“Capitalism needs economic coercion for its job market to function” (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty: OCAP)

In a previous post, I pointed out that the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) explicitly indicated that economic coercion or force is a basic condition for capitalism to continue to exist (Basic Income: A Critique of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s Stance ).  The following quote agrees with OCAP in so far as economic coercion or economic blackmail characterizes modern capitalist society, but Kay implies that, as a consequence, it is necessary to redefine the nature of poverty. Many social-reformist organizations define poverty exclusively in terms of the level of income, with the poverty line (defined according to a certain level of income) separating those who are defined as poor by the social-reformist left and the rest, who are supposedly the middle class. Such a definition, according to OCAP’s own recognition of the economic coercion required in the job market, is inadequate.

Consequently, OCAP should, in accordance with its own recognition of the economic blackmail characteristic of capitalism, start to organize for the purpose of eliminating poverty conditions that require such economic blackmail. It should, in other words, start to engage in the formation of a movement for the abolition of the power of employers as a class and the corresponding economic, social and political structures.

From Geoffrey Kay, The Economic Theory of the Working Class. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1979, pages 2-3:

The absolute poverty of the working class is visibly present in the conditions of work where everything the worker touches belongs to another. The means of production he uses, that is, the machines, buildings, materials, etc. all belong to the employer, who also owns the output. The only thing the worker owns is his capacity to work, and his economic welfare depends upon his being able to sell this at the best possible price. In the course of this [the twentieth) century, particularly during the period of the post-war boom, this price measured in terms of the commodities it can purchase, the real wage, has risen to unprecedented heights, at least in the advanced industrial countries of the west.

As a result of this and the maintenance of full or near full employment backed up by social welfare, the working class has enjoyed greater prosperity and security than at any time in history. In these circumstances it appears strange to talk of absolute poverty, and the old socialist claim that the working class has nothing to lose but its chains seems and archaic relic of the past when the working class did indeed live in dire poverty. Yet the fact remains that the working class today has no greater economic autonomy than its forbears a hundred years ago.

Consider the situation of a contemporary worker who loses his job. This has happened to several million workers in the industrialized world since the long boom faltered in 1973 not counting the other millions of young people who have never found jobs at all. Many of the workers who have recently suffered unemployment for the first time, earned wages that allowed them to enjoy all the trappings of ‘affluency’—decent housing, cars, television, refrigerators and so on. But the loss of the job puts the standard of living immediately in jeopardy, particularly if unemployment lasts for anything more than a few weeks. In the unlikely event of a working class family having a large private income, its initial response to unemployment is to cut back spending on marginal items, and attempt to maintain its lifestyle intact in the hope that new work will be found shortly. As the period of unemployment lengthens, it begins to eat into savings, but this does not hold out much hope.

Working class savings are notoriously low, and often take the form of insurance policies that can only be cashed in at a considerable loss. If the family decides to sell of its consumer durables, apart from reducing its standard of living immediately, it will invariably make further losses as second-hand prices are always far below prices for new articles. Moreover, many working class purchases are financial by hire purchase where the interest element makes the actual price higher than the market price, and the family that sells off relatively new times bought in this way often finds that, far from releasing cash, it lands itself in further debt. Working class affluence is entirely dependent upon wages: remove these—i.e., unemployment—and the absolute poverty of its social situation shows through very quickly. In the nineteenth century unemployment meant immediate destitution; the modern worker is clearly much better off than his forbears—for him and his family poverty is a few weeks, maybe even a few months away.

The social-reformist left, however, will probably not acknowledge the need for a redefinition of poverty that includes the economic coercion of the vast majority of workers. They prefer to deal in platitudes, such as calling the work characteristic of economic coercion “decent work,” or reforms in employment standards and increases in the minimum wages (all necessary, of course) “fair,” or claiming that they are fighting for “economic justice” (while not engaging in any activity that moves towards abolishing the economic coercion characteristic of the capitalist job market dominated by a class of employers).

Another post will briefly refer to a proposal of a radical basic income that may form part of a movement that does indeed question economic coercion and an economy dominated by a class of employers.


