Stewart Acuff

Jul 23

Building Worker Power

Power is how you get things done. It is intrinsically neither good nor bad, positive nor negative. Power can be used for good or ill, to corrupt or lift up.

It happens that the Financial Elite is much more comfortable with power than most workers, the middle class, and progressives. But if we are to drive change for a more just America, we must become more comfortable and facile with the use of power.

For those of us who aren’t in the Financial Elite, we build power by organizing. Everything good that has happened in this country for working families and average people has come as a result of workers and average people organizing and using the strength of our numbers.

There are two ways to build power in America:

  1. One is the power of money and wealth, the power built by the Financial Elite with people like the Koch Brothers, Mitt Romney, the idiot Donald Trump, and Walmart.
  2. The other source of power in America is workers and average people organizing and uniting the strength of their numbers.

We wield our power through mobilization. All the numbers in the world do us no good if we don’t put those numbers into action, into movement – voting and electoral action, marches and rallies, disrupting business as usual by the Financial Elite. We will write more about this later, but all the advances in human dignity and living standards in America’s 20th century came as a result of masses of people moving to demand a better way of life and a more just America – women’s suffrage, the long struggle for civil rights, the fight to build the American labor movement and create the middle class, the struggle for cleaner air and water, and rights for the LGBT community.

But that is not all. We can leverage our power through coalitions by uniting our movements and joining with one another.

We desperately need to build, wield, and leverage our power today in the defense of democracy and in defense of working families and the middle class.

I will write more on this soon, with longer piece focused on Expanding Worker Power.

 

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