5/23 “Alt-Labor” Organizing; Biden’s Foreign Policy Crumbling w/ Daniel Galvin, Richard Beck

May 23, 2024

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Daniel J. Galvin, professor of political science at Northwestern University, to discuss his recent book Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights. Then, she’s joined by Richard Beck, senior writer at n+1 Magazine, to discuss his recent piece in the New Left Review entitled “Bidenism Abroad.” First, Emma runs through updates on Nikki Haley’s endorsement of Donald Trump, Israel’s continued victimization in the face of committing genocide, US support for Israel, Senate politics, Justice Alito, Anti-trust action, UK elections, and more, before parsing through Fox News’ coverage of the FBI’s capacity to USE DEADLY FORCE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP, per typical procedure. Professor Daniel Galvin then joins, first contextualizing what these “alternative labor” organizations are, with networks like worker centers, community organizations, and regional alliances providing particularly vulnerable workers in the vast, unionized sectors of the US economy an avenue for workplace and labor justice, be it wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment, or labor conditions, though generally focusing on rectifying wrongs that have already occurred. Expanding on this, Professor Galvin explores how these organizations have begun shifting to a more proactive approach, advocating for state and local employment and labor policy to chip away at the severe power imbalance in the US economy, finding success in bluer districts and states, while meeting much more institutional (and financial) opposition elsewhere. After walking through the slow and steady undermining of FDR’s New Deal system of labor protections after the Second World War, and the shift away from collective bargaining to minimal employment protections, Galvin wraps up by assessing the devastating impact employer exploitation like wage theft actually has on the US economy, resulting in billions taken from the lowest-wage workers. Richard Beck and Emma then reflect on Biden’s Foreign Policy platform on the campaign trail, centering a “foreign policy for the middle class” and a narrative of “Democracies versus Autocracies,” which particularly worked with his early policies of support for Ukraine and withdrawal from Afghanistan, respectively, and look to the main individuals – Anthony Blinken and Jake Sullivan – responsible for shaping this platform. After expanding on the evolution of Biden’s foreign policy during his first few years in office, Richard and Emma begin to explore how October 7th (and Israel’s following ethnic cleansing of Gaza) completely upended these commitments, laying bare the failures of the autocracy-democracy binary, and reinserting the US into an expensive quagmire in the Middle East, all while relying on the policies bequeathed unto him by Donald Trump’s far-right administration. Next, Beck looks to the parallels in Biden’s approach to China, continuing the economic warfare established under Trump with major EV tariffs and an ongoing attempt at a TikTok Ban, before exploring the increasingly precarious status of US hegemony over the last few decades, and wrapping up by assessing the future of Biden’s inactive and defensive leadership as the 2024 election draws near.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they highlight a new EmMajority Report intro song, Sam’s evolution into a cruiser (as in… the ships), and talk with Sky from Florida about the ideologies behind hating student debt-forgiveness. A Syrian Student from Germany dives into the response to the ICC’s arrest warrant for Netanyahu, Mehdi Hasan and Ilan Pappé have an enlightening conversation on the future of Palestine and Israel, and Tulsi Gabbard doubles down on both her anti- and pro-war stances. Will from Portland discusses his father’s relationship to the Daily Wire, and Nikki Haley falls in line with Donald Trump, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Daniel’s book here: https://www.russellsage.org/publications/alt-labor-and-new-politics-workers-rights

Check out Richard’s piece here: https://newleftreview.org/issues/ii146/articles/richard-beck-bidenism-abroad

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