Tag Archives: New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum Highlights: Sep. 20th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

Many of our readers and much of the country continue to scratch their heads about the rise of Trump and the sustenance his campaign counts on from white working-class voters. In this newsletter, we lead with a fascinating article by Jedediah Purdy, recently published in The New Republic, discussing two recent books that each take an intimate look at contemporary working-class conservative communities. We then offer an article by Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman that we published back in 2010, during the heyday of the Tea Party, that very usefully examines the history of populism in the U.S. – wavering as it has between a desire to create a new order and a yearning to return to an idealized old order — with a pronounced tendency during the last half-century toward old order conservatism. We end with a New Labor Forum film review by Jeremy Varon of three documentaries, including You’ve Been Trumped (directed by Anthony Baxter), a verité style account of Donald Trump’s effort, only recently realized, to build a luxury golf course and grand hotel on Scotland’s Aberdeenshire coast. As Trump enlists the Scottish national government and police to do battle against local residents, the review reminds us what a bizarre champion of the working-class Trump indeed is.

Contents:

  1. Red State Blues by Jedediah Purdy, The New Republic
  2. History’s Mad Hatters: The Strange Career of Tea Party Populism by Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman, New Labor Forum
  3. It’s Good to Be King: The Crisis Documentary and the American Dreamscapeby Jeremy Varon, New Labor Forum

Bernie Sanders, Labor, Ideology and the Future of American Politics

This article originally appeared at the New Labor Forum. Want to continue the conversation about the future of American politics? Join us at the Murphy Institute for “The Left Wing of the Possible,” to be held Friday, September 16th at 8:30am.

By Bob Master

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, contrary to all expectation, has become the most important left insurgency in the United States in nearly half a century.

A year ago, even his most optimistic supporters might have hoped that Sanders would enliven the presidential debates by challenging Hillary Clinton on issues of Wall Street power and big money corruption, and perhaps garner a quarter to a third of the primary vote. Instead, Sanders won primaries and caucuses in 23 states, and amassed over 12 million votes and nearly 43% of the pledged delegates. And all this while unapologetically and unabashedly proclaiming himself a “democratic socialist,” re-legitimizing a systemic critique of US capitalism for the first time since the one-two punch of Cold War reaction and neoliberal triumphalism froze the left out of mainstream American discourse two generations ago.

The power of Big Banks, job-killing trade deals, ending the corrosive influence of big money in elections, eliminating private insurance companies from the health care system, and the merits of a “political revolution” became staples of prime-time presidential debates. Once stunning poll numbers now seem commonplace: 43% of Iowa caucus goers, including roughly a third of Clinton supporters, describing themselves as “socialists”; a New York Times poll late last year which said that 56% of Democratic primary voters had a “positive view of socialism;” and Sanders’ overwhelming support among young voters, by margins as high as 84% in Iowa and New Hampshire, but even reaching the low 60s in states like South Carolina, where he was otherwise crushed. Indeed, Sanders’ remarkable popularity among “millennials” prompted John Della Volpe, the director of a long-running Harvard University poll of young people, to tell the Washington Post that Sanders is “not moving a party to the left. He’s moving…the largest generation in the history of America…to the left.”

Something significant is definitely going on. Continue reading Bernie Sanders, Labor, Ideology and the Future of American Politics

New Labor Forum Highlights: August 8th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

After Philadelphia and DNC 2016

After last week’s frenzy of activity in Philadelphia, we thought we’d bring you three thoughtful, post-convention reflections. New Labor Forum author Tom Gallagher and David Moberg, a senior editor for In These Times, draw lessons from Bernie Sanders’ improbable path to 13 million votes in the Primary season. And Mark Winston Griffith, a community organizer based in Central Brooklyn, tells us about his experience as a Bernie delegate at the Convention. In case you missed any of them, we’ve compiled speeches delivered by labor activists and labor leaders at the Democratic National Convention. Check out what Richard Trumka, Mary Kay Henry, Henrietta Ivey and others had to say at the podium.

We will now be taking a short break until Labor Day, when we’ll announce the September issue of New Labor Forum. Enjoy the rest of summer.

Contents:

  1. In for the Long Run by Tom Gallagher
  2. This Is What Progressives—Especially Labor—Can Learn From Bernie Sanders’ Campaign by David Moberg
  3. The DNC: Inside Looking Out by Mark Winston Griffith
  4. Watch Labor Leaders Speak at DNC

Photo by Lorie Shaull via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: July 25th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

Special Issue on the DNC & Philadelphia

The DNC has begun! New Labor Forum is pleased to offer our readers – and all those currently in Philadelphia or paying attention to events there – a collection of resources on the labor movement and related organizing taking place in the city of Brotherly Love. We’ve highlighted some of the events connected to the convention and collected a couple of resources for finding additional events as well.

We have quick updates on three worker struggles: the recent victory of baggage handlers at the Philadelphia Airport, the latest in the local cab drivers versus Uber saga, and an upcoming vote for academic staff of Pennsylvania State University.

We also wanted to draw your attention to a few grassroots organizations in Philadelphia that we find inspiring, and somehow unique: The Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Decarcerate PA, Media Mobilizing Project, and Philly Socialists. They won’t be generating headlines at the DNC – but are worth knowing about for anyone interested in what makes the city special.

We close out this #DNCinPhilly newsletter with a list of local twitter accounts to follow the action in real-time.

Contents:

  1. Events During the DNC in Philly This Week 
  2. Current Labor Actions in Philly Labor Struggles in Philly: Airports, Cab Drivers & University Professors
  3. Philadelphia Organizations You Should Know About 
  4. Best Local Twitter Accounts to Follow During the DNC 

Photo by Peter Miller via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

New Labor Forum Highlights: July 11th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

The 2016 election season has simmered with both an inchoate and occasionally crystal clear sense that there is something intrinsically wrong with the U.S. political economy. Despite macroeconomic indicators of post Great Recession recovery, the 99 percent remains strangled by low and flat-lined wages, increasingly precarious work, mountains of personal debt, and political disenfranchisement. The resulting anger and distress, of course, can sometimes lead to constructive possibilities.

This issue of Highlights considers the transformational potential of the present moment. We begin with a proposal for large-scale organizing aimed at asserting control over wealth and capital in the interest of poor and working-class people. In “Organizing in a Brave New World,” Stephen Lerner and Saqib Bhatti make an argument for bold campaigns that confront financialized capitalism head-on and address the racial disparities at its core.

We also take a look at a new report by Tom Liacas and Jason Mogus, “Behind Today’s Breakthrough Advocacy Campaigns.” It’s a clear and helpful guide to some of the newest and best organizing taking place today by groups that aren’t following the usual scripts, including Black Lives Matter and the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Last but not least, we include a fresh article from John Nichols about the ongoing struggle over the Democratic Party Platform. That struggle — which peaked this past weekend in Orlando — represents a fascinating window into the divide between movement activists and electoral campaigners.

Contents:

  1. Organizing in a Brave New World by Stephen Lerner and Saqib Bhatti
  2. Behind Today’s Breakthrough Advocacy Campaigns by Tom Liacas & Jason Mogus, Stanford Social Innovation Review
  3. Democrats Toughen Trade Stance—but Reject Formal Opposition to the TPP by John Nichols

Photo by Tony Website via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: June 27th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

With this newsletter, we offer commentary and labor news on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster musical, Hamilton. Haven’t seen it? Odds are most of you haven’t, but that won’t stop anyone from having an opinion of Miranda’s lyrical prowess and its ‘true’ political meaning. We’ll begin with a clip of Miranda performing Hamilton Mixtape at the White House back in 2009, when the show was still being written.

Donatella Galella and James McMaster both offer critiques that capture a central dilemma: while Hamilton exalts the working-class origins and anti-slavery sympathies of its central character, it also elides Hamilton’s anti-democratic views and Wall Street founding role and furthers the immigration myth of a lone hero overcoming all odds by his exceptionalism and hard work. It was recently announced that the cast of Hamilton will host a special show for the Clinton campaign, as part of a commitment to fighting Republican nominee Donald Trump. It’s ironic, since Trump could likely stand behind most of the political messages present in the musical. Since we thought it would be of particular interest to our subscribers, we’re also including an article from the New York Times by Michael Paulson about recent labor negotiations between the show’s producers and the cast over profit sharing.

Finally, we include a review by Sherry Linkon of two recent plays with working-class characters and conflict at their center: Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew Both plays depict‘tenuousness of solidarity, the persistence of divisions around race and class, and the injuries of economic insecurity’, and serve as a reminder that workers and their experiences matter.

Contents:

  1. Video: Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam
  2. Racializing the American Revolution Review of the Broadway Musical Hamilton/ Donatella Galella
  3. Why Hamilton is Not the Revolution You Think it is/ James McMaster
  4. ‘Hamilton’ Producers and Actors Reach Deal on Sharing Profits/ Michael Paulson, NYT
  5. Review of 2 plays: Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew/ Sherry Linkon

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via flickr (CC-BY-NC-SA)