Marxist IQ: a Labor Day tribute

BY:Communist Party USA| September 5, 2023
Marxist IQ: a Labor Day tribute


Labor Day should be a day for workers to understand the nature of capitalism, and the role of the working class in the struggle for economic, social, and political democracy.

1. The first Labor Day parade was held on Sept. 5, 1882, in lower Manhattan. One of the late 19th century trade unionists credited with leading the campaign for Labor Day was

a. Samuel Gompers of the cigarmakers.
b. Allen Pinkerton of the police.
c. Peter McGuire of the carpenters.
d. John L. Lewis of the miners.


2. Preferring not to recognize May Day — designated International Workers Day by the Second International in honor of the May 1st strike for the eight-hour workday and the Haymarket incident in 1886 in Chicago — U.S. President Glover Cleveland signed Congressional legislation on June 28, 1894, designating Labor Day as the first Monday in September. One week later, Cleveland sent federal troops to Chicago to suppress what major strike?

a. the Homestead Strike
b. the Battle of Blair Mountain
c. the Little Steel strike
d. the Pullman strike


3. The attitude of the capitalist class toward the working class in U.S. history was best expressed by

a. robber baron Jay Gould when he said, “I can hire half of the working class to kill the other half.”
b. President Herbert Hoover when he promised workers “a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage.”
c. President Dwight Eisenhower when he spoke of “democratic capitalism,” where workers would own more and more stocks and bonds.
d. Ronald Reagan when he boasted that he was the first trade union leader to reach the presidency (Reagan was a Screen Actors’ Guild, put to shame by today’s striking SAG–AFTRA members), and that labor is best off when it does what business wants.


4. Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs contended that the capitalist class saw the working class as

a. human beings with human rights.
b. hands to run the machines, cheaper and more replaceable then those machines.
c. consumers to be reached with advertising.
d. citizens whose civil rights should be respected.


5. Most labor historians believe that the most important victory ever won by U.S. labor, although many still fear to tell the whole story, was won by

a. the AFL–CIO leadership in their defense of the Air Traffic Controllers.
b. the establishment of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) by a Democratic Party majority in Congress and the Nixon administration.
c. the 1937 sit-down strike at a General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan, led by activists of the Communist Party USA, and followed by huge gains in trade union membership.
d. the Anthracite Coal Strike, settled by administration of Theodore Roosevelt.


6. Perhaps the most important task for workers this year would be

a. to support trade sanctions against the People’s Republic of China and to give its seat in the U.N. back to Taiwan.
b. to boycott the 2024 elections and call for a general strike for the immediate establishment of socialism.
c. to fight to develop militant trade union and political action at the community and national level, to restore and renew workers’ rights and trade union power, and to defeat the fascist forces rallying for Trump and his imitators.
d. to repeal the National Labor Relations Act, so that workers will no longer have to pay union dues and capital will be able to increase profits and wages.

Answers here.


    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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