What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays’ Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through the populists and the labor movement, including the Wobblies. Tough, in your face people… Mother Jones, Woody Guthrie… Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. And now it’s down to us.
Now, if we look at the way in which the labor movement itself has evolved over the last couple of decades, we see increasing numbers of black people who are in the leadership of the labor movement and this is true today.
I would say the issue for the labor movement in the United States is not structural… there is no correlation between the success of workers and how the labor movement is structured.
The labor movement means just this: it is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth.