Needed: An Independent Labor Movement With Its Own Political Party
Originally published on 10/5/2019
by Labor Fightback Network
(The following has been excerpted from a statement written by now-departed Labor Fightback Network founder Jerry Gordon that was adopted in August 2016 by the Steering Committee of the LFN.)
As has long been the pattern of labor politics — with a growing number of dissenters among a number of unions and millions of rank-and-file workers — “lesser evil” is the controlling consideration in determining labor’s strategy.
But “lesser evil” is not working out. The Democratic Party is corporate-controlled and remains subservient to the big money rollers, not to the working class. Today that party stands exposed for the sham that it continues to perpetrate as the “party of the people.”
It is high time for labor to challenge the monopoly that Big Business exercises in the electoral arena.
To be sure, this requires the spearheading of a coalition with its community allies. Labor could be a magnetic force in helping to unite tens of millions in support of a program that reflects the needs of workers, communities of color, youth, environmentalists, and other progressive forces.
For the above reasons, the Labor Fightback Network urges the formation of independent labor-community coalitions in cities and states around the country based on a program collectively decided. Such coalitions, functioning democratically, could serve as building blocks for a national party, which is indispensable, and in the meanwhile run its own candidates to challenge the status quo. The alternative is despair, dissolution, and irrelevance.
Labor’s failure to seize this rare moment will mean a continuation of the old politics which has led to a deepening of multiple crises: unending imperialist wars, as in Afghanistan; the escalation of gunning down unarmed people of color on our streets by cops out of control; social programs under attack by both parties; massive unemployment and under-employment; mass incarceration; runaway military spending; tens of millions without healthcare and millions more severely under-insured; the further poisoning of our environment; 50 million people living in poverty while 2/3 of all corporations pay no income taxes; upending assaults on abortion rights; climate change and more fracking.