Book tour highlights Marxist analysis of low-wage capitalism
Published May 3, 2009 8:22 PM
Students, labor and community activists gathered to hear Fred Goldstein, author
of “Low-Wage Capitalism: Colossus with Feet of Clay,” when he spoke
on a recent three-city tour in California.
In San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles Goldstein put the theses of his
recently published book in the context of the current global economic crisis,
the prospects for working-class fightback and the need to challenge
On April 14, Goldstein was joined by well-known Marxist author and activist
Michael Parenti, whose newest book is “Contrary Notions.” They
spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the Modern Times Bookstore in San
Francisco. When Parenti introduced Goldstein, he explained that while some
people think that Marxists are spouting theories, “The truth is that a
Marxist analysis reflects reality.” After his presentation and
discussion, Goldstein signed a number of books purchased by audience
The historically prominent Malcolm X Library in San Diego was the site of the
second meeting and book-signing event, which was held on April 18. Gloria
Verdieu, a leading organizer of the San Diego chapter of the International
Action Center, chaired the event. Bob McCubbin, author of “The Roots of
Lesbian and Gay Oppression: A Marxist View” and a copyeditor for Workers
World newspaper, introduced Goldstein. Goldstein’s talk was followed by a
lively and timely discussion on the capitalist crisis. Among the questions
discussed were how to strategize on labor’s fightback and the need to
overcome the negative images of socialism engendered by the mass media and
On April 23, Rosie Martinez, executive board member of the Service Employees
International Union Local 721, opened up the meeting and book-signing event in
Los Angeles, which was held at her local’s hall. She stressed that it was
critically necessary for workers that the Employee Free Choice Act be passed by
John Parker, West Coast coordinator of the International Action Center, chaired
the event and stressed the importance of building the Labor and Community
Coalition housed at the SEIU Local 721 hall. He also urged those present to
participate in the important upcoming May Day events in Los Angeles.
Berta Joubert-Ceci, a leading organizer of the Philadelphia chapter of the
International Action Center, and Goldstein spoke there to a multinational
grouping of labor activists and students. Joubert-Ceci addressed in particular
the struggles in Latin America and the need for worldwide solidarity with
workers, especially immigrants here in the U.S.
Goldstein wound up his California trip by attending the Los Angeles Book Fair,
where he met activists, signed books and got a number of requests to return to
speak at future events on the West Coast.
Naomi Cohen, Judy Greenspan, Joan Marquardt, Bob McCubbin, and John Parker
contributed to this article.
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