A HISTORY LESSON: The Democratic Party’s ‘Squad’ and the American ‘Union of Russian Workers’

I received a petition from the Congressional Progressive Caucus titled “‘Right to Work’ laws are WRONG (read why).” The ninety-seven members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus include: Representatives Ilhan Omar (Whip), Rashida Tlaib (Special Order Hour Convener), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley (a.k.a. The Squad) and Senator Bernie Sanders.

The Progressive Caucus email states:

Republican “Right to Work” laws weaken the voices of working people and ensure that their wages are kept low. All they do is INCREASE the power of corporations, while LIMITING the power of workers to join unions.

[ … ]

So we’re asking 500 Progressives from each state to sign on and tell Congress to ban Right to Work laws.

You’ve been chosen to sign for Florida. Sign on immediately:

TELL CONGRESS: BAN RIGHT TO WORK LAWS →

Listen, unions bring justice and dignity to the workplace.

They allow individual employees to organize and protect their rights on the job.

They grant workers the power to advocate for themselves.

And they even the playing field between corporations and their employees.

But Republicans don’t care about all of the benefits of unions. Their main concern is giving even more power to giant companies and diminishing the voices of working Americans in our democracy.

As Progressives, we believe this is WRONG.

Currently 27 states and Guam have given workers a choice when it comes to union membership. Why is the Congressional Progressive Caucus pushing against right to work laws in states like Florida?

History may give us the answer.

The Role of the Labor Unions in the Russian Revolution.

In 1920 the Marxists Internet Archive published a paper written by A. Lozovsky titled “The Role of the Labor Unions in the Russian Revolution.” The Forward notes:

Comrade Lozovsky says that “it is impossible to accomplish a social revolution outside of the unions or against their will.” Lenin has also said that the Bolshevist Revolution could not have lasted two weeks without the aid of the unions.

[ … ]

It can safely be stated that had the Spartacists in Germany had a predominant influence in the labor movement, Germany would be a Soviet Republic by now. This points out the way for action in the American labor movement. Stress should be laid on revolutionary work in the unions that group the mass of the industrial proletariat.

We must have the unions not only during the period of actual combat with the capitalists and their governments but even after the Dictatorship shall have been established. The function of the unions as organs of disciplined and efficient production and distribution must be broadened and much of the task of Communist reconstruction and responsibility for the running of the industrial apparatus given into the unions.

The lesson from the Russian Revolution, which is so aptly put by Comrade Lozovsky is that the unions, being the natural grouping of the workers as producers, which develop the class consciousness and militancy of the workers, develop at the same time their sense of responsibility and discipline, preparing them for the difficult task of organizing production and exchange in the Communist society. [Emphasis added]

Read the full Marxists Internet Archive document here.

In a document titled “The Russian Workingmen’s Association, sometimes called the Union of Russian Workers (What It Is and How It Operates). [A Bureau of Investigation Internal Report]” dated April 8, 1919 by Edgar B. Speer we may find the answer.

Just as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) were socialists and the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ party (Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia rabochaia partiia, or RSDRP) was Marxist so too were the roots of the Union of Russian Workers.

According to the Speer report:

From the 6th to the 9th of January, 1919, the 2nd Convention of the Russian Colonies was held in New York City. One hundred twenty-three delegates participated in the convention and they represented 33,975 Russians, according to the Soviet of Workingmen’s Deputies of the US and Canada Weekly. The independent element was represented by 60 delegates; Union of Russian Workers, 49; Socialists, 9; Industrial Workers of the World, 2; and Anarchists, 3. During the convention, Peter Bianki, who represented the Union of Russian Workers of the United States and Canada and the Anarchists, declared from the convention floor: “The Union of Russian Workers deny any form of power and Government because where Government begins, Revolution ends and where there is Revolution there is no place for Government.” Bianki further declared that the Union of Russian Workers has found it possible to support the Bolsheviki in its struggle against the counterrevolution because the Bolsheviki undoubtedly are the most Revolutionary part of the Russian Social Democratic Party. The foregoing briefly sets forth the principles as they exist today of the Russian Workingmen’s Association, sometimes called the Union of Russian Workers.

