Don’t mourn. Organize. The words of Joe Hill, a working-class martyr, executed by firing squad in 1915. Electoral politics are important, but not as important as organizing. Most importantly: at the point of production, meaning in the workplace, schools, or neighborhoods. This concept has been understood by all leftists since Marx himself. At this point, the nature of the organization that you organize people into is not that important. The connections you make with people are what matters. But, damn it people, we need unions. We need community organizing campaigns. Find an issue that touches a nerve and organize people around it. Form coalitions with other groups to attain mutual goals.
There are segments crying out to be organized: Whole Foods, Starbucks, Walmart, Uber/Lyft, McDonald’s – all schools, but especially charter schools. College students. Tenants in gentrifying neighborhoods. Wherever we can have leverage by withholding our labor – or rent.
I’m pretty sure that at any given moment in any grouping of people, there is one issue that would not only galvanize them but raise issues about the nature of the system, get people thinking, help raise their consciousness. There are no shortcuts. But until our people are in position to act collectively around our places of employment, we will continue losing.
Organizing is hard work, but if you can get to the point where “quantity changes into quality,” as the dialecticians say, you will have a movement with its own exhilarating momentum. In the process, people understand the unstoppable power of solidarity.