Sanders Hails Growing Union Movement as Threat to ‘Oligarchy and Corporate Greed’

Yves here. Although it has become fashionable for some readers to bash Sanders, the Vermont Senator has continued to stump to improve the betterment of working people, such as continuing to press for a $15 wage and supporting union drives. This article mentions some of the crybaby responses from squillionaires.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the 1960s should recognize how successful the long-standing campaign to move the values to this country to the right has been.  Having workers be atomized, chronically time and money stressed, with weak community ties is a great way to prevent them from organizing. A lot of institutional muscle needs to be rebuilt, and that does not happen quickly.

By Jake Johnson. Originally published at Common Dreams

Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a floor speech on Monday hailing the growing wave of union victories across the United States, including high-profile wins by Amazon and Starbucks workers, as an essential challenge to the country’s vastly unequal political and economic status quo.

“While the billionaire class is becoming much, much richer, real weekly wages for American workers are $40 lower today than they were 49 years ago,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said in an address in the Senate chamber just days after Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York voted to form the company’s first-ever union in the U.S.

“In fact,” Sanders continued, “during that period there has been a massive, massive transfer of wealth from the working class and middle class of our country to the top 1%.”

The Vermont senator pointed to a recent analysis estimating that $50 trillion in wealth was redistributed from the bottom 90% to the top 1% between 1975 and 2018.

That decades-long trend of ballooning wealth at the very top has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the roughly 700 billionaires in the U.S. add $1.7 trillionto their collective fortunes as Covid-19 inflicted devastation on the country, with poor communities and low-paid workers bearing the brunt.

“Today,” said Sanders, “multi-billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are off taking joy rides on rocket ships to outer space, buying $500 million super-yachts, and living in mansions with 25 bathrooms. And let’s be clear. It’s not just income and wealth inequality. It is economic and political power.”

Corporate profits also soared to record highs last year even as the deadly coronavirus continued to wreak havoc and as inflation ate away at ordinary workers’ wages.

In his speech on Monday, Sanders portrayed grassroots unionization efforts at Amazon and Starbucks as further evidence that “working people all over this country are sick and tired of being exploited by corporations making record-breaking profits.”

“They are sick and tired of billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, becoming obscenely rich during the pandemic, while they put their lives on the line working for inadequate wages, inadequate benefits, inadequate working conditions, and inadequate schedules,” said Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “If you think that the union victories at Amazon and Starbucks are an aberration, you would be sorely mistaken.”

While union membership declined last year, 2021 was marked by a wave of strikes and organizing efforts that many saw as the possible start of a resurgent labor movement after years of devastating corporate attacks on collective bargaining rights. According to one recent study, the corporate assault on unions over the past four decades has cost the median U.S. worker $3,250 per year.

“The union struggles that have been taking place against corporate greed ultimately determine the quality of wages, benefits, and working conditions that all American workers enjoy,” Sanders said Monday.

There’s no sign that corporate America intends to end its union-busting in the face of mounting labor organizing across the country. In 2021 alone, Amazon spent $4.3 millionon anti-union consultants, and the company is expected to challenge the election results in Staten Island.

During a town hall on Monday, Schultz—an experiencedunion-buster who returned as Starbucks CEO this month amid organizing drives in dozens of states nationwide—declared that the hugely profitable coffee company is “being assaulted in many ways by the threat of unionization.”

Sanders argued Monday that “in the year 2022, the United States and the rest of the world face two very different political paths.”

“On one hand, there is a growing movement towards oligarchy in which a small number of incredibly wealthy and powerful billionaires own and control a significant part of the economy and exert enormous influence over the political life of our country,” said the Vermont senator. “On the other hand, in opposition to oligarchy and corporate greed, there is a movement of working people and young people who, in ever-increasing numbers, are fighting for justice in a way that we have not seen in years.”

“And it is that growing trade union movement that makes me so very hopeful for the future of this country,” he added, “and it is a movement that I will do all that I can to support.”

