ISO Event: Marxism, Unions, and the Lessons of the 1930s


When:
August 21, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
2018-08-21T19:00:00+00:00
2018-08-21T21:00:00+00:00
Where:
Common Good Cafe (Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle
WA
Contact:
Puget Sound Socialists (ISO)
ISO Event: Marxism, Unions, and the Lessons of the 1930s @ Common Good Cafe (Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church) | Seattle | WA | US

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/439608796544241/

After witnessing the wave of teacher strikes earlier this year, we’ll examine the relationship of socialist activists to the labor movement. At its peak, the U.S. labor movement was deeply connected with socialists and communists. Today, those radical labor traditions are largely absent and unions are fighting to continue to exist amidst an onslaught of attacks. Join us to discuss the history of socialists in the labor movement and how that informs our strategy today.

Recommended Readings:
* Sharon Smith, Subterranean Fire, Chapters 1, 3, and 4 (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1166-subterranean-fire-updated-edition)
* Sharon Smith, “Marxism, Unions and the Class Struggle” (http://isreview.org/issue/78/marxism-unions-and-class-struggle)

Recommended Audio/Video Resources:
* Lucy Hershel, “Marxism and the Trade Unions” (http://wearemany.org/a/2012/06/marxism-and-trade-union-struggle)
* Larry Bradshaw, “The Rank and File Strategy” (http://wearemany.org/a/2014/06/rank-and-file-strategy)

Study Questions:
1) Labor unions are reform organizations within capitalism. Why do socialists support them?
2) What is the “trade union bureaucracy” and what role does it play in US labor relations? Why do socialists organize the rank and file?
3) What were the achievements of the IWW? What are the problems with anarcho-syndicalism?
4) What were strengths and weaknesses of the Communist Party in the 1930s?
5) What role did the Democratic Party and Roosevelt play in the 1930s?
6) Why did 1934 mark a turning point in US labor history?
7) How did the Communist Party lead labor radicals backward?
8) How would a labor party have made a difference in the 1930s?

This meeting is part of our Summer Education Series. To see the rest of the series, visit http://pugetsoundsocialists.org/2018/07/18/summer-education-series-2018/.