Here is the preamble of the Union of Russian Workers:

Present society is divided into two opposing classes: the downtrodden Workers and Peasants, on the one side, producing by their work all the riches of the world; the rich people, on the other side, who have grabbed all the riches into their hands.

Many a time the Class of the Oppressed stood up against the rich parasites and their faithful servant and protector — the Government — to conquer its full Liberation from the yoke of Capitalism and Political Power; but every time it suffered defeat, not being fully conscious of its own final goal and means, by which victory can be accomplished, thus remaining only a weapon in the hands of its enemies.

The struggle between these two classes is being fought also at the present time and will end only when the Toiling Masses, organized as a class, will understand their true interests and will make themselves masters of all the riches of the world by means of a violent Social Revolution.

Having accomplished such a change and having annihilated at the same time all the institutions of the Government and State, the class of the disowned must establish the Society of Free Producers, aiming at satisfying the needs of every individual person who, on its side, is giving to the Society their labor and their knowledge.

For the attainment of these aims, we consider as of primary importance the necessity of building up a wide Revolutionary Organization of Toilers which, by conducting a direct struggle with all the Institutions of Capitalism and Government, must train the Working Class to initiative and independent action in all its acts, thus educating it in the consciousness of the absolute necessity of a General Strike — of the Social Revolution. [Emphasis added]

Is the Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus calling for a revolution against state governments with right to work laws?

The email from the Progressive Caucus stating,

Republican “Right to Work” laws weaken the voices of working people and ensure that their wages are kept low. All they do is INCREASE the power of corporations, while LIMITING the power of workers to join unions.

[ … ]

Republican “Right to Work” laws weaken the voices of working people and ensure that their wages are kept low. All they do is INCREASE the power of corporations, while LIMITING the power of workers to join unions.

Sounds very much like the Union of Russian Workers of the United States and Canada and the Anarchists, who declared from their convention floor: “The Union of Russian Workers deny any form of power and Government because where Government begins, Revolution ends and where there is Revolution there is no place for Government.”

As Speer concluded in his report,

The Russian Workingmen’s Association as it exists today is divided between the advocates of Anarchist-Syndicalism and Anarchist-Communism.

It seems that history is repeating itself. The Democratic Party Progressive Caucus uses the same rhetoric as did the Union of Russian Workers.

RELATED ARTICLES:

‘The Squad’ Is Only the Beginning of Nancy Pelosi’s Problems

Trump On The ‘Squad’: They Are Not ‘Capable Of Loving Our Country’

The Socialist ‘Squad’ Does Not Like America. Take It From Them

Rashida Tlaib: National Security Risk?

Remember: Tlaib Interrupted A Trump Speech To Business Leaders… All In The Name Of ‘Doing Her Part’ 

Somali-Born Journalist Returned To Her Homeland To Document How ‘Safe’ The Country Is But Terrorists Killed Her 

RELATED VIDEO: The Bloody Story Of How May Day Became A Holiday For Workers | TIME

1 reply
  1. Royal A Brown III
    Royal A Brown III says:

    Union Shops in Non Right to Work States practice Communism pure and simple. Unions have outserved their purpose and are losing members daily. Only the corrupt union officials are served by them.

    Workers should have a choice to be in union or not without intimidation and without having dues withdrawn if they’re not members even where unions are collective bargaining unit.

    Unions have cost thousands of manufacturing and other high skilled jobs in the US whereas Right to Work States have created many thousands of jobs when manufacturers and other industries bring their business to their states.

    Unions have also depleted workers pension funds and made them unstable – no more Govt bailouts for unions. Government Motors (General Motors) cost taxpayers over $55M when the Treasury Dept under Obama sold the stock they purchased to prop them up at a significant loss.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to Royal A Brown III Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *