Right-to-Work and Lenin's Communist Pedagogy: An Introduction
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This essay examines so-called Right-to-Work (RTW) laws as a nearly seventy-year-old push by the capitalist state machine to not only dislodge restrictions on capital's ability to increase the rate of exploitation of labor power as one of many measures to counter falling rates of profit, but as an attack on communism as well. This focus is markedly different from the analysis generally offered by the educational Left in the U.S., which tends to focus exclusively on the privatization of public education and the devastating restrictions on public sector unions as attacks on the public sphere and democracy. These notions suggest that neoliberal policies can be rolled back for a kinder, more egalitarian capitalism. The analysis articulated within this essay is therefore based on the assumption that the struggle against RTW should be understood, expressed, and engaged as part of the global, anti-capitalist movement itself. In the process, following Lenin more directly, the case is made that the only realistic way to defeat capitalism is through an organized movement, or through the Party form (i.e. a communist party). Within this discussion I point to some of the ways Lenin's discussion on the communist party offers pedagogical insights. Finally, this essay does not provide a systematic analysis of Lenin or RTW, but rather offers an introductory discussion.