reading group: international working-class organisation

The next of The Commune’s London reading groups on ‘communism from below’ takes place from 7pm on Monday 15th June at the Artillery Arms near Old Street. The meeting will be focussing on the question of how the working class can organise on an international footing.

The recommended reading for the group includes two articles on ‘economic nationalism’ and protectionism in the workers’ movement, both of which appeared in Against the Current in summer 2000.

The articles by left communist Loren Goldner (click here) and Labor Notes editor Kim Moody (click here) relate to the US trade unions’ attitudes towards free trade during the upsurge in ‘anti-globalisation’ struggles a decade ago, unpicking the issues of identification with ‘national’ capitalism, the unions’ supposed sympathy for Chinese workers, and to what extent communists can support workers who mount powerful collective actions despite holding protectionist attitudes.

At the meeting we will be discussing questions including:

– Do workers in ‘the West’ and developing countries like China and India to which jobs are being outsourced have common interests?
– What determines whether we ought to support even those strikes which adopt nationalist or protectionist slogans in the name of defending jobs?
– Should we demand that the British state withdraws from bodies like the IMF, WTO and EU in order to protect us from international competition?
– How can we react to the worldwide imposition of attacks on workers’ rights – to what extent is it really possible for working-class organisations to cohere in line with international business and govermental institutions?
– What examples exist of international workers’ solidarity, and how might these be repeated?

All are welcome – get in touch with us at uncaptiveminds@gmail.com if you would like more information. Map of the venue below.