May Day: Festival for Labor
by Grant A. Mincy
Just a quick blog post on May Day. Today is not about state communism, big government or a nationalist takeover of the “democratic” system. Today is a day to celebrate worker solidarity movements that have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor. Today is every bit as much about labor as “Labor Day.” The big government correlation is (ironically) the result of anti-union, anti-worker propaganda put forth by the big government corporatists of the Gilded Age. Indeed, today is not at all about government, it is about the struggles of individuals. As independent scholar Kevin Carson notes, it is also as American as apple pie:
Most Americans think of May Day, if they think of it at all, as some sort of communist holiday. Their awareness of it is based mainly on a vague memory of parades of military hardware on Red Square and Soviet leaders’ “fraternal greetings” to leaders of the state communist regimes of their Warsaw Pact satellites. If you’re unfamiliar with the history of May Day, you might be surprised to learn not only that it originated in the United States, but that it was strongly supported by American free market anarchists. May Day — the international holiday of the workers’ and socialist movements — was created by American workers, right here in the good old U.S. of A…
So this May Day, spread your best checkered tablecloth and picnic on hot dogs, potato salad and apple pie, and give a thought or two to the fight for economic justice to working people. That’s a struggle we market anarchists at Center for a Stateless Society fight every day.
Today is also a day of historic celebration, so grab a (locally crafted, worker owned & operated) cold one!