Labor Action special May 1956: Labor Needs Its Own Party!

U S Labor needs its own party!

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 13:48

Why Labor Needs Its Own Party - Towards a basic realignment in US politics

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 12:56

Any discussion of politics in the United States must sooner or later get around to the question of a "third" party.

Some caution against having "too many" parties. Others insist that another major party could only be a "protest" movement that could never win. Still others insist that the "two-party system" is so deeply entrenched in American life that it can never be replaced. Then there are those who warn against "class" parties, praise the virtues of "broad coalitions" that represent all the people and shun concentration of too much power in too few hands.

Most of this argument misses the

Trade Unions and Politics: The Giant in Short Pants

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 12:51

The union movement is already deep in politics, and not because it is weak but because it is so strong. Basic industry is organized, and labor, by its sheer economic power, is able to win concessions from the employer. But what it wins on the industrial field is taken away in the legislative hall

If it wins a union shop, "right to work" laws are passed in the states and the Taft-Hartley Law in the nation. If it raises wages, income- tax laws shift the burden off the rich onto the poor. So it goes. The more powerful the unions become, the greater comes the pressure from Big Business to

Support the Fair-Dealers? Labor and the Democrats

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 12:43

Remember . . .? Back in 1948, Truman upset the pollsters by his unpredicted victory, after a whistle-stop campaign in which he hauled out all of the best phrases of the Fair Deal and polished them up. In a moment of glowing gratitude, he told the press next day, "Labor did it!"

In fact, labor had a great part in doing it. It was done against the propaganda of the one-party press, against the apathy of the Democratic machine itself, and in spite of the fact that Truman himself had done little or nothing as president to make labor happy.

He had brought back the most hated of anti-labor weapons,

Pages from Labor's History

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 12:17

In the history of the American labor movement there is a moral and a lesson for the labor movement of today: the need for and the inevitability of independent working-class political action.

In the past century the voice of independent labor politics has often 'been low, but seldom mute; and in innumerable instances it was loud, clear and full of promise.

Even before the Civil War the organization of workingmen's parties often coincided with the limited successes of unions of skilled craftsmen. The first of these parties dates back to 1828—in New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere—when suffrage

Jim Crow and the Democrats: The negro fight needs a new party

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 12:13

A recent column by the N. Y. Post's Murray Kempton gives an incident which lights up the relationship between the rising tide of the Negroes' struggle for civil rights and contemporary American liberalism.

Inasmuch as liberalism is the dominant political ideology of the labor movement, such an illumination also reveals a good deal about the relations between the Negroes' heroic battle for democracy and the political views and actions of the unions.

According to Kempton, the "First Lady of American Liberalism," Eleanor Roosevelt, tendered her resignation from the national board of the National

Vanguard or Tail-End? The experience of the Liberal Party

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 11:41

The Liberal Party of New York is a unique type of political organization. Nothing like it exists anywhere else in the United States.

Despite this uniqueness, an understanding of the Liberal Party can be very helpful to anyone who wants to understand American labor politics at mid-century, precisely because this party exhibits in a striking and harshly developed form many of the characteristics and trends which exist in the rest of the field of labor politics in a less clear-cut way.

The Liberal Party is and has been since its inception a bundle of paradoxes and contradictions. It is a party

The Social Meaning of Labor's Politics

Published on: Tue, 08/10/2013 - 11:07

Behind the facade of a war-economy prosperity, two tremendous phenomena have occurred, both of them still unfolding: the unification of the labor movement and the struggle of the American Negro.

It would be a mistake to observe these in isolation from one another. The two big parties must enlarge their activities in their competing efforts to win these two largest segments of the population; the labor and Negro movements must, in turn, be deeply involved in these efforts.

It is easy to dismiss the significance of labor unity and its political meaning in favor of the more spectacular struggle

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