade Unions in the light of the new Labour Contract Law that came into effect January 1. CLB director Han Dongfang has previously been less than enthusiastic about the ACFTU's potential as a genuine voice for workers. Some businesses have already moved to preempt what protections the new law offers, and despite a decade of criticism, worker abuse persists in China.