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Posts Tagged ‘AFL-CIO’

Again, on the failed strategy of the Libertarian Party

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Senator Rand Paul, R-KY

I want to address some questions raised by commenters to Reddit r/anarchism regarding my post, “Open Letter to Certain Members of the Libertarian Party: Please, stop being assholes”.

It was not my intention to pick a fight on the merits of mainstream Libertarianism — I am solely concerned with the problem of antipolitics; which is to say, I am solely concerned with crafting a message to the majority of voters that dismantling the state is in their interest.

If you cannot craft a message that contains this idea and lock onto to it like a pit-bull you leave yourself vulnerable to fascist opponents.

The core proposition I am advancing is that the population looks to the fascist state to preserve and protect their interests. I don’t intend to define those interests for people, I only want to draw some outline of the parameters based on actual characteristics.

First, people have to eat — in our society, you eat one of two ways: out of the proceeds of your labor, or out of your revenue from your stock of capital. The vast majority — 99 percent — of the population depend entirely on their labor, or, absent this, some form of public subsistence.

Second, people fight for their interests with every means available to them — political, economic, etc. All divisions in society are political, and all battles have the objective to gain control of and wield power on behalf of these interests. The history of the fascist state is nothing more than history of this universal competition over control of the coercive powers of the state in order to use these coercive power to enforce definite interests within society — to impose these interests on society as a whole.

In this sense, there is not an iota of difference between the Koch Brothers and AFL-CIO. And, our goal as anti-statists against both the Koch Brothers and the AFL-CIO is identical: we want to deny them this coercive state power. We do not favor the political power of the Koch Brothers against the AFL-CIO, nor the AFL-CIO against the Koch Brothers.

The corollary of this position is that we want to abolish both laws that protect the monopoly property rights of the Koch Brothers and laws that protect the labor rights of the members of the AFL-CIO. On the surface, this appears brutally indifferent to the circumstances of every member of society — it is no wonder people are against it. It is brutally indifferent to class conflict, to race, to religion, to sexual preference, to national origin, to all differences among us.

So, Rand Paul is entirely correct to be against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but not because it was unconstitutional or such nonsense, but because antistatists are against all laws, law itself, and the coercive functions of the state.

Antistatists believe the state does not end conflict and division within society, but sustains and reinforces these conflicts and divisions. The conflict between wage labor and capital could not for moment continue today, if it were not for the constant intervention of the state into the economy. While we may differ over the cause of the conflict between wage labor and capital, we entirely agree the state facilitates it. We agree that the role of the fascist state is to manage the conflict, not abolish it.

Our indifference to the circumstances of wage labor or capital in relation to the state, does not result from a common view of the conflict; it results from a common view of the role of the state in sustaining division and conflict and making its continuation possible.

Every antistatist has her own view of what society looks like after the state is abolished — some have several contradictory views. If those views had any impact whatsoever on the trajectory of human society, they might be of some significance. The fact is, all the views, all the models, all the blueprints for a new society are meaningless — mankind will take no notice of them. In the aftermath of the abolition of the state people will create their lives as they see fit based on conditions they discover empirically. So, it is not a matter of debate over differing visions of a post-state society that should concern us, but creating the post-state society.

That is, figuring out how to abolish the fascist state.

In my opinion, this comes down to the practical problem of convincing a working majority of the population that dismantling the state is in their interest — how ever they define this interest. (We do not seek to define it for them.) In the post, I argued you can begin by telling the wage laborer that if she votes for you you will strip every labor protection from her. I leave it to you to decide whether this is a promising strategy.

The other political approach is to show why abolishing the state will improve her life. And, by showing, I do not mean charts, blogs or books — I mean a platform that really will work for her, that will improve her life. Like, for instance, abolishing the national security state, and, with this, abolishing all her taxes, and reducing her hours of work. You might disagree with me on the specific proposals, but you get my drift. Practical improvements in people’s lives must be demonstrated.

Some people, either because they want to prove themselves more radical than everyone else, or because they serve some interest, imagine they must put forth the most aggressive program against the economic interest of the majority of voters.

Folks, this ain’t going to work, and it only helps the fascists hold onto power.

If, Barack Obama is “defending grandmothers and social security”, while antistatists are frontally attacking it — who wins this argument? If Barack Obama is “defending the environment”, while antistatists are issuing blistering attacks on the EPA, who wins? Our argument is that Social Security is a failure, because it does not end the inscecurity of seniors. The EPA is a failure, because it does not end the damage to the environment.

These programs are failures because they do not address the problems that forced them to be created in the first place.

So, that was my argument. I chose to present it the way I did in order to get people to read it and think about the issues I raised. It was not a diatribe against “rightwing libertarianism”, as some believe, but an argument against all three communist (antistatist) trends and the failed political strategy of one of more promising vehicles for political struggle against the state. I believe the term, “rightwing libertarianism” is a silly term: if you want to abolish the state you are a social revolutionary — pure and simple, no qualifications.

Something has got to change, folks.

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Banality has another name: AFL-CIO

December 4, 2010 1 comment

So, we don’t know what to make of this, and thought we would let you decide. Below are two videos — the first, from Christian Children’s Fund; the second is from the AFL-CIO. See if you can spot the common theme:

Christian Children’s Fund:
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AFL-CIO: Lifeline
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The website Firedoglake calls the second video, “a heartbreaking video of unemployed workers from all walks of life, all of whom are about to run out of their unemployment benefits.”