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  1. Randall Flagg

    Speaking of strikes, has there been any follow up with the person that was informing the NC community of life on the floor at the John Deere plant before the strike, and now that a new agreement is in place has there been news from them?

  2. marym

    Bernie Sanders has also been fundraising for union organizers and strikers. He just did a mailing recently.

  3. JohnnySacks

    The Sanders bashing is completely by design, as directly evidenced in 2016 and 2020.

    Doing penance in my old age for my lack of political of historic interest in my misspent youth. Got my dose of historical perspective from Thomas Frank’s The People, No! in his description of the massive anti-populist campaign against Williams Jennings Bryan. But as time ground on, his policies (e.g. getting off the gold standard) were enacted. I see the same now with the successful union drives, and also notice the lack of other politicians offering up any support, vocal or otherwise.

    I hope Sanders shows up in 2024 to piss in their punch bowls yet again, otherwise, someone help me, who’s going to?

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      I still can’t forgive Sanders for endorsing Hillary Clinton in 2016 after she threw him under the bus and ran him over. Sanders gives great speeches, but he stops there and refuses to do the nasty work that is necessary to make changes.

      1. Abi

        If it’s worth anything, coming from a similarly dysfunctional political system, what I’ve learnt is that it’s very possible to lose your soul in the dirty work and some people just feel that isn’t worth the stress. Right or wrong I think that’s why seemingly sensible ones don’t go the distance we sometimes want them to.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Lordie, I can’t stand this sort of comment. It is willfully ignorant and arguably childish.

        Did you forget that Sanders was a career-long independent? Hello????

        The price of him being allowed to campaign as a Democrat (and recall even billionaire Bloomberg determined that getting ballot access as an independent was too difficult) was that he would endorse the winner if he lost the primary battle.

        1. BobbyK

          This is what pisses me off about the Sanders bashing. He said he would endorse her if he lost, from the start of his campaign. It’s not as if he lied about it.

  4. digi_owl

    One do wonder if Sanders could have a reasonable go at becoming a independent president.

    That said, if he did i suspect USA would fully learn how little say the president actually has in domestic affairs, as he would have been stone walled by a bipartisan congress.

    Also, there seems to be nobody to pick up the banner after him as all potential candidates have shown themselves to already be compromised by Wall Street.

    1. Mason

      If I lost my mind and became a politician I would do three things.

      1. Be a populist democrat and get elected, get some experience.

      2. Denounce the Democratic Party and quit. Establish a populist third party in the next election.

      3. Ignite civil war within the Democrats.

      1. Carla

        “2. Denounce the Democratic Party and quit. Establish a populist third party in the next election.”

        Really, REALLY hard to do. But if you decide to go for it, I will help you.

        1. jsn

          The only core competence of the D party is controlling access to the ballot.

          AOC is the exception that proved the rule and the institutional Ds have been paying much closer attention to their primaries since.

          As Lambert points out every day, they may be a rotting corpse that can’t bury themselves, but in contradistinction to that they’re bloody effective in crushing the left and keeping third parties off ballots. Overcoming this will require serious infrastructure that will be paid for with either time or money, neither of which outsiders tend to have in anywhere near adequate quantities, or when they do they’re Perots, i.e. oligarchs.

    2. JohnnySacks

      Seriously, does anyone in their right mind actually think he’d stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting a quarter of his proposals enacted in that backstabbing pro-corporate sewer?

      The goal of ostracizing him is to prevent any of his proposals from even gaining the slightest open airing whatsoever from the presidential pulpit.

  5. Joe Well

    I know the Senator is not the main focus of this post, but the point was raised:

    For those of us who poured our souls into Bernie 2020, the way the movement behind the campaign was snuffed out is too painful to forget. There were strong local community ties being built around the campaign, among people of very different backgrounds and importantly ages and income levels, despite the creeping PMCing of Bernieland.

