General Strike. There. I said it. It’s on the table.

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

It been so long since a general strike has happened in the US, I better post some background from the wikipedia entry

A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants. It is also characterized by participation of workers in a multitude of workplaces, and tends to involve entire communities. The general strike has waxed and waned in popularity since the mid-19th century, and has characterized many historically important strikes.

The term “general strike” is sometimes also applied to large-scale strikes of all of the workers in a particular industry, such as the Textile workers strike (1934). Those “general” strikes, however massive they might be, involve workers only in a particular workplace. The classic general strike, by contrast, involves also workers (and members of the working-class) who have no direct stake in the outcome of the strike. For example, in the San Francisco General Strike of 1934, both union and non-union workers struck for four days to protest the police and employers’ tactics that had killed two picketers and in support of the longshoremen’s and seamen’s demands.

The distinction is not always that clear. In the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934, as an example, many building trades unions and organizations of unemployed workers in federal work projects struck in sympathy with striking truck drivers and to protest the police violence against picketers. Thousands of others participated in demonstrations to support the strikers. Those sympathy strikes, while sizable, never acquired the scope necessary to amount to a “general strike”, however, and the organizers of the Teamsters’ strike did not describe it as such.…

It’s time for the left to start the discussion involved with consideration of calling a general strike due to the disintegration of the US Federal political process.

The American political process has corrupted to the point that the people of this country can’t get issues that 70-80% of the people support to the floor of Congress to even be voted on. Members of Congress are buried so deep in the political contributions of outside interest groups that the corruption of political process is threatening the very existence of American democracy.

The American people can withdraw their consent to be governed in a such fashion. We do not have to cooperate. We can stay home and refuse to allow our labor to used by those who would destroy democracy in America.


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    • Adam on August 18, 2009 at 01:18

    You go to a lot of trouble every day to cooperate with the owner class. The owner class makes a lot of money off your cooperation in getting up early, and commuting to work, then working, then commuting home.

    You don’t have to be so cooperative.

    • Inky99 on August 18, 2009 at 23:58


    Sorry, don’t mean to be snide, but how many people read this blog?  

    I’m all for a general strike, BTW but sure don’t see it happening until a LOT more people are unemployed.  But then they can’t strike because …. they don’t have jobs anyway.  

  1. We’ve discussed this a lot here in the past, though not recently.  

    There is a group in Southern California, VOTE STRIKE which has been advocating, organizing and trying to get this going for some 2 years now.  Tahoebasha has used this for her sig line for a long time, asking people to go to Vote Strike and sign up.

    I totally agree that this is needed.  The question is how to go about it.  Please contact Vote Strike to see what has been done and to join in solidarity.  URLs can be found in my diaries on the subject or in my diaries:






    Looking forward to discussing this further.

    • banger on August 19, 2009 at 00:52

    for a general strike to work it has to extend beyond the 10-20% of the American people who can be described as progressives. The natural allies of the left are not the “liberals” (actually  neo-liberals) but the right. We need to find some common basis or it becomes another form of culture wars. I think an anti-banker, anti-corporate, anti-MSM and anti-government movement can evolve into some semblance of a General Strike. All those sectors are enemies—yes, the government which serves almost solely corporate interests is as much the enemy as the corporations.  

  2. The French will turn out in the millions if you raise the fare on the Paris Metro. It’s a little thing called “solidarity”. It doesn’t exist here in the US; here instead of solidarity we have “I got mine, screw you Jack, you’re on your own, and if you don’t get yours too then that probably means God doesn’t love you.” In a country where the best we could manage at the last “major” war protest in DC was roughly 1,000 people, a general strike is more than a pipe dream — it’s willfully delusional. Sorry for the harsh words, but there it is.  

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