THIS ARTICLE BY THOMAS LIFSON, FIRST RAN IN AMERICANTHINKER.COM
America fought the Cold War to defeat communism but is losing the peace at home. Marxists have infiltrated many of the major institutions, starting with education and the media, following the strategy laid out by Italian communist Antonio Gramsci and his American disciples, including Professor Joseph Buttigieg, the recently deceased father of Pete Buttigieg. Now, the largest labor union group in the United States is unmasking its hard left turn and openly embracing Marxism. The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, as it is almost always called, claims 12 million members, down from a peak of almost 20 million in 1979, but it remains a major political donor (almost all to Democrats) and supplies campaign workers in significant numbers.
For most of the Cold War, the AFL-CIO was a stalwart anti-communist institution and sent representatives overseas to help non-communist labor unions flourish. No longer. Watch this explicitly Marxist video, claiming there is no middle class and presenting basic Marxist theory, sent from the AFL-CIO’s official Twitter account:
Michael Watson of the Capital Research Center explains the transition:
… the AFL-CIO has changed in the 24 years since Lane Kirkland stepped down as the federation’s president in 1995. Kirkland, as CRC noted recently, was a staunch anti-Communist; an aide to then-U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told the Washington Post in 1983 that Kirkland’s AFL-CIO “in general takes foreign policy positions to the right of Ronald Reagan.” American labor unions provided financial support to a number of anti-Communist free trade unions in the Soviet bloc, the most prominent of which was Poland’s Solidarity, a recipient of at least $6 million in AFL-CIO aid.
But the fall of the Iron Curtain — combined with a shift in union membership from workers in the private economy to government officials — saw this honorable tradition of liberal anti-Communism disappear almost overnight. John Sweeney, an opponent of the 1991 Persian Gulf War who unseated Kirkland’s chosen successor Tom Donohue, reportedly joined the Democratic Socialists of America before taking over the AFL-CIO to show his faithfulness to the far-left cause; his lieutenant-turned-successor Richard Trumka has continued and expanded the union federation’s alliance with the far-Left.
So that is how the AFL-CIO got into position to endorse outright Marxist sloganeering. But there’s more; the film the AFL-CIO shared is a mini-lecture by a “Marxist roofer” explaining that the middle class does not exist. Laying aside the patent ridiculousness of the assertion, it is odd that labor unions would support such an assertion, given that much of labor unions’ self-identity and public political messaging comes from their overstated role in creating the modern middle class as well making themselves its defenders. Indeed, unions’ successful campaign to secure forced dues rules in Missouri was titled “Preserve Middle Class Missouri.”
A rhetorical shift from midcentury middle-class liberalism to means-of-production Marxism is a major step for American labor unions. Whether their members are prepared to follow is an open question.
Even as Venezuela starves after having implemented Marxism, American Marxists believe themselves to be custodians of a superior ideology and are intent on forcing it upon the rest of us.
Hat tip: Gail Kaplan