Economy Remembering Samir Amin, Who Dedicated Himself to Overcoming Capitalism The anti-imperialist scholar was very critical of the models of development and of the institutional structures of nation-states in developing countries that slavishly imitated the West, which he felt enabled colonialism to easily transmogrify into neo-colonialism. The desirable though not inevitable future for him was that of socialism, which required the defeat of imperialism and the overcoming of capitalism. The intense enthusiasm with which he sought to pursue that vision, to the very end of his immensely productive life, was at once obsessive, beguiling and infectious. Amin was born in of Egyptian and French parentage, and was brought up in Port Said in Egypt, but his subsequent education and his own inclinations made him much more cosmopolitan, truly a citizen of the world — or rather of the Third World.
Reprinted with permission from Jacobin magazine. Looking back to the defeat of the labor movement since the early s, three lessons seem especially important.
First, any gains made under capitalism are temporary; they can be reversed. Second, the kind of unionism we developed in that earlier period of gains was inherently limited; it left us in a poor position to respond to the subsequent attacks.
Third, absent new forms of working class organization and practices, fatalism takes over and worker expectations fall. Raising Expectations And Raising Hellnewly out in paperback from Verso, is part memoir, part organizing manual, and part rejoinder to that fatalism.
Jane McAlevey is a long-time organizer in the student, environmental and, over the past two decades, labor movements. She is currently a PhD candidate at City University of New York, which she has integrated into her continuing life as a labor organizer.
Her message, based on her experiences and achievements, is that as much as capitalism has diminished workers and undermined their confidence in affecting their lives, workers can overcome—but only if they themselves become organizers inside both the workplace and community.
McAlevey refuses to romanticize workers or glorify spontaneity.
But she deeply respects working people and genuinely appreciates their creative potential, a respect reflected in her refusal to be shy about challenging workers to reach their potential.
Stamford had one of the lowest union densities in all of New England. A number of aspects of that drive stand out. Second, when a main concern of the workers turned out to revolve around access to housing, McAlevey shifted the unionization drive to make housing a primary focus—class was not just a workplace relationship.
The confidence, skills and alliances developed in that campaign, and the corresponding credibility gained for the labor movement, were key to organizing unions and winning strong contracts.
Alongside this, McAlevey insisted that to build the kind of power necessary to win in the particularly hostile context of Nevada demanded an inclusive bargaining unit—one that brought nurses and lab technicians together with janitors, laundry workers, and food preparation staff. To a degree virtually unheard of in labor negotiations, McAlevey pressed to open up the bargaining sessions to the members.
This involves mapping and charting the power not only of the companies being unionized or bargained with, but in the communities in which the struggle is taking place.
And it includes both the conventional metrics of identifying power brokers, community leaders, state-corporate links, and others, and qualitative assessments by the workers themselves of both the power arrayed against them and the power they can bring to bear.
This seems rather churlish. Both the device of making her points through a memoir based on her personal experience and the informal style were clearly intended to make it more accessible to lay readers and rank-and-file unionists.
And on this score, it is difficult to imagine even such critics denying that she has something important to say. Challenging her brief comments is one thing; focusing on those few passages to essentially dismiss the book is another.
Second, whatever disagreements there may be between Early and McAlevey on this specific issue, they are on the same side in their antipathy to the role of the SEIU leadership. We should, of course, be wary of organizing models that substitute staff for the participation of workers.Remembering Samir Amin, Who Dedicated Himself to Overcoming Capitalism.
The anti-imperialist scholar was very critical of the models of development and of the institutional structures of nation. Hundreds more free handouts at barnweddingvt.com CAPITALISM DISCUSSION STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B) 1) What is capitalism?
2) Is capitalism the best economic system for the world? 3) Who likes capitalism? 4) Who suffers from capitalism? 5) Will the whole world be capitalist one day? 6) What are the advantages of capitalism over communism? Shock, dismay, and information about the causes of catastrophe and ways of overcoming are obviously not enough for resolute action.
Where are the blockades and how can they be overcome? There is an old discussion about whether capitalism will break down through the crises it generates systemically. Shock, dismay, and information about the causes of catastrophe and ways of overcoming are obviously not enough for resolute action.
Where are the blockades and how can they be overcome? There is an old discussion about whether capitalism will break down through the crises it generates systemically.
WORKER RESPONSES TO SHIRKING UNDER SHARED CAPITALISM Richard Freeman, Douglas Kruse, and Joseph Blasi NBER Working Paper No. August JEL No. J33,J54,L Highlights Capitalism's dependence on growth is caused by the drive to accumulate profit.
Accumulation in a growthless economy can only happen through increasing inequality. A steady-state economy would require overcoming the drive to accumulation and therefore capitalism as such.