Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Here's a good post by Nathan Newman about organizing

"Unlike Zach's caricature, when Communists were successful in the United States-- and the New Deal and the building of industrial trade unions was due partly to skilled Communist organizers -- it was not that they "steamrolled" the people to recite the Communist Manifesto.

The Union Model of Organizing: If anything, the Communists that were successful were those that backpedaled the ideology and took their lessons from Alinsky in picking the issues on the shopfloor or community that was motivating local folks. Or rather, Alinsky took his lesson from those radicals; the opposition of the traditions is actually pretty insignificant at its heart.

And one of the things that made the best of the Communist and other leftwing organizers in the 1930s so successful is that they promoted rank-and-file leadership, including many black leaders that traditional unions were ignoring. They found the key leaders of particular ethnic and racial blocs and helped get them to work together, despite all the racial tensions continually threatening to blow these shopfloor coalitions apart."

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