About me/this blog
Wrote up a whole long thing for the About This Blog section, and just figured I’d post it as well. I should be regularly posting relatively soon, still trying to get used to WordPress, tumblr is less complex. Feel free to check out the tumblr version of this blog: peterwk.tumblr.com
This blog is run by Peter Klein. It is dedicated to labor unions, workers rights, and politics.
I am a Michigan State University Alum (2010), Union organizer, radical, and a Democratic Socialist.
I enjoy unions, politics (of the left of center and radical varieties mostly), music, movies, the outdoors, hunting, fishing, cars, driving, sports, college football (Go Green!), history, causing trouble, etc.
I grew up in a small rural town in Michigan, the son of UAW parents. The area is German Catholic mostly made up of factory workers and farmers, and is unfortunately conservative. I attended Michigan State University where I received a BA in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (think audiologists and speech pathologists), and got into politics. I was one of the founding members of the MSU Young Democratic Socialists (one time President, two time Vice President, member of the Coordinating Committee, Education Committee, and Ministry of Information), worked as a volunteer for the Obama-Biden ’08 campaign, and was the founder and Chairperson of the short lived MSU Young Communist League. I was also on the YCL National Council, and the Executive Committee of the YCL Midwest Regional Council.
Realizing that CSD was not for me, but not wanting to switch majors and incur more student loan debt, I committed myself to the progressive movement on campus through MSU YDS, MSU YCL, and MSU Students for Obama to help me get experience for a career in the labor movement. I walked on picket lines with Laborers on campus, and participated in Anti-War marches that took over the streets (amongst many fun activities and events). I volunteered with the MSU Union of Nontenure-Track Faculty, AFT, AFL-CIO toward the end of my senior year. I now currently work as an organizer for the MSU UNTF.
I am no longer a member of the Communist Party USA or YCL. I still believe they are a good organization, but I cannot be a member of a group that has many members that support North Korea and China (especially with regard to Chinese State controlled unions being a total joke that do nothing helpful for workers), though that is not my only reason for no longer being a member . The CPUSA had a reformed version of Leninism that I at one time enjoyed, but I myself have abandoned that and any democratic centralist/vanguard party ideology since. I have recommitted myself to Democratic Socialism after having left the CPUSA and moderating out into more of a progressive after college. My commitment to union movement has stayed strong, and I got back to my Democratic Left roots after being sparked by the Occupy Wall Street Movement. I have considered rejoining the Democratic Socialists of America, but I’ll have to do some more reading of Harrington and such before I do.
I’m pretty far Left, but I’m also very realistic. One of my favorite quotes: ”one should always try to be as radical as reality itself” (Yes, that is a Lenin quote, just because I no longer ascribe to Leninism doesn’t mean I now ignore everything positive he did, nor not enjoy a quote). I think that the beginnings of socialism can be realized today: single payer healthcare, a living wage, the employee free choice act, overall labor law reform, a graduated income tax, getting money out of politics, more public participation in government and the economy, reining in wall street, a financial transaction tax, an increase in capital gains tax, better public school, more funding for social programs, a new New Deal, an economic Bill of Rights, etc., etc. People want these things, they just don’t know that they are at the heart of American Socialism. Taking steps toward that is what I consider being as radical as reality. Once those type of things are implemented, we can really begin to build a society that puts people and the earth before profits.
Well, that’s my story for now, and I’m sticking to it.