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Show #2: February 1, 2011

February 1, 2011

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On today’s show we’ll hear from Eric Mann, from Los Angeles’ Labor Community Strategy Center, about strategies for effective organizing.

Then we’ll talk to Isabel Garcia, a lawyer who works for the Coalition for Human Rights in Tucson, Arizona, representing immigrant workers in that embattled state.

We’ll also be joined by Frances Fox Piven, a sociologist and political scientist and advocate for the unemployed in the United States.

Then we’ll speak with Patricia Torres, a graduate student in urban planning at UCLA who was involved in the student movements there over the past couple of years.  She is also an advocate for immigrant rights and works with INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence.

Finally, we’ll hear from Derrick Jensen,  one of the most trenchant and radical voices in the contemporary environmental movement.

Listen:

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. mark permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:24 pm

    It seems that all the guests are doing a great job explaining from a left perspective the ills of society, but only we on the left believe them. The validity of that argument has been lost to the right during Reagan. “Capitalism won the cold war, Socialism is flawed and foolish, all your criticisms and solutions are a priori wrong.” How can we overcome that narrative? We can only build a broader, more powerful left when the greater populace sees our core thesis as valid. How can we resurrect and win that argument?

  2. Matt Rawlings permalink
    February 3, 2011 11:42 am

    Mark makes a good and important point. As I listened to this installment of BAPLITUS, I was struck first by Eric Mann’s laundry list of (worthy) themes and causes we ought to support. I enjoyed the discussion with Patricia Torres regarding how movements for gender rights and economic justice can be tied to and expressed within the larger context of Class and pro-democracy struggles. And yet as you hinted at with your question about the language used: intersectional (or intersectionary?); as a son of the working class, I find myself bristling at the over-intellectualizing of the issues, values and priorities we all care so deeply about.

    While I might enjoy nothing more than talking about the intersectionality of ideas for hours on end, if we want to build a powerful left that can counter the powerful right in this country, we must define some very simple principles that will guide this movement. If I asked you to define the declared principles that drive the right-wing popular movement you’d probably say something like: smaller government, less taxes, support for the Constitution. Now, do the same for the Left…

    Now perhaps you (as I do) have a simple way to express this. THIS is what we need, a simple narrative framework that encompasses what we want and what needs to happen to get there. My formulation: our system must be made to serve the needs of the working class, we need democratic decision-making at the National, State and local levels in all areas of life that affect the public. I don’t think we have any hope of making real progress on all the serious problems that face our society and communities until we can formulate a position that unites the many in opposition to the misrule of the few. In unity we can find compassion and empathy for one another- we can build a strong movement within the context of a coalition that recognizes that what we share in common is greater than the differences that have been used to divide us. From this place we can progress. But we have to start from where we are now. The working class will develop a level of intellectual discourse and radical politics in their own time. We cannot expect them to embrace ideas and values that are foreign to them, to join a movement that speaks in a language they don’t understand. But when men and women and people of color become part of the same movement, part of the same community- they will begin to identify with the unique needs and aspirations of the members of that community. That is how we will begin at the beginning in order to move forward together to build a better world in my humble opinion.

    And by the way, if there is anyway that you all could do an interview with David Degraw of AmpedStatus.org … I think he would provide a great contribution to this worthy discussion. He has appeared on Max Keiser’s show several times and has been interviewed on The Ring of Fire several times as well.

    And thanks for launching this program, we need this now more than ever.

    Sincerely,
    Matt Rawlings

  3. dcampbell1 permalink
    February 4, 2011 3:53 pm

    Excellent series. Good presenters. A note. You started with Dolores Huerta and followed with Fran Piven- both are Honorary Chairs of Democratic Socialists of America. DSA is the largest socialist organization in the nation. However, as per your topic, we on the left are far too weak.
    I recommend a speaker from DSA as an organization, not only the Honorary Chairs. They can be found at dsausa.org

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