What I do might be called whining or griping, but I call it asking. I go around telling people that we are in the middle of the biggest worker upsurge in American history, but that our effectiveness is limited by our chronic failure to come together. I ask people what we should do about it.
Nobody seems to know the whole answer but, during the past weekend, I received some good tips. The College of Complexes, a weekly “free speech” forum, let me speak on the history of labor upsurges compared to the present day. I said that American labor was stronger today than ever in history. I also said that significant improvement in our society would result if we manage to pull together. Eventually, they will post the whole evening on their Youtube channel: http://www.collegeofcomplexes.org/LectureLibrary2.html. They already have me several times from earlier appearances.
In the discussion, some of the best ideas came from the anti-worker section. One of them denounced socialism in general and me in particular, but he said that what we really need is total organization at the grass roots level, then a takeover of the corrupt American government. I applauded that as absolutely brilliant.
Another speaker was not pleased with anything I said, but he believed that American involvement in the Middle East was a “big crime.” He said that strong anti-trust legislation is needed. He said that the problem is that we are being ruled by an unscrupulous elite that dominates both major political parties. He added that energy companies could not be trusted and that the corporate news media has betrayed us. I couldn’t have said it better!
A couple of the speakers lauded President Trump and said that I should be supporting him. I agreed that I would be prone to vote for him if the delivered on his promise of $1 trillion on infrastructure improvements. I also said I’d promote him for the Nobel Peace Prize, as several right-wing Republicans are doing, if he brought all American troops back home.
On social media, I’ve been complaining that there were two separate MayDay picnics with, as far as I could tell, no effort to pull together. I also lamented that there were seven different public actions against the NRA convention in Dallas May 4-6. A rational voice responded that I’m probably over-reacting and that, sometimes, there are good reasons to avoid working with some groups and individuals.
I fall back on the best answer I’ve had since I started asking these questions on January 21, 2016. “Leadership will come out of the movement.” That was from my friend and radio guest, Kenneth Williams.
My own advice is this: “Keep Asking!”