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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.

lday5-mespeaking

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.

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My own advice is this: “Keep Asking!”

–Gene Lantz

I’m still on KNON radio 89.3FM in Dallas at 9 AM every Saturday. Podcasts are available from the “events” tab. If you want to know what I really think, see my personal web site

The doomsayers who have been counting Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic primary race all along are doing it again. The pundits are asking, “what’s next?”

Marchers for Bernie

Marchers for Bernie

What’s Next?

There’s no “next” until Senator Sanders concedes the primary race, and he’s not conceding. But even if he did, would he go the way of previous candidates, including President Obama, who said they would keep the movement alive, but didn’t? The answer is no.

Sanders has already started picking down-ballot races to boost, even as far down the ballot as some state legislators. Some of his supporters are already working on a movement called “Brand New Congress” to carry the momentum for progress forward whether it’s in the presidential race or anywhere else.

Is Bernie Pure Enough?

Of course, there are activists who never actually supported Bernie and still don’t. He wasn’t pure enough for them. For some people, if V.I. Lenin’s stuffed body doesn’t reanimate and walk out of the Kremlin to lead them, nobody is good enough.

Those people don’t see all of politics as processes. Nothing stays the same, everything is changing. The Bernie Sanders campaign has already, and still is, moving America and the world toward real change. It’s true that he’s a social democrat and by definition not a revolutionary. It’s true that his program of electoral reform and restraining Wall Street wouldn’t, by itself, result in permanent gains. The workers will never make permanent gains as long as the bosses are in power, and Senator Sanders has only said he wants to restrain them, not dis-empower them.

But he has started and amplified a wonderful trend in American politics!

Look What’s Already Been Accomplished!

Millions of Americans have realized that the two-party system, neither half of it, is really democratic. Millions have become conscious of the amazing power that big money exerts over the electoral system. Millions have begun seeking real solutions, and I don’t mean they were sitting in their easy chairs and daydreaming about it. Millions are in movement! Millions are experimenting. Millions are working together. That’s amazing accomplishment!

What’s Next?

This movement is going to continue. The youth of America, already smarter and more capable than the rest of us, are taking this movement forward. This isn’t a flash-in-the-pan new trick like the Occupy movement. This is millions of young people joining together to seek fundamental change. They don’t even need the older Americans. They don’t even need Bernie. If they needed to, they could just outlast us older people. But they don’t need to, and they won’t.

The movement identified today with the Bernie Sanders election campaign is going to go on far beyond electoral politics, and it’s going to win!

–Gene Lantz