Editor’s Note: Just to clarify: Steve-O’s position on unions does not represent Advance the Struggle’s official line. The process of developing programmatic approaches towards concrete realities of capitalism such as unions is something which is not cut and dry, and which needs to be continually clarified through struggle. We’re posting Steve-O’s reply to Hieronymous on here in order to clarify the terms of the debate and acknowledge the reciprocal process of learning we’re all involved in here. No fixed dogmas here – rather, we’re seeking to interrogate our positions and learning from debate is a crucial part of this process.
Steve-O’s reply -
“All of us agree that it’s great that the rank-and-file longshore militants have done solidarity actions with Salvadorians, South Africans, Liverpool longshore workers, Palestinians, and in the struggle around Oscar Grant. So is the lack of solidarity with troqueros, workers they interact with on a daily basis, based on a lack of class consciousness? If so, how can they be internationalists and anti-imperialists, but not be in class solidarity with a workforce comprised mostly of Spanish-speakers, but also with many Chinese, Filipinos and even a few Sikhs (with many Sikh troqueros at the deepwater inland ports of Lathrop and Stockton) ? Or am I wrong and is the ILWU a narrowly self-interested sectoral craft union that is truly a “labor aristocracy”?”
ouch… you know what? that really hurts, Hieronymous. it hurts a lot to get blown up like that. You sure are a worthy debate partner. You know you are losing a debate when you start rooting for your opponent because you want to LEARN more! Maybe losing debates should be something more Marxists try to do.
Before I continue further, I do want to apologize for calling Heironymous’ politics racist. That was, as he said “so absurd…” Sorry.
But I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.
In defeating my argument, I forced you to differentiate between radical unionists like Jack Heyman and the bureaucrats they butt up against. If I was defending the bureaucracy in my argumentation, I didn’t know it and maybe got so blinded by the desire to win the argument that I didn’t even know what I was saying. So as a rejoinder of sorts, I’ll take one last crack at accurately stating my position. Continue reading