The Leftist theory, politics, and activism discussion Thread

Where on the left spectrum do you fall?

  • Anarcho-Communist

  • Democratic socialist

  • Liberal

  • Centre-Left/Social Democrat

  • Anarchist

  • Anarcho-Syndicalist

  • Marxist

  • Maoist

  • Leninist

  • Other


Results are only viewable after voting.

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
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Rudolf Hilferding and the Austrian School of Anti-Capitalism
BYJOHN E. KING
The Austrian Marxist Rudolf Hilferding (1877–1941) produced an important and influential analysis of capitalism, and he played an active role in Austrian and German politics before falling victim to Nazism. He still has a lot to teach us about the way modern capitalism works.


Rudolf and Margarete Hilferding. (Wikimedia Commons)

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Austria has long been synonymous with free-market economics. Economists like Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, whose ideas were forged in Central Europe during the early twentieth century, have become talismanic figures for latter-day proponents of untrammelled capitalism. The term “Austrian School” now encompasses a whole set of free-market ideologues, many of whom have no connection to the country itself.
Yet Austria was also the home of an alternative tradition of economic thought whose exponents locked horns with celebrated “Austrians” like von Mises and Hayek. One of its luminaries was the Marxist thinker Rudolf Hilferding, who combined his intellectual work with a leadership role in the Social Democratic movements of Austria and Germany. Hilferding also served as Germany’s Finance Minister during the Weimar Republic, but ultimately fell victim to Nazism in 1941.

His thought contains many valuable insights into the way the modern capitalist system works. Men like Hilferding, who formed an alternative “Austrian School” in their own time, can offer as much to the economics of socialism as their fellow Austrians did to the economics of capitalism.

 

kf3

Jul 17, 2012
7,165
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Rudolf Hilferding and the Austrian School of Anti-Capitalism
BYJOHN E. KING
The Austrian Marxist Rudolf Hilferding (1877–1941) produced an important and influential analysis of capitalism, and he played an active role in Austrian and German politics before falling victim to Nazism. He still has a lot to teach us about the way modern capitalism works.


Rudolf and Margarete Hilferding. (Wikimedia Commons)

Our new issue – looking at what the Bernie campaigns accomplished and the work left to do – is out this week. Get a discounted print subscription today!

Austria has long been synonymous with free-market economics. Economists like Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, whose ideas were forged in Central Europe during the early twentieth century, have become talismanic figures for latter-day proponents of untrammelled capitalism. The term “Austrian School” now encompasses a whole set of free-market ideologues, many of whom have no connection to the country itself.
Yet Austria was also the home of an alternative tradition of economic thought whose exponents locked horns with celebrated “Austrians” like von Mises and Hayek. One of its luminaries was the Marxist thinker Rudolf Hilferding, who combined his intellectual work with a leadership role in the Social Democratic movements of Austria and Germany. Hilferding also served as Germany’s Finance Minister during the Weimar Republic, but ultimately fell victim to Nazism in 1941.

His thought contains many valuable insights into the way the modern capitalist system works. Men like Hilferding, who formed an alternative “Austrian School” in their own time, can offer as much to the economics of socialism as their fellow Austrians did to the economics of capitalism.

i've learned a bit about both of the schools mentioned.

obviously 80 years is fucking ages ago and basically irrelevant today, but i found both to be essentially honest and ahead of their respective packs in terms of logic for the time.
 
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SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
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85 years ago today.....

and trumps promised to permanently defund it as much as he can by making payroll tax cuts permanent

oddly enough our resident boomer trumpists have remained 100% silent on that little nugget

I mean,they were silent on the fact he cut funding in the budget too..............

after promising up and down to never cut it...........................and telling his supporters it was the DEMS who were trying to cut it


I hope @Joe E has that Wal Mart greeter job thing lined up..........................


