Deborra Ann Low
Sure, the Republican agenda is anti-labor but, they’re certainly not alone. Union membership in this country is dwindling but, it’s not just because of the Republican haters. Republicans are simply, and literally, capitalizing on the frustration workers have with unions in general.
Workers don’t refuse to join a labor union just because of something they heard or didn’t hear about unions, they refuse to join unions because they no longer feel empowered by them. Most unions in this country have turned their backs on solidarity and direct action unionism, and have embraced political party allegiance and electoral solutions instead. In other words, they’re waiting for candidates and legislation to bring them the tiny piece of capitalist heaven they will never have, because the entire political system is rigged against them — having been bought and paid for by the wealthy ruling class.
The fact that union members resent their fellow workers who enjoy whatever benefits labor unions have fought hard for, but who still refuse to join a union or have the gall to resent having to pay their “fair share,” is just another example of how workers are constantly pitted against each other.
Most members of the working poor have NEVER been in the middle class, yet they are still asked to help rebuild it. And for whom? For those who are just now beginning to feel a slight sting of what the poor have always felt?
The working poor don’t believe in the “American Dream,” because they’ve long since discovered it for the mirage it really is — the capitalist carrot they’ve been forced to chase but never get. The working poor have nothing much in common with the middle class, so asking them to help rebuild the “American Dream” does nothing to build solidarity but, instead it builds resentment. It’s asking the working poor to accept the same bald-faced lie — that carrying those above them will somehow gain them access into the exclusive middle class.
Many workers see unions as just another spigot tapping into what they already have too little of – resources. The stale argument that all workers need do is keep pouring all their energy and dollars into a corrupt electoral system to fend off all that’s being thrown at them by corporate fascists is a cruel but definitely not unusual punishment. The ruling class has more than enough resources to watch the entire proletariat get buried in their continuous failed attempts to fight off the raging fire of capitalist oppression with working class squirt guns. It’s not and never has been a fair fight.
And what’s being done about this problem? Union leadership continues to ask the working poor to dig even deeper and give even more of their money and volunteer time in non-stop damage control efforts. Without so much as a moral flinch, they encourage workers to keep on fighting this mock David and Goliath story where Goliath is never slain no matter how good their slingshot-aim.
When are workers going to stop relying on this corrupt electoral system — where Goliath’s foot keeps kicking their backsides and turning them into whining beggars in a deliberately rigged system that has never cared about, let alone felt their pain?