    No effort was made to keep that movement alive by the Senator, just a few weeks of requests to do virtual phone banking after Super Tuesday, my own personal Pearl Harbor Day.

    The day after the campaign was officially announced to be over, there was a livestream Town Hall-style meeting to discuss next steps forward. It was advertised that the man himself would be headlining. In the end it was a handful of medium-high-profile campaign surrogates touting their personal small victories like helping someone win a city council race. There was an obviously pre-recorded message from Bernie that they tried to pass off as live.

    This was on top of all the starvation of the grassroots before 2020 in favor of a singular focus on NH, Iowa and NV. And we won those three states, and so what? We had to win at least 30 states in hand to hand combat, which we could have if the grassroots had been given any support. It was pathetic watching people in 2019 do things like holding banners next to the highway.

    We were promised a movement and got a typical electoral campaign, shades of Obama ’08.

      1. KommieKat

        Or “Bernie is the root of all (progressive) evil”. It seems hard to find a balanced perspective on his hopeful, but unsuccessful run in the primary.

        I think Bernie is just the focus of years of disappointment for many, who take out their rightful frustration at our horribly broken electoral system on the guy who “would have, could have, should have”.

    1. sadie the cat

      I asked Bernie for my money back, because I came to believe that he intended to lose and was a “sheepdog” for the Democrat party, herding us in to vote for his good friend, Joe.

      Like you, I poured my soul and money into Sanders’ campaign. But he undermined himself in too many ways for me to believe he intended to win. He didn’t.

      1. cobo

        What he accomplished was slight of hand played against the hopeful. If you’re trying to run this Sanders thing one-more-time, then you are worse than any opponent, you are a traitor to the cause you supposedly support, like Sanders. He accomplished nothing, but misspent a lot of genuine support.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . are all these people ready and able to self-organize on their own without the benefit of a Sanders-figure Leader-figure?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I gather from the way you reacted to my question that I touched a nerve. And I gather that you, in particular, are not ready.

      1. Tom Pfotzer

        I second Drumlin.

        We expect too much of our heroes.

        Here’s how the Hero-Follower deal works:

        Followers: We’ll kiss your az and adore you if you will just do what we can’t or won’t do for ourselves.

        Hero: Ah, yes. My hands have been touched by God. I am Moses II, and I will lead you to the land of milk and honey. You don’t have to do anything different; I will do all the changing that needs done. Just press that red Easy Button, and all will come True.

        Followers: You are the God that Walks the Planet. We worship you, Moses The Latest!!!

        Hero: Oh, by the way, there’s been a glitch. You must sacrifice some in order for the Milk and Honey to happen.

        Followers: By Golly, You’re a Sheepdog!! You’ve sold us out! You weakling! You couldn’t smite that Mountain all by Yourself! I’m sooooo betrayed!


        If you were strong and powerful, would you enter in that follower-leader contract?

        Knowing that you’re human, and that the problems we face have evolved over billions of people over thousands of years, and that it’s totally ridiculous to expect one person to be able to change those tectonic plates?


        The only reason you’d sign up for that deal is if you were a charlatan, like Clinton. You’d understand the weakness of the many, and you’d exploit it. You’d lie, and then after you got what you wanted, you’d disappear.


        “leadership” is a myth. There _is no Moses_.

        There _IS_ the many; there is the Joining Together, the acceptance of pain and sacrifice. That actually works.

        Easy Button? Well, let me obliquely ask “How that’s working out for you?”

        Once again, I submit for your consideration the prospect of “bottom up” evolution.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Humans are a pack animal like wolves, not a herd animal like buffalo. And certainly not a social insect animal even though there are now social-insect quantities of humans attempting to exist in social-insect-sized nests called “towns” and “cities”.

          Non-leader humans have generally sought some kind of “leadership”. But some different size and orientation grouploads of humans have figured out how to grant temporary leadership status to certain members of their group with the ability to withdraw that stattus if they don’t like the leadership or the outcome. ” I am your king, and you have to obey me or else I can’t be king anymore.”

          The settled non-mobile equivalent of the “pack” might well be the village. Highly unrelated grouploads of humans have recreated over and over again the “village” as a way to organize life among smallish bunches of non-nomadic humans. So perhaps present-day humans might form informal “village” structures among village-sized grouploads of themselves and try thinking out what kind of changes they can imagine seeing and creating down at their own “village” level . . . and then experiment with both leader-led and leaderless ways of doing this and that at their informal “village” level.

          Suburban neighborhoods withOUT Homeowners or Neighborhood Associations might try evolving their own villagey ways of doing some things. Suburban neighborhoods WITH Homeowners or Neighborhood Associations will probably be so ground down with their Bluenose BusyBully oppressors that they will be incapable of doing anything at all. Unless the Associations can be somehow dissolved or the Association Rulers can somehow be terrorised into not enforcing any of their petty little rules anymore, and the karens who demand the rules be enforced can be encouraged to move out of those neighborhoods. Or stay in their houses and never come out except to go shopping or go to work and otherwise just stay indoors so nobody else has to see them or hear them.

          But since we do live in social insect sized nests above and beyond our own neighborhoods, the problem of leadership or rulership or whatever will remain a problem and will need to be faced and maybe even solved if possible. One thing I notice from some comments is that the Sanders Movement-Effort was cleverly infiltrated by DemParty saboteurs and moles. Any such future movement will need to create its own Bureau of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence before doing anything else, so that it can exclude the DemParty infiltrators right from the start. Such a Bureau would have to create reality-based lists of clues, tells and red flags indicating that someone seeking to join is either Dem-polluted or Clintainted or otherwise an unclean vector-spreader of political and functional HIV and cancer and leprosy and so forth.

      2. juno mas

        Well, that is likely Bernie’s biggest shortcoming: not being a charismatic leader. He spoke at my local college in 2016. The organizing was good, the turnout beyond my expectation, and the crowd diverse (young/old/color). But it was clear the crowd wanted more than just clear explanations of what the US
        needs to do to “spread the wealth”, improve healthcare, and get government on the right side. Even while he used the term “We” often in his speech, it was clear that this crowd wanted heated exhortation. That’s not Bernie.

        The amount of energy it will take to lead the US in another direction is more than can be expected of a septuagenerian. No one has been at it longer than Bernie.

        I was hopeful, too, like many younger than me. But I also understand the ruthlessness of American politics.


    3. Yves Smith Post author

      This is abjectly false.

      Sanders’ central team had a lot of careerist turncoats. Period.

      After the weekend of long knives, a large portion of his staff (my impression was half) AND Jayapal told him to quit.

      It was impossible for Sanders to continue. His staffers effectively said they would start looking for new jobs or would not work very enthusiastically any more. You can’t continue a campaign when you know you will be hemorrhaging staff. Among other things, it’s ripping off anyone who still donates.

      1. Joe Well

        I thought the campaign was effectively dead, if not on Super Tuesday, then with the Michigan primary the following week. There was a strong argument that going to the last state especially without live in-person events was pointless and would make him and the movement look weak and ridiculous.

        The shock wasn’t that he ended his campaign, but that the whole grassroots infrastructure, which never was properly nourished to begin with, was not continued. I expected him to say, “we have lost this presidential primary, but there are still races and legislative battles all over the country,” and then convert the campaign’s volunteer infrastructure into some kind of PAC with a skeleton crew of low paid staffers at the top.

        A lot could have been accomplished. In my state, there were the beginnings of a movement to take over the corrupt Democratic Party leadership. But everyone dispersed.

        This was the greatest left movement since the 1960s and poof! it’s gone.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well . . . . the Obamazoid Leadership certainly showed how to poof a movement. One wonders how many mid and high level SanderWorkers were Obama and Clinton infiltrators right from the start tasked with destroying the SanderMovement from within and above, and demoralizing all the low-mid and low-level workers and volunteers and making them all go poof.