Basic Income: A Critique of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s Stance

In the pamphlet published on the Socialist Project website, Basic Income in the Neoliberal Age (Toronto, 2017), the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) implies that only a social-reformist vision–maintaining the welfare-state–is a viable option; it implicitly assumes that going beyond it is not viable. Its argument combines both a realistic assessment of the impossibility of an adequate universal basic income for all as long as the power of the class of employers exists, and an implied conservative call for maintaining the existing welfare state rather than going  beyond it.

It–correctly–argues that we should be very skeptical of proposals for basic income originating from liberals and conservatives (and, it should be added, the social-reformist left). Those who believe in an economic system characterized by a class of employers are hardly going to break the link between having to work for an employer and receiving an income. Indeed, as OCAP argues, the current benefits that the government does offer would probably be substantially reduced or eliminated and replaced by a basic income that was even more inadequate than current welfare and other social assistance rates.

However, the skepticism about implementing a basic income scheme that is acceptable to the class of employers is illegitimately extended to skepticism about its viability for a movement that seeks to go beyond a society dominated by the power of the class of employers. They write,

page 6:

These kinds of left advocates are easily able to show how providing a
universal adequate payment, while maintaining other elements of social
provision, would weaken or even eliminate the basis for exploitation of the
working class under capitalism. However, where they uniformly fail is in
the not unimportant area of showing how this is all possible. Capitalism
needs economic coercion for its job market to function and decades of
neoliberal austerity have intensified that coercion considerably. With
trade unions weakened and powerful social movements conspicuous by
their absence, it is doubtful that a major social reform, such as the
proponents of progressive and transformative BI advance, is likely.

At least this paragraph realistically argues that “Capitalism needs economic coercion for its job market to function.” Let us stop at this sentence. If capitalism indeed requires economic coercion if the job market is to function, then should not OCAP be advocating for the abolition of such coercion?  That such a process requires a movement with substantial organizational power goes without saying, and that will take time, energy and much organizing and debating. Of course, this requires a desire to orient social movements towards abolishing the power to coerce, but OCAP is silent about what to do about this coercion that many experience on a daily basis at work (which, of course, spills into situations outside the workplace). Should not OCAP address what it itself admits is characteristic of a society dominated by a class of employers?

OCAP excludes any discussion at all in the document about what is to be done about economic coercion (aka economic blackmail). Its critique of basic income presumes that economic coercion is the order of the day–that there is no alternative–except to maintain the current welfare system, flawed though it may be.

OCAP uses the fact of the weakness of trade unions as a reason for opposing the principle of basic income. Surely one of the reasons why trade unions have become weaker is because they have failed to question the coercive power of employers as a class. For example, John Cartwright, president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, in his open letter of January 30, 2018 ( An open letter to our movement) , wrote the following: “We need to fight for labour law reform including broader based bargaining so that precarious workers can have a vehicle in which to achieve dignity and economic justice.”

If, however, economic coercion or economic blackmail is required in the kind of society in which we live, how is it possible to “achieve dignity and economic justice”? If such rhetoric has contributed to the current situation, then should not its criticism form part of the solution? Does OCAP take a stand by taking seriously its own assertion that economic coercion is a necessary feature of the power of employers as a class by criticizing union representatives who talk of economic justice under such dictatorial circumstances?

Throughout the whole document, there is nothing that links this requirement of capitalism–needing “economic coercion for its job market to function”–to the need for a movement that goes beyond such economic coercion.

Ultimately, as noted above, this document is a social-reformist document–a document that has no better solution to “economic coercion” than implicitly proposing that we return to the so-called golden age of capitalism, where employers had accepted, within limits, the need for a more generous welfare state. OCAP does not explicitly state this, but it implies it.

Would it not be possible to propose a basic income that cannot be satisfied within a structure defined by economic coercion or economic blackmail? The document does not even refer to such a possibility.

Logically, if OCAP takes seriously the view that “Capitalism needs economic coercion for its job market to function,” should it not redefine the nature of poverty? Should not the definition of poverty include taking into account this economic coercion? Does OCAP do so?