 
Aug 2, 2013
11,912
6,300
and trumps promised to permanently defund it as much as he can by making payroll tax cuts permanent

oddly enough our resident boomer trumpists have remained 100% silent on that little nugget

I mean,they were silent on the fact he cut funding in the budget too..............

after promising up and down to never cut it...........................and telling his supporters it was the DEMS who were trying to cut it
Yep, he ran as a right leaning populist that wasn't going to cut social security and now he's going to try to drain the funding which is even worse than any average republican proposal to cut it. He ran as a right leaning populist against corruption last time and now he's running as a right wing authoritarian wannabe 3rd world dictator.

Trump is easier to beat this time than last time and last time he wasn't that hard to beat either, it's just that he had the luxury of running against Hillary Clinton.
 
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Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
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Socialists Fought For and Won Our Basic Democratic Rights

BYADAM J SACKS
The myth of our democratic rights is that they were handed down to us from on high by liberals. But the ruling class resisted extending the franchise at every turn — and socialists were the ones who fought them for the right to vote.


Detail from Kenneth Budd, Chartist Mural, 1978.

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Since the advent of the modern state, ruling classes have tried to restrain the voting power of workers and those not “wellborn.” Contrary to the mainstream story that capitalism naturally gave rise to democracy, establishment powers in nineteenth-century Europe restricted the vote for as long as they possibly could. Only when faced with mass mobilization — or when continent-wide war wiped out working-class males en masse — was it clear that the franchise could no longer be withheld.
The particulars of individual European countries varied. In some nations, following intense struggles, workers won limited forms of universal male suffrage before World War I. More commonly, broad suffrage rights appeared only after the war.
But what was consistent were the actors pushing for universal suffrage: trade unions and, crucially, socialist parties. In fact, what has been called the “democratic breakthrough” of the nineteenth century could easily be called the “socialist breakthrough.”
Belgium
On August 10, 1890, seventy-five thousand men and women took to the streets of Brussels to demonstrate for universal suffrage. Like all other putatively democratic nations of the time, Belgium limited the right to vote to male property owners. Workers were entirely shut out of the country’s political life. Over the next twenty-five years, that would change — but not until a series of general strikes convulsed the country and World War I ripped the country to shreds.
In 1890, the year of the first general strike, ruling elites worried that conferring the vote on the working class would give the ascendant socialist movement a batting ram to bludgeon their autocratic citadel. Though founded just five years earlier, the Parti Ouvrier — like its sister parties in the Second International — was steadily growing, fusing workers together into a powerful, coherent political bloc. Party leaders hoped they could pursue a patient reformist course, winning trade union and suffrage rights without resorting to a revolutionary strategy of mass strikes.