They continue:

These are the people President Barack Obama is using as a human sacrifice in order to extend Bush’s tax cuts for the incredibly wealthy, just to avoid being accused of “raising taxes” in 2012.

Congratulations to the AFL-CIO for a phenomenal video – go write to Congress on their site now.

Our first reaction was anger at a seedy, sophomoric attempt to sensationalize the plight of some two million who have lost their unemployment benefits as Washington democrats and republicans demagogue the federal budget for their own perverse ends and those of their bankster bosses.

Our second reaction was disgust with the AFL-CIO — an organization of working people so corrupted and compromised by its involvement in, and subservience to, Washington politics that it deserves only to be dismantled.

This video is an obscenity, we think. But, we could be over-reacting.

Bill Moyers: Conversation with an empty union suit…

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

For AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka that just may be a trick question, as, it seems, was every other question Moyers put to him. Excerpts from Bill Moyers’ interview with the obviously out-classed labor leader:

BILL MOYERS: I’m curious, Rich, about why we haven’t been seeing more public demonstrations from people who have lost their job? I mean, we covered a story early last year in Chicago of workers who sat in, when it looked as if their factory was going to be closed down. Why has there been so little of that? 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Well, you know what? I think some of it is people have been so beat down, that they — we sort of plucked the hope out of them. And what we have to do is restore that hope. They don’t think that there’s anything that they can do. They feel hopeless. Corporations are so powerful, and they control the political process so much that there’s nothing we can do. They’re wrong, of course. And we’re getting more and more people that are willing to start coming out now.

BILL MOYERS: So, what’s happened that unions don’t seem to be fighting back the way they did in the 1930s? 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Well, I don’t think that’s so. I think we are fighting back. You know, first of all, you have a larger array of forces against us. You have a recession right now that’s caused a lot of our members to get laid off, just like other Americans out there. You have a set of labor laws that are totally inadequate, and they’re not even enforced. Now, President Obama’s trying to. But he can’t even get people from the N.L.R.B. confirmed.

BILL MOYERS: The National Labors Relations Board. 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Yeah, the National Labor Relations Board.

BILL MOYERS: There are several vacancies on there, that you want to see filled. 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Of course. And the Republicans, all they do is filibuster. They don’t want him to succeed. And so they keep people, quality people that are needed to make government effectively. They keep them out of the spotlight and off the job.

BILL MOYERS: But the Democrats have 59 Members of the Senate. They have a 78 vote majority in the House. They got the President of the United States. And they can’t deliver anything labor wants from them? 

RICHARD TRUMKA: No, I want to say it a different way. I want to say they haven’t delivered anything. They can. And it’s up to us, and we’re getting there.

BILL MOYERS: But how do you explain that? 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Slowly but surely.

BILL MOYERS: Because you really worked for Obama in ’08. 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Yes, I did.

BILL MOYERS: And yet, so far, one year into his administration, you haven’t gotten anything that I can see that you wanted in ’08. 

RICHARD TRUMKA: That’s not so. There have been a number of executive orders that have provided collective bargaining people. I mean, the people he’s appointed, Hilda Solis is terrific. Even the people in the Commerce and Treasury are far more cognizant of our position. So, he hasn’t been able to pass the big bills yet, but we’re getting there. And we’ll get them done.

BILL MOYERS: What’s happened to the one thing that was most important to labor back in ’08? Obama seemed to promise the Employee Free Choice Act, EFCA as – it’s come to be known, very important to labor. What happened to it? 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Well, it’s still there. We’re still pushing it forward. He still supports it. The Vice President still supports it. A vast majority- at least 59 Senators in the Senate support it. And over a vast majority in the House support it.

BILL MOYERS: So, will you get it? 

RICHARD TRUMKA: I think we will.

BILL MOYERS: You will- you still think you’ll get it. 

RICHARD TRUMKA: Yeah, I do. I still think we will. It’ll take some creative doing. But we’ll do it.

Yeah. We’re doomed.

Richard Trumka: How a tired old union hack misses the point completely

November 20, 2009 2 comments

Once upon a time, the union boss was hated and feared on Wall Street, now he or she is just ridiculed or ignored – or propped up in front of the TV cameras to serve as a convenient scapegoat for why you’re paying for Wall Street failures.

Little does the Party of Wall Street suspect that, indeed, they are right – union hacks like Trumka are precisely the reason why you are footing the bill for GM mismanagement, and Goldman Sachs’ venality. The unions sold you out to cash in on the virtuous cycle of ever bigger defense budgets, rising employment fueled by wars and economic predation, and an ever growing slush fund of union dues.

Now the bills have come due, and Goldman Sachs wants to blame the UAW because Ford, GM and Chrysler can’t build a decent automobile at a competitive price – a price that requires that an American standard of living be readjusted to conform to Chinese wage levels.

Watch below as Richard Trumka whines like a bitch for a return to the good old days when American union bosses marched hand in hand with corporate predators in support of the Johnson-Nixon carpet bombing of Vietnamese villages.

Richard L. Trumka’s remarks at the Spotlight on Jobs Crisis forum.

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