In another post, I will refer to an author who does indeed take seriously OCAP’s view that “Capitalism needs economic coercion for its job market to function” and proposes a redefinition of poverty. In that post or another post I will also refer to a proposal for a radical basic income as part of a movement for a different kind of economic, social and political life–a life not characterized by economic, social and political coercion.

The Limitations of the Social-Reformist Left


I used to belong to a leftist organization in Toronto. I started, slowly, to realize that it really has little to do with challenging the power of employers as a class despite the rhetoric concerning class issues being a priority. This view was confirmed when a movement for the reform of employment standards developed in Ontario in general and in Toronto in particular, and the Ontario Liberal government (Canada is divided into provinces, with Ontario as one of the provinces) agreed to such reforms.

The reform of employment standards was certainly needed, and the reforms are indeed useful to the working class. Among the reforms was included an increase in minimum wages to $15 an hour (in two phases). However, the problem is not the reforms but the pairing of these reforms with “fairness.” T-shirts with the slogan “Fight for $15 and Fairness” were produced, and rallies were announced with the same slogan. I found such a pairing objectionable, to say the least.

The Social-Reformist Left

This is a “selling point” typical of the social-reformist left. They try to get others to agree to the reforms that they propose by claiming that it is fair or just in some way; this is also often the tactic of union negotiating teams (as will be seen in another post).

Logically, the social-reformist left would never dare to pair a law that reduced the number of times a husband could hit his wife legally from 25 times a year to 10 times a year with the concept of fairness. Of course, receiving 10 hits a year is, in general, better than receiving 25 hits a year (all other circumstances being the same, such as the force of the hit, the hit not resulting in death and so forth). But they would object to the very idea of calling even the 10 hits a year fair.

Logically, though, the social-reformist  left do dare to pair $15 an hour (and other labour law reforms) with the concept of fairness. They “forget” that workers still are treated as means for purposes over which they have little or no control (see The Money Circuit of Capital)

This forgetfulness is actually agreement with the continued existence of the power of employers as a class.

Indeed, David Bush, a labour and community organizer (and doctoral student) in Toronto specifically claimed that the reforms were fair. They are certainly fairer, but to claim that they are fair assumes that the relationship between the class of employers and the class of workers is fair. The social-reformist left rely on the acceptance of the fairness of the employer-employee relation in order to justify its own position. The money circuit of capital shows that such a relationship is decidedly unfair. (I will address Mr. Bush’s reformist ideology in another post).

The social-reformist left, therefore, conveniently forget about the class relation between employers and employees as the background for any reform movement, and then boldly claims that the Fight for $15 is fair. They have no intention of challenging the power of employers as a class.

The social-reformist left may, of course, try to argue that there is a large difference between arguing that a reduction from 25 hits to 10 hits is fair to arguing that an increase in the minimum wages to $15 is fair. A reduction in the number of hits is negative whereas the increase in the minimum wage is positive. If, however, we look at the logic of both, they are the same. Both narrow the focus to what has been gained. In the case of a reduction in the number of hits, the focus is exclusively on the number of hits, without taking into consideration the remaining hits. In the case of an increase in the minimum wage (and other labour law reforms), consideration of the remaining power of employers–a power that is abusive in itself–is simply ignored. How otherwise could the social-reformist left then call the increase in the minimum wage fair (rather than fairer)?

Both logics exclude consideration of the wider context, and both present certain changes exclusively in a positive light (a favourite tactic of the social-reformist left). In another post, it will be pointed out that acting intelligently requires taking into consideration the context; if we do not, we likely will act unintelligently. The social-reformist left, ultimately, propose that we act unintelligently.

The Radical Left

The organization to which I belonged found the pairing of $15 and fairness to be irrelevant. There was no objection to such a linking of the reform movement and the issue of fairness. I found this lack of criticism to be appalling and, as a consequence, withdrew from the organization.

The silence of the so-called radical left in Toronto (and undoubtedly in other cities and countries) over such issues shows just how dominate the social-reformist point of view has become at a practical level. Such a view assumes TINA: there is no alternative.