But the stubbornness of reality — the powers that be resolutely blocked pro-worker measures in parliament — and the militancy of workers forced the party’s leaders to concede that more radical action was necessary.
In 1893, following up on the mass action three years earlier, the Council of Workers declared a general strike. Mass demonstrations broke out in multiple cities, miners cut telegraph and telephone lines, and soldiers chased party leaders through the streets with bayonets drawn. Women chucked rocks and broken pottery at the police behind barricades built by miners.
The militant action worked. Property restrictions were abolished. The leaders of the Parti Ouvrier, including a marble worker named Louis Bertrand who helped found the party, were invited into parliament.
But progress would not occur in a straight line. The elections the next year sent shock waves through Europe when dozens of socialist deputies were elected to parliament rather than the expected handful. The party immediately went to work, drafting laws to support unions and set up disability insurance and pensions. Ruling elites, realizing their mistake, pushed through a system of “plural voting” that gave additional weight to citizens living in strongholds of the conservative Catholic Party.
So workers — often over the objections of party leaders — kept up the pressure. When the government tried to deepen inequalities in voting rights, the socialist movement again declared a strike in 1902. This time over three hundred thousand flooded the streets.
The thrust and parry continued in the subsequent years. Catholic parties, still aided by plural voting, strengthened their majority in 1912 and attacked full universal suffrage in the legislature the following year. Socialist leaders, trying to balance the competing politics of rural miners and urban social-democratic politicians, still held out hope parliament would enact universal suffrage.
Instead, 1913 brought another general strike — the largest in Western European history. Strike funds were set up via a system of coupons, and co-ops and childcare were organized. Le Peuple, a socialist daily, published recipes for soupes communistes to cook in the communal kitchens. Art exhibitions, museum visits, and country hikes drew working-class families together, offering not just respite but cultural nourishment.
The strike didn’t achieve its aim of full and equal universal suffrage. It was only after World War I, in 1919, that plural voting finally fell, and women wouldn’t receive the right to vote until 1948.
Yet those early battles for the franchise had an enormous impact on the consciousness of other socialists around the continent — the Parti Ouvrier, Rosa Luxemburg said, had inspired the entire Second International to “speak Belgian.”
The Russian Empire
During Belgium’s 1902 general strike, the city of Louvain was the site of a frightful massacre: twelve workers eventually died after state officers opened fire. Further east, another government-led mass murder triggered a seminal general strike — the 1905 Russian Revolution.
While in late 1904 liberals and progressives had successfully pressed for workers’ insurance, the abolition of censorship, and expanded local representative government, the Russian Empire still lacked a federal parliament. In January 1905, strikes erupted in multiple cities, culminating in a peaceful march in St Petersburg of men, women, and children, singing hymns and brandishing a petition demanding an elected parliament. Troops fired on the marchers before they could reach the Winter Palace, killing upward of one thousand.
Theatrical performances were spontaneously interrupted, and thousands of students and professionals struck in solidarity with the workers. The merchants club, hardly a redoubt of radicalism, barred its doors to guards for their involvement in the massacre.
Within a couple weeks, half of the European Russian workers and 93 percent of all workers in Russian-occupied Poland were out on strike. In Łódź, strikers held the provincial governor hostage in a hotel. Throughout the entire empire, the rail network ground to a halt.
Revolution was in the air. The next few months would witness the country’s first open celebration of May Day and the legendary Potemkin Mutiny off the shores of Odessa, later immortalized by filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. And by the end of October, the tsar had reluctantly signed the manifesto that established the Duma — and extended the franchise toward universal male suffrage.
Elsewhere in the Russian Empire, radical actions for the vote had even more far-reaching consequences. A general strike in Finland in 1905 led not only to the adoption of universal male suffrage and a unicameral parliamentary system, but also the granting of women the right to vote and to stand for elections — the first country in Europe to do so. Over the coming decade, the country’s workers would use these expanded rights — before the strike, only 8 percent of the population could vote — to press for increasingly revolutionary reforms.
Sweden
Among American liberals, it’s popular to imagine Sweden as a social-democratic utopia, a nation where enlightened values have won out over rank selfishness. But the history of the Swedish workers’ movement is a testament to the tenaciousness of the country’s ruling class — including its dogged resistance to voting rights.
The political expression of the labor movement, the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP), formed in 1889 amid a broader surge in worker organizing. As elsewhere, those without property lacked basic political rights. The Swedish socialist movement’s goal was to first win political democracy.
In 1902, a two-day general strike for universal suffrage served as a warning shot at the stridently right-wing government. Called by the political parties and never intended to last longer than a couple days, the strike made a strong impression on the government due to its impressive level of mass support. Still, the strike lacked the crucial participation of the trade unions.

