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At Salon Chris Maisano of Jacobin briefly reviewed the terrible decline of labor unions across the globe. He then concluded with a shift of focus:

The external challenges confronting unions today are massive, and their importance should not be minimized. But they shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid asking hard questions about labor’s inability (or perhaps unwillingness) to mobilize its most precious resource – its current members. If only 5% of U.S. unionists were turned into trained, disciplined activists with a class orientation and long-term strategic vision, there would still be about 750,000 of them.

How different would this country look if we had that?

His point: let’s use what we have with maximum leverage.

My point: the price of falling into the doldrums because “the revolution” isn’t happening and doesn’t look like it will, is huge.

The same holds for all of our democratic grassroots economic organizing projects (and social justice and green and civic engagement movements as well): build one-step at a time (because we can’t go any faster) and hawk-eye for opportunities to leverage our gains.

I discuss this part for movement building with EG Nadeau, author of the The Cooperative Solution.


Chris' piece is here .

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