[sixties-l] Re: How do we win?

From: Ted Morgan (epm2@lehigh.edu)
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 17:26:23 CUT

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    Interesting exchange among Carrol, Jeff and Don. I found Don's comments about
    "big capitalists" - "small capitalists" of particular interest because as a
    member of the local Labor Party chapter, I've been thinking a lot about the rich
    movement-growth potential involved in bringing a small-business perspective into
    the anti-globalization/ pro-democracy movement. There is a difference between
    doing this in a purely coalition-building way [and I think Nader falls into this
    trap pretty much], however, and doing it in a way that appreciates that ultimate
    it is the imperatives of capitalism that need to be turned around & transformed.
    Most particularly, (1) one must realize that in many cases small-businesses
    historically have been less labor-friendly than the larger corporations where,
    because of numbers, etc., unions have played a larger role. This may be turning
    around, though, with the global 'race-to-the-bottom;' and (2) one must appreciate
    that built into small-scale capitalism are the imperatives of growth (grow or
    die), capital accumulation, labor exploitation, etc. I.e., the "seeds" of
    corporate & transnational capitalism are there from the outset.

    Appreciating this, and not losing sight of structural reforms that can begin to
    address & transform these imperatives, I still think the small-business community
    (especially the retail sector) is potentially a vital part of a coalition against
    global capitalism. Largely because (1) as Don says, the independent bookstores
    (add: hardware stores, grocery stores, drugstores, sporting goods stores,
    radio-tv stores, etc. etc.) know only too well the score with globalization: they
    are finding it increasingly impossible to stay in business. I think it's fair to
    say, generalizing from some studies done on WalMart, that these businesses are
    also better for the local economy --with more stable, long-term employment
    opportunities, more opportunities to 'rise' to positions of responsibility,
    better pay & benefits (not sure how pervasive this is); and they're more
    labor-intensive (i.e., in the aggregate are better for local employment); and (2)
    small-businesses are at least potentially better "community" institutions --i.e.,
    their employees usually know the business, what they sell, etc. far better;
    customers get to know the owners/employees at a more personal level, etc.;
    relations between the business and either community groups and/or workers can be
    worked out on a more face-to-face level, etc.; and (3) small-business is a key
    part of the classic ideology of American democracy & entrepreneurship; this has
    advantages in a movement trying to "enter the debate" and transform that
    Interested in what others think.

    On a related note, this in from the Nation's web site, re. the Nader nomination &

    Many of these issues are addressed by William Greider in the current
    issue of The Nation. Available at http://www.thenation.com, Greider's
    essay launches a series of commentaries about presidential politics with
    a look at how third-party presidential candidates can move national
    politics in new and improved directions.

    Traveling by rental car, Nader is running an ambitious grassroots
    campaign coast to coast. Ruth Conniff went on the road with the campaign
    and reports on how voter disaffection may help him break out beyond the
    Green Party core, finding support among a wider swath of the electorate.
    Her report is also currently available at http://www.thenation.com.

    Another emerging newsmaker from Election 2000 is Al Gore's new campaign
    chief, William Daley. Veteran investigative reporter Doug Ireland
    examined the record of this archetypal Beltway lobbyist for The Nation
    in early 1997, soon after Daley's appointment as Secretary of Commerce.
    We've dipped into our archives and made this report available online at
    http://www.thenation.com/print/daley. So, please check it out and get
    the goods on the man Al Gore has entrusted with his campaign. Again, you
    can find this exclusive report at http://www.thenation.com/print/daley.

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