          Anyone who remembers having been a mid-low or low-level volunteer-supporter might well get back in contact with other people from that same level that they remember and start figuring out how to re-grow a slow patient poof-proof movement to select things to achieve and achieve them in a steady way over time. If they want to.

          By the way, how did ACORN go poof so fast after it lost its outside funding? Was the whole ACORN group never anything more than a corporate-funded astroturf hologram from the start anyway?

  6. Guild Navigator

    I have little use for Bernie “My friend Joe” Sanders. That said I donated generously and I voted for him in the primaries twice in my state (PA), which bars third party (hey would be nice if we had a second party) candidates from appearing on ballots. I usually write in candidates at the top of the ticket: for the last few cycles: McKinney, Stein, and La Riva.

    I think a lot but not all of the missteps of the 2020 campaign can be laid at the feet of blue apparatchiks like Jeff Weaver and the preening, self-regarding Chuck Rocha. F-35 Bernie doesn’t fight or push back, when it comes down to the nitty gritty. You can’t be a coward. Bernie has been largely absent the last year and a half. We are still in the midst of a pandemic.

    I am glad that he doing some good work. The real action will come from activists on the street not from on high. Judging by how many cops Bernie’s friend is putting on the street, one can anticipate friction.

    You can’t change the system from within. Bernie perhaps has shown the limits of what is possible using such a strategy. Power yields nothing without a threat. Internal threats can be minimized by taking away committee memberships and chastening in other ways, as we saw when Dennis Kucinich had his district gerrymandered away.

    Rather, power needs to tremble in their boots for social progress to happen. But progress is not what we need at this point. The old teetering constitution and the politicians judges and hangers on and spooks lack legitimacy and must give way if our planet is to survive and we are to have a home on this planet. Militancy is what is needed. Not blue wave NRLB goons with John Kerry stickers on their Priuses.

    1. Aumua

      I think we’re all aware of Bernie’s limitations and shortcomings, and so is he for that matter. But on the other hand, who else is out there on the senate floor talking about this stuff?

      1. Michael Ismoe

        And what changed? Bernie is running for re-election. Send your $27 and everyone can pretend that will change something.

      2. Bruno

        “Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a floor speech on Monday”…to an empty chamber, of course. But I’m sure that the Floor gave The Speech all the attention it deserved….

      3. Guild Navigator

        All I am saying is that we can’t let politicians suck up all the oxygen. We need an AND approach rather than an OR. Tactically, the approach cannot be and should not be mutually exclusive. Militancy and organization outside of compromised Taft-Hartley company approved unions on the street and insurgents that can be discarded when they fold on the inside established structures (unions, houses of ill repute like the Senate and CON-gress).

      4. marym

        Sanders chose to work within a (basically corrupt) system and institution. Through the years it’s meant making horrible legislation a little better in some respects; and using “floor speeches” and social media to promote much better ideas.

        (imo his presidential candidacy was a “floor speech” tactic that took off, and he’s tried to step up to make use of that national presence, but anyway….).

        With that choice come 2 conditions. First the politician has to find ways to operate without getting kicked out of the system. Second, at the point when someone makes that choice they’re probably not a“burn it to the ground” revolutionary to any great extent, so maybe they’re not as adamant about every issue as people who have a bolder vision.

        Whether one thinks “working within the system” can be a useful component of a movement for more fundamental change, or that such work is too compromised to be effective, either way there’s no point to endlessly bashing the people who choose that route. Time better spent working on or supporting other necessary components of that change, and occasionally pushing the “insiders” toward support of those efforts, or acknowledging when they do provide some support.

