While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation.
by Joe Allen
Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was of course an overstatement, but it was also a necessary correction. Logistics — the mobilization of vast resources and, most importantly, people — was the lifeblood of a winning military strategy. Without full and competent logistical support, any strategy, no matter how brilliant, will fail. It is a point worth remembering when discussing the importance of the logistics industry to the US economy.
Most people know the word logistics from UPS’s ubiquitous advertising campaign, “We [Heart] Logistics.” It is sometimes seen as a fancy word for old-fashioned warehousing and distribution, an advertising makeover for the twenty-first century. “For many [others],” Marxist geographer Deborah Cowen writes, “logistics may only register as a word on the side of the trucks that magically bring online orders only hours after purchase or that circulate incessantly to and from big-box stores at local power centers.” On still other occasions, it is more glibly understood as the “supply chain.”
The US economy revolves around the sprawling logistics industry, and the potential power of these workers is enormous. Socialists should always seek a political relationship with those sections of the working class that have the potential power to elevate the organization and politics of the entire class. Without a strong left wing based in the most powerful workplaces, both the working-class movement and the socialist left will continue to be of marginal influence.
After three decades of gut-wrenching changes to the industrial economy, I believe that socialists can, once again, have an industrial strategy in the United States.
The “Old” Supply Chain
The production of capital goods (machines and tools for manufacturing) and consumer goods (for personal consumption) has been and will be central to the capitalist system. Every generation or so, however, capital reorganizes its methods of Read the rest of this entry »