Accounts of the great Chicago Teamster strike of 1905 tell us that when the employers attempted to move the wagons driven by non-union workers through the streets of the city, working class women went to their windows and threw garbage, boiling water, and whatever else was available on the heads of the scabs below. A (perhaps apocryphal) story has it that one woman, grabbing in haste whatever was at hand, picked Das Kapital off the bookshelf—where it had been sitting next to Anti-Dühring—and stepping out on the fire escape flung it down on the head of a scab. A woman from the neighborhood, coming home just after the wagons had passed and finding the book lying in the gutter amidst flatirons and frying pans, picked it up. Seeing her friend’s name inside, she took the heavy book back up to her. “Maud,” she said, “you had better put this back on the bookshelf; we may be needing it again tomorrow.”
We at New Politics hope that as the crises deepen and social struggles increase, you will have our journal at hand and will find a way, like Maud, to unite theory and practice. We don’t always succeed in bringing the two together, but we try. At times we feel like our efforts have no discernible impact. But at other times our ideas and analyses seem to resonate with new and exciting social movements. Our writers and editors produce a journal with the notion that the theories we debate, the movements and political parties we analyze, the literature, art, and music we critique, and the books we review will in the long run, and in ways that are not always calculable, contribute to movements that are fighting for democracy and social justice and ultimately toward the democratic socialist society to which we aspire.
The task of producing New Politics was led for the past eight years by co-editors Marvin and Betty Reid Mandell. We cannot say enough about the excellent job they have done and the respect and appreciation in which we hold their work. We know that as ongoing members of our editorial board, they will continue to keep this project on track. Our last board meeting selected four-coeditors—Dan La Botz, Steve Shalom, Adaner Usmani, and Julia Wrigley—to carry on the work of editing New Politics, which will maintain its commitment to the cause of democratic socialism from below and to serving as an independent socialist forum for debate and dialogue on the left. Our board has incorporated some new and talented younger members who bring to bear a variety of experiences in social and political movements and expertise in varied fields, as well as sharing our common political values.
May our readers continue to find that they are needing New Politics again tomorrow and in the years to come.
Dan La Botz