    2. Rod

      Many of us, like you, put our shoulders into it and shoved with all we had available.
      In person, IMO, you saw he wasn’t keeping any powder dry.
      It wasn’t enough for reasons.
      That sucked.
      And we still need to put more shoulder and Work into the change we know has to come—and that sucks too.
      But that’s where we’re at, if we want our kids and grands to have a chance.
      Reality sometimes really sucks, but what’s an adult with a right mind going to do—look away?

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      “My friend Joe” certainly indicated a psychological weakness on Sanders’s part. Sanders was certainly no Gingrich. I was hoping that Sanders would have figured out what kind of questions would have overwhelmed Joe’s termite-honeycombed brain and what kind of Heavy Alpha to fire into Joe’s brain to cause it to fissionise like a destabilized nucleus right there on live TV.

      But Sanders was too nice of a guy to do that. Oh well . . .

  7. Rod

    Thank you for your succinct intro.
    I agree.
    Others have good points also.
    But Sanders never fails to tag the real point onto everything he speaks on, be the Chamber full or empty:

    And let’s be clear. It’s not just income and wealth inequality. It is economic and political power.”

    and that is our load to tote too

  8. Tom Stone

    I marched,made phone calls to my representatives, sent thoughtful letters, sent money, worked on political campaigns,continued to educate myself on how things worked, talked to people in my circles of friends coworkers and acquaintances and things got worse.
    And kept getting worse to the point that we now have a president whose dementia is obvious to anyone who looks and a society on the verge of collapse due to systemic rot.
    It’s coming apart right now and if we are lucky enough to avoid a Nuclear Holocaust it is going to be a very rough time indeed for those that survive the next decades.
    Stay local and build community and you have a chance of surviving and possibly creating a better world.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Staying local? I resemble that remark!

      I’m in my third year as VP of my neighborhood association, and let me tell you, it is a JOB. But I’m learning that, at the grassroots, politics is ALL about constituent service.

      My neighbors are quick to bring even the smallest things to my attention. Someone didn’t roll a trashcan back after the city trucks went through. Or there’s some guy who looks like he’s trying to break into that vacant rental house. Or that big pile of cactus cuttings that got left on a sidewalk.

      What qualifies me for my job? Well, I know who to call at the City of Tucson. And, working with the city and my neighbors, I get things done.

      Just don’t ask me to run for City Council. I’d be too tempted to dope slap some of the other members of that body.

      1. Mike Elwin

        Yes, my experiences as leader have usually been the same. My best experiences came when my groups knew as much as I did. They allowed me to “lead” them because they needed a coordinator and a spokesperson, not because they needed someone to tell them how to do their tasks or actually do the tasks for them. And we were all volunteers or earning at similar rates, so money differences didn’t ruin our relationships.

        Which reminds me. We’re just humans, smarter in some ways than chimps and dogs, but in no more control of ourselves than they are. Our complaints are just chronicles of our species’s shortcomings.

  9. sadie the cat

    Great, concise summary by Yves of how labor got crushed in the US.

    “Those of us who are old enough to remember the 1960s should recognize how successful the long-standing campaign to move the values to this country to the right has been. Having workers be atomized, chronically time and money stressed, with weak community ties is a great way to prevent them from organizing. A lot of institutional muscle needs to be rebuilt, and that does not happen quickly.”