This would come in part with the 1909 general strike, which lasted a month and convened almost half a million workers. The initial aim was to combat worker lockouts and wage freezes. But as chairman of the transport workers, Charles Lindley, recalled, “In that time there was an almost unlimited faith in the general strike as the decisive means to get universal suffrage.” The economically inspired strike increasingly reflected workers’ democratic political aspirations.
The strike shut down all core export industries in the country, and workers attempted to spread it further. Employers responded with a standard tactic: importing strikebreakers. In one case, three unemployed Swedish workers independently organized to bomb a ship that housed strikebreakers coming from Great Britain.
As days turned into weeks, however, strike leaders were forced to retreat, faced with meager strike funds and the prospect of having to divert relief from other workers in an economic recession. Liberals began to turn on the strikers when typographers joined, seeing their participation as an attack on “freedom of speech.” Workers’ families struggled mightily with the mounting deprivation. The Swedish Employer’s Association was therefore in a position by the end to dictate terms — and they did.
But while the strike was in many ways a setback, it is universally recognized today as laying the groundwork for the democratization of Swedish society. Later that year all men in the country, regardless of their property holdings, gained the right to vote in at least one chamber of federal government. Full political democracy, while distant, was now on the horizon.
Germany
Almost two-thirds of late-nineteenth Germany lay within the Kingdom of Prussia, which had enforced the unification of the German states in 1871. Despite the passage that year of the general, equal, and secret right to vote for all males over age twenty-five, Prussia maintained a system from 1849 that divided voters into three classes based on their tax bracket.
The obviously unequal arrangement — early socialist leader Wilhelm Liebknecht referred to the Reichstag as the “fig leaf of absolutism” — created a situation where 4 percent of the first class held as many voters as the third class, who made up 82 percent of the eligible voting population. And there was another antidemocratic check on workers’ power: the upper chamber, the Reichsrat, could block any constitutional changes passed by the directly elected representatives of the Reichstag. The Second Reich, Marx declared, was a “police-guarded military despotism, embellished with parliamentary forms.”
Somehow, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) flourished in spite of these adverse conditions. It was the largest socialist party on the continent, the Second International party par excellence. The SPD’s Erfurt Program, ratified in 1891, declared: “The struggle of the working class against capitalistic exploitation is of necessity a political struggle. The working class cannot carry out its economic struggle and cannot develop its economic organisation without political rights.” At the top of the party’s demands: “Universal, equal, and direct voting rights via secret vote for all citizens over twenty years of age, regardless of sex.”
The country’s elites were not amused. Following the development of a countrywide strike movement, employers insisted that the kaiser both rescind the vote from all those affiliated with Social Democracy and legally limit strikes. The kaiser, showing no aversion to despotic rhetoric himself, told a group of new military recruits in Potsdam in November 1891:
The current socialist machinations could result that I order you to shoot down your own relatives, brothers, even parents . . . but even then you must follow my orders without any grumbling.
The SPD patiently agitated and organized to become the largest party in the Prussian parliament by 1908. They led repeated mass demonstrations for full suffrage, which were inexorably met with brutal repression.
On the eve of World War I, suffrage rights were still the province of the elite. But for their efforts, the SPD was rightfully recognized as the most consistently democratic force in prewar Germany.
Great Britain

 
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Bachafach^^^

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Socialist WorkerChile 1970—why the hope was broken
50 years ago Salvador Allende was elected Chile’s president. A US-backed coup overthrew him three years later. But, writes Sophie Squire, there were deeper problems than the US and the military that helped turn hope into horror

Workers in Chile formed their own democratic bodies the “Cordones”
Workers in Chile formed their own democratic bodies the “Cordones”
Fifty years ago this month socialist Salvador Allende won the Chilean presidential election amid a wave of workers’ struggle.
But within three years a US-backed coup brought to power General Augusto Pinochet, who drowned those hopes in blood.
The story of Allende’s overthrow is a reminder of how imperialism and capital will oppose attempts to fundamentally challenge their interests. It’s also an important lesson in how the failure to break the power of the bosses and their state spells disaster for those who want to change society.

Chile’s presidential election in September 1970 pitted socialist Allende against right wing banker Jorge Alessandri. The other candidate, Radomiro Tomic of the ruling Christian Democrats, promised small reforms to appease workers and peasants’ demands for change.
Allende stood for Popular Unity (PU), an alliance of his Socialist Party, the Communist Party and smaller left wing parties.

