The OWG Brigade

NOTICE TO ANY SPOOKS WHO MIGHT BE LISTENING: THIS IS SATIRE It is possible that something approaching civil war is imminent in the United States. Already five people have died in confrontations between antiracists and white supremacists, beyond those killed by the police. The situation may escalate quickly, particularly if the election is as inconclusive as many expect. I would like to propose that we form the OWG Brigade, a group of Old White Guys over the age of 70 to assume the front lines in the upcoming battles. Why is it always the youth that are killed in wars? […]

Will we need to make the country “ungovernable?”

I watched some of both conventions, especially the final acceptance speeches. I’m voting for Biden as a strategy to better maintain democratic spaces in order to organize the working class for fundamental change. But I don’t remember a single thing he said in his acceptance speech. Trump was brilliant. I know that’s not an adjective usually associated with this seriously disturbed man. What was most brilliant was giving the speech at the White House in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Yeah, they weren’t social distancing nor were many wearing masks. Some of them may die. Doesn’t change the effect of […]

Top 13 Movies Celebrating Black Liberation

These are my personal choices. There are doubtlessly more, some I may not know about. Please contribute your own suggestions in the comments. Malcolm X (1992): Spike Lee’s masterful bio pic which rivals Citizen Kane as best movie ever IMHO. Chi-Raq (2015): A musical comedy about urban/gang – and worldwide – violence based on Aeschylus’ Lysistrata told in hip-hop verse (think sex strike)! And it works! Deacons for Defense (2003): Forest Whittaker and Ossie Davis in a drama about armed resistance among Alabama Blacks in the Civil Rights Movement. Freedom Road (1979): Muhammed Ali (!) stars in this Reconstruction story about armed resistance to […]

Learning Pods and Hubs

LEARNING PODS AND HUBS: There’s been a lot of news in the press about learning pods and hubs. Pods are the spontaneous creation of mostly middle class parents to address the weaknesses of the remote learning programs. Families get together, and, for as much as $2000 a child, they form clusters of ten or so children, with tutors and unemployed teachers to assist and coordinate the children’s learning. It’s sort of a grass roots movement, but of primarily privileged families. San Francisco is allegedly forming learning hubs at various libraries and recreation centers, for low-income students without access to internet […]

Socialist Strategy and the Biden Debate

I’m presenting a guest blog this week from Max Elbaum. This is the article I have been wanting to write for weeks. Max nailed it. I know it’s long, but please read the whole article. This man has a mountain of experience and years of study and thought on now to build a revolutionary socialist movement in the U. S and world-wide. This is the kind of thinking  – as well as the comradely tone – we need right now. SOCIALIST STRATEGY AND THE BIDEN DEBATE By Max Elbaum, One of the editors at Organizing Upgrade. The COVID-19 pandemic and […]

Reparations Now!

Clearly the time for a serious discussion on reparations for enslavement and subsequent discrimination is long overdue, and particularly timely in the current uprising. There’s one step that the Democratic-led House could take immediately: Pass HR 40, the Conyers/Jackson bill calling for a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. There are many proposals for what reparations might look like, from cash grants to increased education funding. My proposal is simple. The need for reparations is demonstrated by the following statistic: the median wealth (not income) of white households is 10 times that of Black households, $171,000 to $17,000 (2017 figures […]

The White Supremacy Virus

We wear that mask for a reason, to reduce the risk of a personal/social catastrophe. The risk isn’t very high, but we take precautions, most of us. What if the growing fascist movement was the next devastating virus? This is why we Bernie enthusiasts need to stop attacking Biden. I don’t care who you vote for, but take the precaution of not attacking the Democratic candidate. There was a time to do that, and we lost. Some people say Biden will be as bad as Trump. They might be right. Maybe the white supremacists virus will go away on its […]

Building an Alliance of Parents and Teachers

A HANDBOOK FOR TEACHERS I went into teaching about fifty years ago in order to build a parent teacher alliance to transform the schools and build a fairer society. The politics have changed, but neither the schools nor society have changed very much. Neither has the strategy. Building an alliance of parents and teachers is still the way to go. I have had a lot of experience in this effort over the years, some miraculous successes and some spectacular failures. I’m going to approach this handbook project as if I were a second-year teacher with the intention of implementing this […]

A Modest Proposal

Thanks, no thanks, to Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore (whom I used to adore) for re-raising the fake news of overpopulation. Their dystopian film, Planet of the Humans, excoriates the environmental movement, and provides a valuable expose. But the film ultimately suggests that limiting population growth is the primary remedy for climate collapse. I don’t believe that overpopulation is the issue. The biggest threat to the planet is capitalism and its built-in addiction to continuous growth and skewed distribution. And we have an alternative. It’s called socialism, and I’ve made this argument elsewhere. However, I do have a modest proposal […]

Bernie’s Strategy

Here’s a take on Bernie’s move to endorse Biden I haven’t heard yet. It was essentially a purge of the grouping that the right likes to call Bros, the people who weren’t Democrats and were therefore a hindrance to his strategy of a prosocialist takeover of the Democratic Party, which is more important to him and to the country than winning the presidency. The strategy he has used all along is a classical united front strategy, which is the only way the left has ever achieved any power anywhere. The concept was developed by Lenin but has become an organizing […]