We need to start discussing how to challenge the power of employers as a class. The so-called radical left, however, creates all sorts of excuses for not adopting a class point of view and for putting off any discussion about such issues. Reform is all that is on the agenda for them–like the social-reformist left.

The radical left in Toronto, by remaining silent over the issue, practically are on the same level as the social-reformist left. By remaining silent, they foster the continued illusion that the existence of the class of employers and the class of employees are somehow natural and eternal. This illusion needs to be constantly criticized.

By remaining silent, the radical left in Toronto fosters actions that are unintelligent. By remaining silent, the radical left contributes to the continued oppression and exploitation of the billions of workers who experience the daily grind of being treated as things at work.

Some among the radical left, of course, will justify such silence in many ways. Some may say that it is necessary to create structures (such as TAWC–the Toronto Airport Workers Council) that cut across unions. Somehow, by magic, such structures are going to address the power of employers as a class–in the far distant future. Such a vague future is a fairy tale. The radical left, in practice, do nothing different from the social-reformist left.

I attended one TAWC meeting; I did not hear any conversation that related to the power of employers as a class. It was more like an extended union meeting than anything else.

Others may claim that we need to engage in a “war of position” (based on the Italian Marxist Gramsci). Practically, this “war of position” turns out to be no different than the social-reformist left’s position. Why else was there silence over the issue of the fairness of $15 an hour? Or is such silence an expression of a “war of position”?

Ultimately, the radical left in Toronto lost an opportunity for bringing up the class issue–and that is what is needed in these trying times of ours–and not more social-reformist rhetoric.

Les Limitations du Gauche Reformiste Social


J'appartenais à une organisation de gauche à Toronto. J'ai commencé, lentement, à rendre compte que cela n'avait vraiment rien à voir avec la remise en cause du pouvoir des employeurs en tant que classe, bien que la rhétorique concernant les problèmes de classe soit une priorité. Ce point de vue a été confirmé lorsqu'un mouvement pour la réforme des normes d'emploi s'est développé en Ontario en général et à Toronto en particulier; le gouvernement libéral de l'Ontario (le Canada est divisé en provinces, l'Ontario étant l'une des provinces) a accepté de telles réformes.

La réforme des normes d'emploi était certainement nécessaire, et les réformes sont en effet utiles à la classe ouvrière. Parmi les réformes figurait une augmentation du salaire minimum à 15 $ l'heure (en deux phases). Cependant, le problème n'est pas les réformes mais l'associaiton de ces réformes avec « l'équité ». On a produit des t-shirts avec le slogan « Fight for $15 and Fairness » ("Lutte pour 15 $ l'heure), et on a annoncé des rassemblements avec le même slogan. J'ai trouvé une telle association répréhensible, c'est le moins qu'on puisse dire.
C'est un « argument de vente » typique de la gauche social-réformiste. Ils essaient d'amener les autres à accepter les réformes qu'ils proposent en prétendant que c'est juste ou juste d'une certaine manière ; c'est aussi souvent la tactique des équipes de négociation syndicales (comme on le verra dans un autre billet de blog).

Logiquement, la gauche social-réformiste n'aurait jamais osé associer une loi qui réduirait le nombre de fois qu'un mari pourrait frapper légalement sa femme de 25 fois par an à 10 fois par an avec le concept d'équité. Bien sûr, recevoir 10 coups par an est, en général, mieux que de recevoir 25 coups par an (toutes les autres circonstances étant les mêmes, comme la force du coup, le coup n'entraînant pas la mort, etc.). Mais ils s'opposeraient à l'idée même d'appeler juste les 10 coups par an.

Logiquement, cependant, la gauche social-réformiste ose associer 15 $ l'heure (et d'autres réformes du droit du travail) au concept d'équité. Ils "oublient" que les travailleurs sont toujours traités comme des moyens à des fins sur lesquelles ils n'ont que peu ou pas de contrôle (voir Le circuit monétaire du capital)

Cet oubli est en fait d'accord avec l'existence continue du pouvoir des employeurs en tant que classe.
En effet, David Bush, un organisateur syndical et communautaire (et étudiant au doctorat) à Toronto a spécifiquement affirmé que les réformes étaient justes. Ils sont certainement plus justes, mais prétendre qu'ils sont justes suppose que la relation entre la classe des employeurs et la classe des travailleurs est juste. La gauche social-réformiste s'appuie sur l'acceptation de l'équité de la relation employeur-employé pour justifier sa propre position. Le circuit monétaire du capital montre qu'une telle relation est décidément injuste. (J'aborderai l'idéologie réformiste de M. Bush dans un autre billet).