Radical
The PU’s programme promised a radical break with the past. It said the banks and corporations would be “expropriated”—taken into public ownership without a penny of compensation for the bosses. So too would the large landowning estates.
The Christian Democrats had been in office for six years before 1970.
In 1964 president Eduardo Nicanor Frei Montalva had promised a “revolution in liberty”. Hoping to develop Chilean capitalism, he promised land reforms and other changes to lift people out of poverty—and to end economic reliance on the US.
But even such moderate policies proved too much for the rich. The National Party and the landowners’ SNA lobbying group—which would back Jorge Alessandri—organised to stop them.
And for all of Montalva’s rhetoric, very little changed for ordinary people. Unemployment remained high, the economy stagnated, and Chile depended on US money to survive.
So the working class and the poor took matters into their own hands with a wave of strikes and land seizures. By 1970 there were 5,295 strikes that involved hundreds of thousands of workers.
It was in this context of this radicalisation that workers looked to Allende to bring change.
So the working class and the poor took matters into their own hands with a wave of strikes and land seizures. By 1970 there were 5,295 strikes that involved hundreds of thousands of workers
Allende came first with 37 percent of the vote, Alessandri a close second with 35 percent. To reflect the growing anger against the government, the Christian Democrats had chosen “left candidate” Tomic who got 28 percent.
Because Allende didn’t win outright, Chilean MPs had to confirm his election in a parliamentary vote.

So a compromise was made. To become president, Allende needed the Christian Democrats’ votes and signed the “Statute of Guarantees”. He agreed that a PU government would not interfere with any institution of state power, including the army and the church. This decision would ultimately prove fatal. Allende would take office, but the arms of the state that wanted to stop his radical reforms could continue to do as they pleased.
Allende’s government made good on some of its promises. Ninety factories were nationalised and over 1,000 estates were broken up. Unemployment fell.
And manual workers received a 38 percent wage increase and white collar workers received a 120 percent rise.
The US worked to undermine Allende from the beginning. Subsequently released documents from CIA spooks said, “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup.”
Four US-backed coups in Latin America—and two close shaves
Four US-backed coups in Latin America—and two close shaves
Read More

Security chief Henry Kissinger said, “I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible.”

But Allende’s problems went deeper than the US and military. A crucial issue was Allende’s “reformism”, the idea that socialism can be brought about by using parliament and the state.
The trouble is, as Allende found out, the state is not neutral. It’s a capitalist state and its different elements—the generals, the police, the spies, the unelected bureaucracies—worked to overthrow him.
So while Allende had some support in parliament, real power in capitalism lies outside with the military and the bosses—and the state that would fight for their interests.

But there is a force that can break that power. Because capitalists depend on workers’ to make profits, those workers have the power to shut down the system.
 
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Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
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Burn the Constitution
BYSETH ACKERMAN
The pitfalls of constitutionalism.


Library of Congress officials transferring page three of the US Constitution in 1921. Library of Congress

Our new issue, “After Bernie,” is out now. Our questions are simple: what did Bernie accomplish, why did he fail, what is his legacy, and how should we continue the struggle for democratic socialism? Get a discounted print subscription today!

The worldwide revolutionary turmoil of the years just after World War I witnessed the single biggest leap in labor’s long forward march.
At least, it did in most places.
But while general strikes were panicking European elites into making sweeping concessions to their working classes, here in America the Wilson Administration was swiftly re-privatizing the economy and dismantling the progressive wartime labor codes — prompting Felix Frankfurter to render a despairing judgment: the United States, he wrote, appeared to be “the most reactionary country in the world.” When the unimpeded rule of the plutocrats was confirmed by Calvin Coolidge’s election six years later, William Howard Taft concluded with satisfaction that Frankfurter had been right: “This country is no country for radicalism. I think it is really the most conservative country in the world.”
But why was that so? There were many theories. The patrician editors of the New York Times had given this matter some thought, and on Constitution Day, 1921, they provided one plausible explanation: “If it is true, as there is much evidence to prove, that Americans are showing themselves the most conservative nation in a turbulent world, the largest cause of it lies in our Federal Constitution.” The Constitution, the editors explained, “makes the American people secure in their individual rights as citizens when these are imperiled by passing gusts of sentiment.”
These dubious “gusts of sentiment,” in the lingo of American constitution-speak, are precisely what other societies call “the democratic will.” It stands to reason that a document drafted by a coterie of gilded gentry, openly contemptuous of “democracy” and panicked by what they saw as the mob rule of the 1780s, would seek to constrict popular sovereignty to the point of strangulation.