  10. orlbucfan

    “Those of us who are old enough to remember the 1960s should recognize how successful the long-standing campaign to move the values to this country to the right has been. Having workers be atomized, chronically time and money stressed, with weak community ties is a great way to prevent them from organizing. A lot of institutional muscle needs to be rebuilt, and that does not happen quickly.”
    Yves, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! If I could, I would bow down deeply in front of you for this paragraph, these words. I am retired, on fixed income, and disabled. That sure didn’t stop me from working both the 2016 and 2020 Sanders campaigns as an unpaid volunteer. 13 years before that, I worked Howard Dean’s campaign as an unpaid volunteer. I am a long time resident of east central Florida, land of such garbage as Rick Scott aka Sick Rott, Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, etc., ad nauseum. I had a front row seat to the corruption and stench of the so-called “Democratic” Party. I despise the RWing trash like the Clintonistas. And don’t get me started on the GOPukes. I have been a political junkie since grade school. Before that, I was a diehard fan of World History. Folks have got a right, hopefully still in this joke of a country, to express their opinions, to agree and disagree without getting killed. Bernie Sanders has represented the middle and working class his whole political life. He’s not perfect, but who is? He is that rarest of animals: a true public servant. He’s is also 80. He galvanized the young people, and caught the corruptoes off-guard in 2016. The DNC saw him as an enormous threat, and successfully sabotaged his 2020 campaign. How? They infiltrated it. But a lot of us didn’t forget, young and old. Why do you see the Sunrise Movement, the labor strikes against Starbucks and Amazon? Just how did people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush win their U.S. House seats? Blind luck? Nope. AOC worked Sanders 2016 campaigns. Bush was aware of him. The actual Progressive caucus is the fastest growing group in the U.S. House. There are plenty of Progressives challenging the Corporate clowns in the Democratic Primaries in November. The harder nut to crack is the U.S. Senate, but there will be surprises there, too. Climate chaos, the corrupt healthcare system, the racism, sexism and serfdom are now front and center; and that’s in spite of the oligarchs trying to control by surveillance capitalism and owning the MSM. You may not like Senator Sanders, but please give him his due.

      1. tegnost

        seconded, bernie’s not the second coming…and he still fights the good fight, a monumental achievement in the face of long odds. No one person will win the battle.

  11. Anthony G Stegman

    It is a truism that things have to get worse before they get better. Clearly, things aren’t bad enough yet. Americans are not prone to rebellion. They seek creature comforts, and though some may complain about this and that, as long as they have a few creature comforts Americans are not willing to upset the apple cart. Over the years there have been many third party candidates on ballots at local, state, and federal levels. Few can garner more than a few percent of the vote. This is despite opinion polls showing large percentages of voters dissatisfied with both major parties. Unless and until there is a societal collapse real change will remain a dream (or perhaps a fantasy).

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Sometimes things get worse before they get worser. The collapse you hope for will probably bring in the final end-state of Republicanazi Fascistrumpanon rule. Because they have most of the guns and bullets and the pacifoid liberals have made sure to have far too few.

  12. drumlin woodchuckles

    Exterminating the industries that the unionised workers used to work in is also a great way to de-unionise the “community of workers”. Kill the body and the head will die. Kill the industrial economy and the industrial unions will die. And a major purpose of Free Trade is to kill the industrial economy in industrial-unionised countries.

    So if the present-day community-of-workers becomes a community again and thinks about the social battlespaces and killboxes it is forced to exist in, it and all its cultural members might consider abolishing Free Trade as part of shaping the labor-relevant battlespace for the social class wars of victory or extermination to come. Perhaps a legitimate hate-object who deserves part of the blame for getting us here to begin with could be offered to organize against the legacy and memory of. I would suggest President Jeffrey-Epstein’s-Friend, NAFTA Bill, or whatever we want to call him.

    And since there are now all these little to tiny organizing actions and even sometimes strike actions at hundreds and maybe soon at thousands and then tens of thousands of tiny little spot-focus workplaces, perhaps a word for such actions should be coined? A dual-message word which sounds cute and cuddly but also dangerous and meaning business? How about wildkitten? Or wildkitty?

  13. MichaelC

    I am always distressed and dismayed by those former Bernie lovers who lament that ‘he failed us’

    He may not have succeeded in delivering our own goals, but that’s more our own projection disappointment. i.e, ‘I would have done it differently’ than his failing.

    That his erstwhile supporters abandon him in his failure to win outright, rather than continue to be by his side as he realized the obvious, that he would have to continue operating best as he could tactically, after the night of the long knives slaughtered any hope he might prevail, betrays a naïveté ( and from my view, a betrayal) on their part, which they should factor into their political calculus about winning the progressive long game.

