The best definition of a strike is when ‘workers withhold their labor’ for better wages and working conditions. The conventional wisdom is that unions go on strike. But that is incorrect. Workers go on strike and they don’t necessarily need to be members of unions. That fact is evident today as millions of US workers are refusing to return to their jobs. They are ‘withholding their labor’ searching for better pay and a future.We are witnessing the ‘Great Strike of 2021’ and it’s composed mostly of millions low paid non-unionized workers!
This quiet bit of news signals a catastrophe for working-class organization. The state of America seems to get worse and worse. But the current neoliberal system is aiming at total control and as the current racist right commotion points, in silence, to the long-term restoration of slavery. That’s counterintuitive to liberals of this era, until recently, but there were ominous signs already in the nineteenth century, and not just the obvious case of KKK action against abolition. It is no accident that figures like Gurdjieff, with parallel figures like Nietzsche, peddled a spiritual doctrine to liberal moderns but as a front that harbored nothing less than the destruction of modernity, restoration of slavery, the destruction of democracy, and ‘all that’, plus fascist over and undertones. Various new age shadow figures use the guru platform to subtly enslave a slew of disciples who think they are on a path of enlightenment. In a world where the left has no awareness of the larger potential of man as a creeping mischief can sow the seeds of ultra-reactionary futures. This is a bit lurid, and alarmist, let’s hope, but many who, as here, predicted some outcome to reactionaries find their suspicions, if not forecasts, confirmed in the sudden rightist/fascist alt-right global phenomenon, not least the Trump ‘farce’ in the US. This second coming of fascism began in the seventies or so of the last century. Trump is it seems a kind of drone figure and carried out an operation more than successful for someone so stupid. Note that we thought the Trump era would pass, but he seeded a very clever path beyond democracy that is on the verge of destroying democracy. Everyone defined fascism in terms of Hitler, but that was misleading. A new set of tactics are at work. As far as I know this is distinct as such from neoliberalism but there is an obvious affinity and the two blend easily.
The left has lost the ability to resist.
We need to rethink the left, as we have done here. But our critiques have generally left a core legacy alone. Marx’s theories have crippled the left but his other work remains relevant: issues of class, ideology, etc…The criticism of Marx will actually liberate the core thinking and free it from the confusions of dated theory.
Everyone knows it’s extremely difficult to organize a union in the US. Two often-overlooked reasons why: media consolidation and a dearth of public spaces where workers can come together, socialize, and organize.
The most dramatic change in the system over the last half-century has been the emergence of corporate giants like Amazon and the shrinkage of labor unions.The resulting power imbalance has spawned near-record inequalities of income and wealth, corruption of democracy by big money, and the abandonment of the working class.Fifty years ago, General Motors was the largest employer in America. The typical GM worker earned $35 an hour in today’s dollars and had a major say over working conditions.Today’s largest employers are Amazon and Walmart, each paying far less per hour and routinely exploiting their workers, who have little recourse.
A new study finds that higher union density corresponds to fewer deaths by overdose and suicide. Combatting “deaths of despair” is a tall order, but growing the labor movement and expanding unions’ culture of solidarity throughout our society can help.
Source: Solidarity Against Despair