Thus, brilliantly and subtly, the system they built rendered it virtually impossible for the electorate to obtain a concerted change in national policy by a collective act of political will. The Senate is an undemocratic monstrosity in which 84 percent of the population can be outvoted by the 16 percent living in the smallest states. The passage of legislation requires the simultaneous assent of three separate entities — the presidency, House, and Senate — that voters are purposely denied the opportunity to choose at one time, with two-thirds of the Senate membership left in place after each election. The illogical electoral college gears the whole combat of presidential elections around a few, almost randomly determined, swing states that happen to contain evenly balanced numbers of Democrats and Republicans. And the entire system is frozen in amber by an amendment process of almost comical complexity. Whereas France can change its constitution anytime with a three-fifths vote of its Congress and Britain could recently mandate a referendum on instant runoff voting by a simple parliamentary majority, an amendment to the US Constitution requires the consent of no less than thirty-nine different legislatures comprising roughly seventy-eight separately elected chambers.
It stands to reason that a document drafted by a coterie of gilded gentry, openly contemptuous of democracy and panicked by what they saw as the mob rule of the 1780s, would seek to constrict popular sovereignty to the point of strangulation.
There was a brief moment in US history when these truths were acknowledged by the Left. During the Progressive Era, the Socialist Party branded the Constitution a menace to democratic government and a number of progressive intellectuals, including Charles A. Beard, Vernon L. Parrington, Carl Becker, and J. Allen Smith, lucidly recognized the document’s reactionary constraints and sometimes called for their overthrow.
Beard established a Committee on the Federal Constitution which advocated subordinating the Constitution to popular control, declaring that “the people of the United States have not control over their fundamental law at the present time, save in a minor degree. The consequence is, our institutions do not reflect the popular will, but in reality other forces over which we have only a measure of control.” The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments, authorizing a federal income tax and direct election of senators, were the most enduring (if inadequate) fruits of this period of ferment.
But unfortunately it was the counterattack that proved far more lasting.
During the 1920s and 1930s, as historian Michael Kammen has demonstrated, constitutionalism “assumed a more central role in American culture than it ever had before,” thanks in large part to “the efflorescence of intensely partisan organizations that promoted patriotic constitutionalism as an antidote to two dreaded nemeses, governmental centralization and socialism.” The National Association for Constitutional Government, the American Legion, the Constitutional League, the National Security League, the Sentinels of the Republic, all came together to “pledge themselves to guard the Constitution and wage war on socialism.” A national Constitution Day was instituted. Local school boards were pressed to further glorify the sacred parchment.
All of this, I would argue, amounted to America’s version of the anti-democratic nationalist populism that was spreading in Europe in the same years. Today’s Tea Party, with its mania for constitutionalism, is the direct heir to this venerable conservative tradition that embraces the Founding Fathers’ masterwork as a bulwark against democratic adventurism — hence the Congressional Republicans’ ritual Constitution-reading, and their new rule requiring that specific constitutional authority be cited for each bill. Like Action Française or the anti-republican peasant leagues of Weimar Germany, the Tea Party’s patriotic constitutionalism originated in the 1920s as a conservative reaction against the working class movements that had surged forward to remake the state into the democratic instrument of popular aspirations.
It’s easy to make fun of the Right’s bizarro Constitution fetish, especially in its current Glenn Beck-ified form. Beck’s late guru, the Bircher and Mormon extremist W. Cleon Skousen, is now the main source of the Tea Partiers’ constitutional wisdom; his books, once out of print and gathering dust, have become posthumous bestsellers and required reading at Tea Party training courses.
A true fanatic and weirdo, Skousen believed the Founding Fathers were inspired by the example of the ancient Anglo-Saxons, who in turn were inspired by the Biblical Israelites. All adhered to the divinely sanctioned principles of limited government, a system under which America made more progress in its first century than the world had made in the previous 5,000 years (hence the title of Skousen’s magnum opus, The Five Thousand Year Leap). But it all started falling apart at the start of the twentieth century, when progressives and socialists attacked the Constitution and Woodrow Wilson embraced their Satanic cause, taking the first fateful steps on the road to the serfdom we know today: minimum wages, a Federal Reserve, national parks, Medicare — all, Skousen insists, are unconstitutional.


