Today marks my first post for the NYC-based, Hot Indie News megablog, curated by award-winning independent media producer and Green Party/Black Lives Matter activist James Lane.
It’s a recap of a Left Forum talk by Jane McAlevey, who everyone should know about!
Jane McAlevey puts the “movement” in “labor movement”. She worked for unions for a decade, including four years in a “right to work” state (aka “right to work for less”) helping hospital workers win victories for themselves and their patients in an era characterized by concessions to the bosses. McAlevey’s memoir/gonzo case study anthology Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell) (Verso) was reissued in paperback just over a year ago this past May, and she participated in a panel a couple of weeks ago at the annual Left Forum conference where she outlined a recent paper for the Socialist Register and announced the working title of her next book — No Shortcuts.
If you are not familiar with McAlevey’s work, over the last few years she has become one of the Left’s most incisive commentators on labor and grassroots struggles. By pursuing a PhD and publishing her memoir, McAlevey has translated her credibility and experiences as a field organizer into respect as a scholar and strategist from both academia and popular Left media outlets (Behind The News on Pacifica radio, GritTV with Laura Flanders, The Real News, In These Times, The Nation). Listening to or reading McAlevey is exciting because she talks about the Left “building power” and “winning” in ways that are ambitious but not at all sentimental or sounding like bravado. McAlevey talks fast, thinks sharp and is relentless in her mission to stop the Left from repeating the same mistakes of the last 35 years.
…the rabid embrace of cultural politics over politics politics has been a disaster for actual left-wing organizing.