Where does Socialism Fit in the People’s Press and Local Unions? 

Reprinting just the arguments made by the two union representatives defending their members’ services (and the need for those services) (See articles above) leaves out the Socialist argument that social needs under capitalism can only be addressed if they are priced for a profit. And if the profit is less than alternative investments – i.e. if butter pays less well than guns – then it’s the guns that get made and the cows can go to hell. 

UPS beats the Postal Service because it creates Private Profits; Public Profit is never posted on the stock exchange. Indeed it is hardly ever calculated. One outfit at U-Mass Amherst,  the Political Economy Research Institute, led by economist Robert Pollin, does occasionally figure “public” profit, that is, the ability of a public policy or initiative to improve the lives of the general public, for example, Google the Living Wage movement some decades ago.

UPS, however, has a public voice, the US Government, which it effectively owns. The Public, under capitalism, has no voice, only ears to hear politicians like Cuomo declare “We (who is We?) can’t afford mental health, unlike private prisons which we CAN afford, and will serve to house violent mental patients just fine, besides making the Prison Experience less enjoyable for Public Enemies”.

A paper like The People’s Press should never be satisfied with a dismissive “Go Figure”, as if nothing could be done about the System we live under. The message should always be: “Come; Let’s Figure it Out!”

I think The People’s Press or something like it must try to be a voice for the Public, a very tricky challenge! How many nutcases have claimed that tempting role, Right Wing as well as Left. Is it like being a parent to the “masses” ? Bleghghgh! Can we just offer a forum, a public forum, for discussion & debate of public issues? Make it a model of thoughtful courtesy by example? Quite a contrast with the past sarcastic & ferocious polemics of periods of Left history! This is so damn hard!

– Exasperated Jim Amory

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