 

Bachafach^^^

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Today Belongs to Workers
BYTIM GOULET
Labor Day was born from the most radical struggles of the nineteenth century. Celebrate it.


Our new issue, “After Bernie,” is out now. Our questions are simple: what did Bernie accomplish, why did he fail, what is his legacy, and how should we continue the struggle for democratic socialism? Get a discounted print subscription today!

For most Americans, Labor Day marks a change in the seasons: summer has ended, football is about to begin, and millions of students return to school. Celebrations consist of taking advantage of deep discounts on patio furniture and mattresses.

Not that there’s much political enthusiasm for Labor Day on the Left, either.
Many depict it as a tokenistic “gift” from capitalist politicians who wanted a sanitized May Day, that could capture militancy and disperse it into “responsible” channels. This narrative calls Labor Day a “bosses’ holiday” that marks the working class’s historic defeat.

This not only misrepresents the day’s history, but also forces us to choose one holiday over the other, as if there were not enough room on the calendar for two days that celebrate workers.
May Day undoubtedly belongs to us: it symbolizes internationalism and solidarity. But Labor Day also has roots in our radical tradition. The militant struggles of the 1880s produced both holidays, and Labor Day’s proponents also fought for the eight-hour day.

However, as the labor movement evolved — fracturing across different social layers and political tendencies — the holidays took on different meanings. Labor Day now stands for the working class’s capture by conservative politicians, while May Day became synonymous with revolutionary action.

But those who see Labor Day as a sop to “buy off” workers gloss over the holiday’s positive effects and the struggles of those who fought for it. The workers’ movement and the socialists so integral to its early days created Labor Day. It did not begin as a national holiday, but as self-activity in the streets.

Working Revolution
The end of the nineteenth century was shattered by economic volatility and recurrent crises. The years following the Civil War saw a massive investment in Northern industry. Capital restructuring gave rise to factory production and monopolies.
New production techniques radically reshaped relations on the shop floor. Craft workers simultaneously enjoyed greater power and suffered from increasing levels of exploitation. Mechanization had begun in earnest, and skilled work was being replaced with a simplified division of labor. In this context, the working class was drawn to fledgling social-democratic movement.

Mass immigration injected a constant stream of labor power into the job market. These immigrants — hundreds of thousands a year — formed ethnic enclaves, established their own labor organizations, and contributed to a constantly changing working-class culture. Many brought social-democratic politics with them; others gravitated toward it thanks to the miserable conditions in American factories and cities.
Other struggles found hope in labor’s militancy. The collapse of Reconstruction took back many of black Americans’ social, political, and economic gains and allowed new forms of institutional racism to develop. The fight for women’s suffrage — spurred by emancipation — was temporarily defeated. This all translated into struggle, and the last decades of the nineteenth century erupted into strikes, riots, and mass protest.

The Eight-Hour Holiday
Most historical depictions of Labor Day begin when Grover Cleveland sanctioned a federal holiday in 1894; hence the claim that Labor Day has “conservative roots.”
In reality, however, Labor Day started twelve years earlier — even before the 1886 Haymarket events that inspired May Day — with a mass rally in New York. On September 5, 1882, socialists, the Knights of Labor, and various left organizations associated with the Central Labor Union (CLU) organized a march calling for shorter hours, higher pay, safer working conditions — and a labor holiday. That year, New York had been the scene of spirited labor struggles. On January 30, thousands of workers thronged Cooper Union to support Irish tenants protesting their British landlords.

Notable labor agitators gave speeches, but two names on the roster loom largest: Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, and eventual co-founder of the AFL; and Mathew Maguire, International Association of Machinists member and leader of the CLU. Both belonged to the same branch of the Socialist Labor Party (SLP), which was created in 1877, as the successor to the Social Democratic Workingmen’s Party.

 
Jul 29, 2012
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Today Belongs to Workers
BYTIM GOULET
Labor Day was born from the most radical struggles of the nineteenth century. Celebrate it.