    I continue to believe he sincerely represents the hopes and lives of all Americans.

    Clearly Neither party in power gives a hoot about its citizens while its engaged in Big Game geopolitics.

    In my view, disdain for him is a betrayal, as it’s a distraction from the geopolitical dangers the oligarchs we rallied around him to contain, are running the show that defeated his campaign.

    1. Arizona Slim

      If it wasn’t for Bernie, I wouldn’t be concerned about that big pile of furniture that was dumped near the Arizona Slim Ranch. But since I am the neighborhood association VP, I just made a report to Code Enforcement.

      It’s grassroots politics. Nothing more, nothing less.

      1. MichaelC

        And I wouldn’t be concerned,as a Queens resident, as that AOC inadvertently disrupted the Crowley ( her local opponent) assumed trajectory to be next Speaker post Pelosi .

        I love her for that as much as I favored Sanders for the same disruptive power.
        I assumed that was what we loved about them.

        But alas, I think I’m in the minority w Ds

        1. tegnost

          I completely agree. Bernie is a master class in politics. Win what you can win and keep fighting.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I would hope that the Bitter Berners and the younger Sanderistas would also figure out how to wage cultural warfare and economic combat in their personal lives and in their organized social-presence group-lives as well.

            There may be ways for a diffuse leaderless distributed groupload of people with shared culture and outlook and desires to carry the battle to the heart of the enemy like cloudbanks of mosquitoes slowly killing a moose by drinking all its blood through ten million tiny little bites.

            One doesn’t have to be a big bad wolf. One can be ten million little bad mosquitoes and still destroy the enemy over time.

  14. timotheus

    The new documentary on the Horn & Hardart automats (“Automat”) is a lovely piece of nostalgia and of great interest about how suburbanization killed the wonderfully democratic and quality-at-a-low-price establishments. But the filmmaker goes completely off the rails and presents CEO Schultz of Starbucks as the inheritor of its ethos. It also lets the H&H descendants off the hook for their anti-union posture with heavily garlanded tales about company picnics and good benefits–believable for that long past era and perfectly irrelevant now. So Schultz’s paranoid and tone-deaf statement today about being “attacked” by unions is not only predictable but also will lead to many head-noddings from the PMC.

  15. jackiebass63

    I have followed Bernie for decades. Basically his massage has not changed much. It is amazing he has survived for so long considering what he is trying to do. We need more people in congress like him. Unfortunately most congress people ignore those that elect them once in office, and do the bidding of the wealthy that run the country.

  16. Alice X

    If we had universal health care, education (to tertiary), basic housing, basic food, child care and jobs programs (not military), none of it means tested, unionism would have a different meaning. Unfortunately US unions do not seem to envision such things. In 2008, Richard Trumpka endorsed Obama, for instance. In 1980 some unions endorsed Reagan.

  17. Jeremy Grimm

    I remain bitter about the CARES Act and other big giveaways to big business and the FIRES cartels. I do not know what coersions were used to quiet Bernie and AOC and others in the Congress and drive the rapid passage of this act so unanimously. If I did, I could find more understanding for them. As events have played out in the years since, after the Kucinich run for President and its results, and two runs by Bernie, noting how the u.s. democratic system worked overtime to knee-cap them … I believe it is time to recognize that the u.s. is not a democracy. The government is not a government of, by, or for the people and as the world faces ever greater threats from Climate Chaos, resource depletion, disease, and deadly conflict, the u.s. government has become a government of madness. The u.s. enters this new age of chaos after dismantling its industry, emaciating its supply chains, demoralizing its Labor, and alienating its allies in the world.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The geographic region known as the ” U S ” might still have little democracies or semi-democracies within itself here and there. People living in such semi-demo mini-regions or micro-regions might well do democratic work within those regions to control what part of their social habitat can be controlled at those mini-micro regionalocal levels. And prepare their survivalist lifeboats and fortresses of survival.

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