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 […]

Don’t Mourn, Organize!

I’m as upset as the next Bernie Bro (I’ve embraced the term) about Bernie’s endorsement of Joe. I vacillate between trusting his judgement and thinking he made a tragic mistake, ignoring the will of his most committed supporters. But I’m ready to move on. The electoral arena is only one front of our struggle. The more important front is at the point of production and in our working class communities. We need to take away three lessons from our Bernie experience: organize, organize, organize. SOLIDARITY FOREVER is a book about working class organizing that is almost finished. Do you have […]

Make remaining primaries a referendum on Medical for All

Proposal to the Bernie Sanders movement: Hopefully with the support of the campaign, we transform the remaining primaries explicitly as a referendum on Medicare for All. We use the phone and text systems of the campaign to call voters in the remaining states. We ask the campaign to keep staff on in those states to facilitate this process. In these calls and texts we acknowledge that Biden will be the nominee, and your reason for still voting for Bernie are to support Medicare for All. The script for the calls might read: Hello is ________________available? My name is _____________________and I’m […]

The Transition from Capitalism to Socialism

The transition from capitalism to socialism is an inevitable development, a function of social evolution. Where we can exercise some agency in this process is how it plays out, how violent or non-violent the different steps will be. Just as imperialism is a stage of capitalism, socialism seems to go through stages. The U. S. and most developing nations are in the first stage, with the state providing minimal protections for workers, compared to the fully capitalist stages of chattel and wage slavery. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, are at a more advanced stage, with Cuba, China, and the Scandinavian counties […]