Rebuilding A Class Movement
In Solidarity: Essays on Working-Class Organization in the United States
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21346
Book review of Kim Moody's In Solidarity: Essays on Working-Class Organization in the United States.
Kim Moody and other socialists formulated the rank-and-file strategy in the context of an upsurge in the early and middle 1970s. Activists from Moody's organization, the International Socialists (IS), as well as other radical tendencies of the time, got hired into auto plants, steel mills, truck depots, and the telephone company.
IS members were inspired by the political vision of "socialism from below" as well as the rank-and-file militancy that was bubbling up in work places and communities. They linked up with wildcat strikers, Black and Latino militants and women workers fighting for jobs and respect.
The mid-1970s turned out to be the tail end of the last major rank-and-file upsurge in U.S. labor history. Socialists correctly predicted that "the employers' offensive" would get worse - but many socialists were surprised by the near-collapse of top union resistance in the 1980s. Four decades later, work, the working class, and our unions are very different - and in worse shape.