By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (5/11/20)
One of the best new sources on the failing of the liberal elite and even many elected progressives will not be found on MSNBC or any of the big players in other perches in the mainstream corporate media. no, some of the best news and commentary is to be found on the Jimmy Dore Show, a daily independent, viewer-supported YouTube broadcast.
A self-described “Jagoff Comedian”, Dore has a brash — and at times, yes, profane — ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach to the news honed by 30 years of being a night club entertainer to “a bunch of drunks”. But don’t let that description lull you into thinking Dore is just another end-of-the-bar loudmouth. Yes, he can be loud, but he pays close attention to the news, has a deep understanding of political history, a bullshit exposing common sense and a kind of bombastic approach that also includes something you rarely see in the mainstream media — confessing when he doesn’t know something.
On the night of Bernie Sander’s abdication to the party bosses, Dore was in meltdown mode, throwing out one four-letter hand grenade after another. Clearly he felt Sander’s bending of the knee to the corrupt DNC and meek endorsement of Biden as both a historic and personal betrayal. When Tulsi Gabbard did the same you could almost see Dore crumpling up the Democratic Party and tossing it into the kitchen trash.
Putting aside his reaction to Gabbard, who I always knew was a fraud, Dore’s white hot reaction to Bernie was channeling the anger and confusion of many of us. Since that time, the show has been shifting a bit. Recently he had a great 90-minute interview with journalist and author Chris Hedges, which you can see here.
A day or two later (4/24/20) he interviewed labor organizer Jane McAlevey, who has written several books on labor union organizing. Her most recent book, “A Collective Bargain, Unions, Organizing, And The Fight For Democracy”, is primer on labor unions and a guide to effective labor organizing and community building.
To say the least, it is an inspiring interview. The following are some quotes and observations from the interview. A link to the full interview is below.
In The Face of Pandemic & Financial Ruin, Where To Next? –– “I think you are going to see a hell of a lot more strikes,” Alevey said. “When this pandemic calms down I think that you will see nurses, health care workers and nursing home workers burning tires in the streets in a serious way, because what they are asked — and what they are doing — is comparable to a fire fighter running into a burning building every day that they know is going to collapse on them, right? It’s complete insanity.”
She predicts that the initial call for such labor action will be for universal health care for all because the trauma of sickness and death we are heading to will be so fresh, and the cruelty of our disastrous for-profit health care will have been so completely exposed.
The 2020 election — “To me, it doesn’t matter who wins; like at this point the Supreme Court is taken; it’s gone! For the rest of my lifetime the Supreme Court is a done, right wing deal. The general federal judiciary is gone. The electoral system is on life support. I mean, it is hard to imagine we will have anything like a fair election in November. Let’s just agree, we are not going to have a fair election in November. So the role of strikes before and the role of strikes after [is going to be critical].
“No matter what, we’re gong to have to strike the crap out of the this country by 2022 because there is nothing left; they are taking every single thing away. And the electoral system is a mess. The Supreme Court’s a mess. So where are we going to go? We’re going to walk off the job. That is pretty much the option capitalism is leaving.”
But will people be wiling to walkout and picket their employer when millions have suddenly lost their job? Alevey believes so because there is a a “different calculus” for many workers now: without proper equipment, policies and support their jobs can kill them.
Who will lead us? — “There’s no heroes. The heroes are the ordinary people,” Alevey says bluntly. It is up to us. Expect no help from the political institutions. It’s a new world of direct action.
What to learn, quick — For Alevey it is pretty basic and in our faces: “The ruthlessness with which the corporate elite have revealed how absolute little they give a shit about ordinary workers in his crisis; I think unparalleled in my lifetime. We’ve known but know we have really seen it.”
Labor, consumers and communities — Historically, Alevey explains, labor unions had close ties to consumers and communities. They aligned with and had relationships of mutual support with faith communities. Rebuilding those bonds will be necessary because the corporations will — as has already been seen — bring in thugs to intimidate and break up union organizing.
The business of union busting — Alevey provides a good historical review of the history of union busting going back to 1937 when the old Sears and Roebuck hired psychologists at the University of Chicago to figure out how to identify, entrap and fire union sympathizers from their workforce. Amazon does the same thing with their “heat map” And of course, the biggest union buster is the United Sates government itself, which from passage of the Taft Hartley Act i 1947 undermined and eleminated many of hte reforms of the FDR Natinal Labor Relations Act.
Fired Amazon Employee Chris Smalls Continues Organizing More National Strikes!
Jimmy Dore Show (5/10/20)