Dump the bosses off your back


And a happy Labor Day to you and yours, comrades.

• One Big Union: The Industrial Workers of the World.

• Fascist v. centrist: A new “people’s party?”

• Utah Phillips: The Long Memory.

• New Mexicans on the dole: A Labor Day like no other.

• Lost wages: Income shrinks along with unions.

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10 Responses to “Dump the bosses off your back”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Labor Day. UAW standing up for my old man when he blew out his back on the assembly line of a Chevy gear and axle plant. But also reminds me of when one of my own SOEST colleagues literally cursed me out in front of several others because I voted for a contract at the U of H that gave proportionally bigger raises to the lower-paid community college folks, who were threatening to form their own union as in that Monty Python splitters skit. So much for union brotherhood. Brotherhood, as long as I got mine….

    Still, I would never have traded that year of the faculty strike for the world. We actually did labor action, aka a strike, and being in the thick of it was a real adrenaline rush. I never through going over a pickup truck hood would feel so good.

    Still, its always been about oligarchy, whether from the left or right. And in the case of a successful new People’s Party, I have a feeling that True Believer(tm) intellectuals of the left would take over, kicking out the Robber Barons(tm) and Trumpistas of the right. Robespierre, to the haircut machine!

    Still, its worth a try. I’d like to see multiple parties, including a Progressive/People’s party, a revitalized Conservative party for those who flee the Trumpian GOP, and a party or two for everyone in the middle. Right now, the duopoly is giving us two different flavors of bullshit oligarchy. Multiple parties might force some horse trading rather than the last few years of all or nothing gridlock.

    As far as this fall, would you like fries with your shit sandwich?STill, vote early and vote often. We gotta get fuckhead out of the White House and Grandpa will have to do.

    • Dale Says:

      I can’t see a truly viable multi-party (beyond two) environment under our system of government. If we had a parliamentary system it would be a no-brainer. Weaker parties have leverage in close elections to form a coalition government where they can influence policy.

      Here, state laws make it difficult for third/fourth/etc. parties to even get on the ballot. Voting for a weak party candidate essentially is a gift to the candidate the voter most dislikes.

      Perhaps we should abolish political parties. According to George Washington, one of the chief dangers of letting regional loyalties dominate loyalty to the nation as a whole was that it would lead to factionalism, or the development of competing political parties. When Americans voted according to party loyalty, rather than the common interest of the nation, Washington feared it would foster a “spirit of revenge,” and enable the rise of “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men” who would “usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

    • SAO' Says:

      “It’s always been about oligarchy, whether from the left or the right.”

      Yep. Kinda the problem with every ideology. None of them have ever actually been tried in anything close to an accurate form. Parties always muck things up.

      Nietzsche, I think, said you can’t be a party man and a thinking man at the same time.

      Most Americans probably think of Venezuela, Cuba, and of course the USSR and China when they think of socialism or communism. But neither of those two systems can be run by one ruling party, so they need a different name. Instead, we call socialist-leaning nations “democratic socialists,” but they tend to follow the actual practices of a socialist nation, even if they are not contractually bound to by their constitution. They do it because a lot of it works and they keep electing folks that get stuff done to run the show.

      Here’s the analogy I always use. The Army can roughly be divided into light and heavy forces. Light, like the 82nd Airborne and the 101st Air Assault. Heavy, like 1st Cav or the 1st Armored Division. And there is some gentle ribbing between the two sides, but no one would ever accuse the other of being un-American. There are no 4-star folks out there saying, I just don’t trust those light fighters, we’re doing everything with tanks. Every mission is determined by analyzing the situation and picking the right mix. And I have no idea why we can’t do that with left and right leaning policies. Because everyone knows that times change and you need a screwdriver for this task but a hammer for the other.

      And if you don’t believe me, drive to the deepest red parts of the country, where socialism is a dirty word, and then tell me how many co-ops you see. Every farmer in this country is in at least two of them. Pooling resources and sharing risk is totally cool at the community level, and somehow evil and the devil’s work when it’s done at the national level. Which brings us back to the Army, the most liberal and socialism institution in this country, and yet beloved by the right.

      We’re in a weird place right now when it comes to labels. Crack open Wikipedia and look up socialist nations, and all you get are Marxist style countries, mostly failures, where the entire system is run by a ruling socialist party. The extremely left-leaning countries of Europe are nowhere to be found. So then check out the successful countries that follow socialist practices, and you find the political scientists splitting hairs, trying to wordsmith their way into convincing us that there is a significant difference between democratic socialism and a socialist democracy. Guess what, Sweden isn’t a socialist state, they are actually parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands? Why, they’re consociationals.

      All I know is … I’m a real American, ain’t no socialism in me, and you’d better keep your federal hands off of my social security and medicare!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        We always insist on pinning labels on things, as though this helps us understand them. Not so much.

        It’s been proven over and over again that you can reprint the Declaration of Independence under a header like “Join the Red Star Collective Revolutionary Working People’s Socialist Liberation & Free Love Party” and get the dummies hunting you with baseball bats.

      • khal spencer Says:

        The New Deal was right for its time and it had a whole lot of socialism in it, which is why Hoover and a bunch of folks on the right kept trying to kill it from the forties on. I just finished Marc Gallicchio’s book Unconditional and he discusses the economic pressures at home as one reason Truman wanted to stamp out the war real fast.

        You need a tool box to build a house and not just a bigger hammer. As you say, I don’t know why we can’t recognize good ideas rather than pin labels on them so we can reject them.

        To me, the big paradigm shift was globalization, which allowed the investor class to outsource rather than compromise with labor. I do think we will need a pan-national labor movement to keep us from undercutting each other.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Oh, and without further comment.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Priority one is putting out the dumpster fire in the people’s house. And, getting someone in there that believes the scientists. Old folks are being sacrificed to make demon dainty digit’s economy look good. And, the world is on fire.


  4. khal spencer Says:

    Interesting read by David Frum. https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-do-democracies-fail?utm_source=pocket-newtab

  5. Dale Says:

    Let’s have a drink.

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