Convention Discussion: Building class consciousness in central Indiana

BY:Brad Lorton| March 18, 2019


A huge part of building working-class consciousness in my location is overcoming fatalism and resignation.   The Indiana state legislature has delivered some devastating blows to unionism in recent years.   The old industrial and craft models of unionization have the flaws of building in tensions between workers, and dividing workers into bargaining units.

In my opinion, this is a major contributor to a lack of militancy in the working class.  I think it’s true that unionism saw its greatest gains when it was a broad movement (ie. in Debs’ day) and workers didn’t care about rules against “sympathy strikes” and “secondary boycotts” and other broader based direct action.
So I am one who sees building working-class morale on the basis of direct action going beyond the limits of bargaining units and individual companies and industries.   I think this is important from the standpoint of strengthening workers’ position imposed to capitalism, and to helping workers feel motivated and less bewildered.  There are examples of this: UNITE-HERE and SEIU are prime examples.  That has to grow … and it has to expand into office workers and mid-level professionals.  Those are workers who have needed organization for decades, but the old style craft unions and industrial unions (mainstream, that is … not referring to the IWW here) couldn’t reach them.  New attempts need to be made in ways that truly do empower workers.   And a little taste of success will equate into new courage.
I think that the Communist Party, and our allies in other socialist and progressive organizations and movements, need to be a catalyst for bringing this broader, expansive approach to the forefront  … and create a new paradigm of worker organization and strategic possibilities.  Those new paradigms and possibilities could be the foundation for workers’ revolution.


Related Articles

For democracy. For equality. For socialism. For a sustainable future and a world that puts people before profits. Join the Communist Party USA today.

Join Now

We are a political party of the working class, for the working class, with no corporate sponsors or billionaire backers. Join the generations of workers whose generosity and solidarity sustains the fight for justice.

Donate Now

CPUSA Mailbag

If you have any questions related to CPUSA, you can ask our experts
  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
Read More
Ask a question
See all Answer