From: "John H
These are particularly precarious times for all of us (save for the rulers and their sponsors), but they are dangerous times for unions. At the same time, most of the advances in safety, stability and standards of living in the 20th century are tied to the work of unions and union organizers. The inclination of many unions appears to be to pull-back and shelter in place. If, however, we are not to witness a full takeover of our nation and much of the world by fascist corporate state (neoliberalism), unions and the rest of us will have to be willing to stand up fight. Unions, in particular, have done this in the past. And, in many cases, those standing up suffered grievous repercussions up to and including murder by thugs and government troops doing corporate bidding.
It is always more comfortable to sit back and let others do the fighting, but now is not the time for unions to recuse themselves from the battle. No job is any longer secure – even white-collar jobs. Yet far too many of us seem willing to remain complacent in the face of a truly existential danger from the corporate right. They, after all, own almost all of the media that matters and are constantly bombarding us with propaganda intended to disable and disarm us from questioning their motives and actions which daily serve to strip us of our rights and privileges as citizens – setting us at odds against one another fighting for the meager crumbs the billionaires deign to drop to us.
Unions can lead us in this fight by reaching back into their past to develop a spirit and willingness to once again standup to illegitimate authority and fight for the values we should all hope to share. This will be difficult as many union leaders and rank and file have bought into the corporate mantra while hiding in dark corners afraid to do battle with a system intending to destroy them. Fortunately, as the attached articles set out, there are unions and independent workers who are willing to stand and fight. A major part of this be a shared program of education to bring the totality of the problem home to the many who are standing by thinking that nothing can be done. And this must include not just unions and their members, but all of us. This education must include an understanding of how our corporate rulers use the government and the military to spread 'their' empire across the globe. What they do in far-flung countries across the globe will soon come to this nation if nothing is done to wake folks to this reality. This will be a difficult and sometimes dangerous undertaking, but it must happen if neoliberal totalitarianism is not to finally dominate the world.
I am not now nor, except for a brief period years ago, have I been a union member. I do have a tremendous respect for what unions have gained for all of us. I also understand that, in too many instances, unions have become their own worst enemies by falling into the trap of corruption on the part of leadership or cooptation by the corporate elite. Nothing is ever perfect and that includes unions. If, however, unions can adapt to the current situations and develop appropriate tactics – not just falling back on old standards – they can once again become a dynamic force for change that we all desperately need.
For those of you not familiar with In These Times and Working In These Times, I encourage you to check them out. There is a description of Working In These Times at the end of the third article in the attachment.