Our new issue, “After Bernie,” is out now. Our questions are simple: what did Bernie accomplish, why did he fail, what is his legacy, and how should we continue the struggle for democratic socialism? Get a discounted print subscription today!

For most Americans, Labor Day marks a change in the seasons: summer has ended, football is about to begin, and millions of students return to school. Celebrations consist of taking advantage of deep discounts on patio furniture and mattresses.

Not that there’s much political enthusiasm for Labor Day on the Left, either.
Many depict it as a tokenistic “gift” from capitalist politicians who wanted a sanitized May Day, that could capture militancy and disperse it into “responsible” channels. This narrative calls Labor Day a “bosses’ holiday” that marks the working class’s historic defeat.

This not only misrepresents the day’s history, but also forces us to choose one holiday over the other, as if there were not enough room on the calendar for two days that celebrate workers.
May Day undoubtedly belongs to us: it symbolizes internationalism and solidarity. But Labor Day also has roots in our radical tradition. The militant struggles of the 1880s produced both holidays, and Labor Day’s proponents also fought for the eight-hour day.

However, as the labor movement evolved — fracturing across different social layers and political tendencies — the holidays took on different meanings. Labor Day now stands for the working class’s capture by conservative politicians, while May Day became synonymous with revolutionary action.

But those who see Labor Day as a sop to “buy off” workers gloss over the holiday’s positive effects and the struggles of those who fought for it. The workers’ movement and the socialists so integral to its early days created Labor Day. It did not begin as a national holiday, but as self-activity in the streets.

Working Revolution
The end of the nineteenth century was shattered by economic volatility and recurrent crises. The years following the Civil War saw a massive investment in Northern industry. Capital restructuring gave rise to factory production and monopolies.
New production techniques radically reshaped relations on the shop floor. Craft workers simultaneously enjoyed greater power and suffered from increasing levels of exploitation. Mechanization had begun in earnest, and skilled work was being replaced with a simplified division of labor. In this context, the working class was drawn to fledgling social-democratic movement.

Mass immigration injected a constant stream of labor power into the job market. These immigrants — hundreds of thousands a year — formed ethnic enclaves, established their own labor organizations, and contributed to a constantly changing working-class culture. Many brought social-democratic politics with them; others gravitated toward it thanks to the miserable conditions in American factories and cities.
Other struggles found hope in labor’s militancy. The collapse of Reconstruction took back many of black Americans’ social, political, and economic gains and allowed new forms of institutional racism to develop. The fight for women’s suffrage — spurred by emancipation — was temporarily defeated. This all translated into struggle, and the last decades of the nineteenth century erupted into strikes, riots, and mass protest.

The Eight-Hour Holiday
Most historical depictions of Labor Day begin when Grover Cleveland sanctioned a federal holiday in 1894; hence the claim that Labor Day has “conservative roots.”
In reality, however, Labor Day started twelve years earlier — even before the 1886 Haymarket events that inspired May Day — with a mass rally in New York. On September 5, 1882, socialists, the Knights of Labor, and various left organizations associated with the Central Labor Union (CLU) organized a march calling for shorter hours, higher pay, safer working conditions — and a labor holiday. That year, New York had been the scene of spirited labor struggles. On January 30, thousands of workers thronged Cooper Union to support Irish tenants protesting their British landlords.

Notable labor agitators gave speeches, but two names on the roster loom largest: Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, and eventual co-founder of the AFL; and Mathew Maguire, International Association of Machinists member and leader of the CLU. Both belonged to the same branch of the Socialist Labor Party (SLP), which was created in 1877, as the successor to the Social Democratic Workingmen’s Party.

We get the day off. Why don't you do likewise with this shit :lol: go celebrate Lebron having an OK game in a win
 

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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We get the day off. Why don't you do likewise with this shit :lol: go celebrate Lebron having an OK game in a win
1. Ok game? The first 4 minutes of the 4th quarter on both ends were phenomenal and may have changed the complexion of the series. 35 years old and still hitting his head on the rim.

2. I enjoy everyday that's a break from the monotony of wage slavery