Tuesday, August 11, 2009
What happened? Why has organizing in the workplace degraded again into a (gasp!) pinko commie scheme or unpatriotic dissidence? While I do think that it's mostly due to how demonized socialism has become in lieu of the Obama presidency, I also think that the economy is at the heart of it too. Labor Unions and the wages they could procure were seen as excessive, etc. But the most integral point here is that the modern union is nothing like the revolutionary collective-minded unions of the late 18th and early 19th century.
Where once there was talk of changing the world through capitalism's demise and the birth of the collective, now we have endless bureaucracy and infighting. The same syndicates and collectively owned and run farms and factories that were shaping the landscape for future workers were the ones spearheading radical ideas. What happened? Now we just have more hierarchy and more egocentric leadership. The head of the union is no better now than the factory taskmaster was. The whole point was to not be micro-managed by anyone....and that's obviously fucking gone.
Voluntary association within the Union was a major idea. Now you can't get a job if you don't pay the dues, and that's not voluntary. There's less autonomy for the worker in these unions, and there's another strike against the unions of today.
I just want less semantics, contracts, rules, regulations and over-specialization, and it's sad to see the ideas that changed world degrade and decay into more of the same.