La gauche social-réformiste oublie donc commodément la relation de classe entre employeurs et employés comme arrière-plan de tout mouvement de réforme, puis prétend hardiment que la lutte pour 15 $ est juste. Ils n'ont pas l'intention de remettre en cause le pouvoir des employeurs en tant que classe.

La gauche social-réformiste peut, bien sûr, essayer de faire valoir qu'il y a une grande différence entre soutenir qu'une réduction de 25 coups à 10 coups est juste et affirmer qu'une augmentation du salaire minimum à 15 $ est juste. Une réduction du nombre de hits est négative alors que l'augmentation du salaire minimum est positive. Si, cependant, nous regardons la logique des deux, ils sont les mêmes. Les deux se concentrent sur ce qui a été gagné. Dans le cas d'une réduction du nombre de hits, l'accent est mis exclusivement sur le nombre de hits, sans prendre en considération les hits restants. Dans le cas d'une augmentation du salaire minimum (et d'autres réformes du droit du travail), la considération du pouvoir restant des employeurs - un pouvoir en soi abusif - est tout simplement ignorée. Sinon, comment la gauche social-réformiste pourrait-elle alors qualifier l'augmentation du salaire minimum de juste (plutôt que de plus juste) ?

Les deux logiques excluent la considération du contexte plus large, et toutes deux présentent certains changements sous un jour exclusivement positif (une tactique favorite de la gauche social-réformiste). Dans un autre billet, on soulignera qu'agir intelligemment nécessite de prendre en considération le contexte ; si nous ne le faisons pas, nous agirons probablement de manière inintelligente. La gauche social-réformiste, en fin de compte, propose que nous agissions de manière inintelligente.

La Gauche Radicale

L'organisation à laquelle j'appartenais a trouvé que l'associaiton de 15 $ l'heure et l'équité n'était pas pertinent. Il n'y avait aucune objection à un tel lien entre le mouvement de réforme et la question de l'équité. J'ai trouvé ce manque de critique épouvantable et, par conséquent, je me suis retiré de l'organisation.

Le silence de la soi-disant gauche radicale à Toronto (et sans doute dans d'autres villes et pays) sur de telles questions montre à quel point le point de vue social-réformiste est devenu dominant au niveau pratique. Une telle vue suppose TINA : il n'y a pas d'alternative.

Nous devons commencer à discuter de la façon de défier le pouvoir des employeurs en tant que classe. La soi-disant gauche radicale, cependant, crée toutes sortes d'excuses pour ne pas adopter un point de vue de classe et pour repousser toute discussion sur ces questions. La réforme est tout ce qui est à l'ordre du jour pour eux, comme la gauche social-réformiste.

La gauche radicale de Toronto, en gardant le silence sur ces questions, se situe pratiquement au même niveau que la gauche social-réformiste. En restant silencieux, ils entretiennent l'illusion persistante que l'existence de la classe des employeurs et de la classe des employés est en quelque sorte naturelle et éternelle. Cette illusion doit être constamment critiquée.

En gardant le silence, la gauche radicale à Toronto favorise des actions inintelligentes. En gardant le silence, la gauche radicale contribue à la poursuite de l'oppression et de l'exploitation des milliards de travailleurs qui subissent le quotidien d'être traités comme des choses au travail.

Certains parmi la gauche radicale, bien sûr, justifieront un tel silence de plusieurs manières. Certains diront qu'il est nécessaire de créer des structures (comme le TAWC – le Toronto Airport Workers Council) qui transcendent les syndicats. D'une manière ou d'une autre, par magie, de telles structures vont aborder au pouvoir des employeurs en tant que classe - dans un avenir lointain. Un avenir aussi vague est un conte de fées. La gauche radicale, en pratique, ne fait rien de différent de la gauche social-réformiste.

J'ai assisté à une réunion du TAWC ; Je n'ai entendu aucune conversation concernant le pouvoir des employeurs en tant que classe. C'était plus comme une réunion syndicale prolongée qu'autre chose.

D'autres peuvent prétendre que nous devons nous lancer dans une « guerre de position » (basée sur les idées marxistes italiennes de Gramsci). Pratiquement, cette « guerre de position » s'avère n'être pas différente de la position de la gauche social-réformiste. Sinon, pourquoi y a-t-il eu un silence sur la question de l'équité de 15 $ l'heure? Ou un tel silence est-il l'expression d'une « guerre de position » ?

En fin de compte, la gauche radicale de Toronto a perdu une occasion d'aborder la question des classes - et c'est ce dont nous avons besoin en ces temps difficiles qui sont les nôtres - et non plus de rhétorique social-réformiste.

Las Limitaciones de la Izquierda Reformista Social


Solía ​​pertenecer a una organización de izquierda en Toronto. Comencé, lentamente, a darme cuenta de que realmente tiene poco que ver con desafiar el poder de los empleadores como clase a pesar de que la retórica sobre los problemas de clase es una prioridad. Esta opinión se confirmó cuando se desarrolló un movimiento para la reforma de las normas laborales en Ontario en general y en Toronto en particular, y el gobierno liberal de Ontario (Canadá está dividido en provincias, siendo Ontario una de las provincias) aceptó tales reformas.
La reforma de las normas laborales era ciertamente necesaria, y las reformas son de hecho útiles para la clase trabajadora. Entre las reformas se incluyó un aumento del salario mínimo a $ 15 la hora (en dos fases). Sin embargo, el problema no son las reformas, sino la combinación de estas reformas con la "equidad". Se produjeron camisetas con el lema "Lucha por $ 15 y la justicia" y se anunciaron mítines con el mismo lema. Encontré esa combinación objetable, por decir lo menos.

La Ala Izquierda Reformista Social

Este es un "argumento de venta" típico de la izquierda reformista social. Intentan que otros estén de acuerdo con las reformas que proponen alegando que es justa o justa de alguna manera; Esta es también a menudo la táctica de los equipos negociadores sindicales (como se verá en otro artículo).
Lógicamente, la izquierda social-reformista nunca se atrevería a emparejar una ley que redujera la cantidad de veces que un esposo podía golpear legalmente a su esposa de 25 veces al año a 10 veces al año con el concepto de equidad. Por supuesto, recibir 10 golpes al año es, en general, mejor que recibir 25 golpes al año (todas las demás circunstancias son las mismas, como la fuerza del golpe, el golpe que no resultó en la muerte, etc.). Pero se opondrían a la idea misma de considerar justos incluso los 10 hits al año.

Sin embargo, lógicamente, la izquierda reformista social se atreve a emparejar $ 15 la hora (y otras reformas de la legislación laboral) con el concepto de equidad. Ellos "olvidan" que los trabajadores todavía son tratados como medios para propósitos sobre los cuales tienen poco o ningún control (ver El circuito monetario del capital).
Este olvido en realidad está de acuerdo con la existencia continuada del poder de los empleadores como clase.

De hecho, David Bush, un organizador laboral y comunitario (y estudiante de doctorado) en Toronto afirmó específicamente que las reformas fueron justas. Ciertamente son más justas, pero afirmar que son justas supone que la relación entre la clase de empleadores y la clase de trabajadores es justa. La izquierda reformista social se basa en la aceptación de la equidad de la relación empleador-empleado para justificar su propia posición. El circuito monetario del capital muestra que tal relación es decididamente injusta. (Abordaré la ideología reformista del Sr. Bush en otro artículo).

La izquierda social-reformista, por lo tanto, se olvida convenientemente de la relación de clase entre empleadores y empleados como trasfondo para cualquier movimiento de reforma, y ​​luego afirma audazmente que la Lucha por $ 15 es justa. No tienen la intención de desafiar el poder de los empleadores como clase.
La izquierda reformista social puede, por supuesto, intentar argumentar que hay una gran diferencia entre argumentar que una reducción de 25 a 10 golpes es justa y argumentar que un aumento en el salario mínimo a $ 15 es justo. Una reducción en el número de aciertos es negativa mientras que el aumento del salario mínimo es positivo. Sin embargo, si miramos la lógica de ambos, son lo mismo. Ambos limitan el enfoque a lo que se ha ganado. En el caso de una reducción en el número de aciertos, la atención se centra exclusivamente en el número de aciertos, sin tener en cuenta los aciertos restantes. En el caso de un aumento del salario mínimo (y otras reformas de la legislación laboral), la consideración del poder restante de los empleadores, un poder que es abusivo en sí mismo, simplemente se ignora. ¿De qué otra manera podría la izquierda reformista social calificar de justo (en lugar de más justo) el aumento del salario mínimo?

Ambas lógicas excluyen la consideración del contexto más amplio, y ambas presentan ciertos cambios exclusivamente de manera positiva (una táctica favorita de la izquierda social-reformista). En otro post se señalará que actuar con inteligencia requiere tener en cuenta el contexto; si no lo hacemos, es probable que actuemos de forma poco inteligente. La izquierda social-reformista, en última instancia, propone que actuemos sin inteligencia.

La Izquierda Radical

La organización a la que pertenecía consideró que la combinación de $ 15 y la equidad eran irrelevantes. No hubo objeciones a tal vinculación entre el movimiento de reforma y la cuestión de la equidad. Encontré esta falta de críticas espantosa y, como consecuencia, me retiré de la organización.

El silencio de la llamada izquierda radical en Toronto (y sin duda en otras ciudades y países) sobre estos temas muestra cuán dominante se ha vuelto el punto de vista social-reformista a nivel práctico. Tal punto de vista asume TINA: no hay alternativa.

Necesitamos comenzar a discutir cómo desafiar el poder de los empleadores como clase. La llamada izquierda radical, sin embargo, crea todo tipo de excusas para no adoptar un punto de vista de clase y para posponer cualquier discusión sobre estos temas. La reforma es todo lo que está en la agenda para ellos, como la izquierda social-reformista.

La izquierda radical en Toronto, al guardar silencio sobre el tema, prácticamente está al mismo nivel que la izquierda social-reformista. Al permanecer en silencio, fomentan la ilusión continua de que la existencia de la clase de empleadores y la clase de empleados son de alguna manera natural y eterna. Esta ilusión necesita ser criticada constantemente.

Al permanecer en silencio, la izquierda radical en Toronto fomenta acciones que no son inteligentes. Al permanecer en silencio, la izquierda radical contribuye a la continua opresión y explotación de los miles de millones de trabajadores que experimentan la rutina diaria de ser tratados como cosas en el trabajo.

Algunos entre la izquierda radical, por supuesto, justificarán tal silencio de muchas maneras. Algunos pueden decir que es necesario crear estructuras (como TAWC, el Consejo de Trabajadores del Aeropuerto de Toronto) que atraviesen los sindicatos. De alguna manera, por arte de magia, tales estructuras abordarán el poder de los empleadores como clase, en un futuro lejano. Un futuro tan vago es un cuento de hadas. La izquierda radical, en la práctica, no hace nada diferente a la izquierda social-reformista.

Asistí a una reunión del TAWC; No escuché ninguna conversación relacionada con el poder de los empleadores como clase. Fue más como una reunión sindical ampliada que cualquier otra cosa.

Otros pueden afirmar que necesitamos participar en una "guerra de posiciones" (basada en el marxista italiano Gramsci). Prácticamente, esta "guerra de posiciones" resulta no ser diferente a la posición de la izquierda social-reformista. ¿Por qué más hubo silencio sobre el tema de la equidad de $ 15 la hora? ¿O tal silencio es expresión de una "guerra de posiciones"?

En última instancia, la izquierda radical de Toronto perdió la oportunidad de sacar a relucir el problema de clase, y eso es lo que se necesita en estos tiempos difíciles, y no más retórica social-reformista.