We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Democrats and Labor: A Tale of Abuse

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Workers Action

The author provides mostly a report on the state of affairs with major US labor organizations and their leaders. It is a tale of union leaders' disillusionment and a sense of abandonment by the Democratic party. Although the author rather clearly understands where real power lies, he doesn't provide much of a commentary to show the real functions, and the inter-relationship, of the Democratic party and the labor aristocracy. 
...Arne Duncan [Education Secretary] is simply implementing the policies of his boss, President Obama. And Obama is simply implementing the policies of his boss, corporate America, which is insisting that market relations are imposed on public education.
Following WWII the ruling One Percent engaged in a massive attack on labor unions that had accomplished so many gains during the 1930s among working people. These attacks were in the form of anti-labor legislation, notably the Taft-Hartley Act, and the purging of unions of their most active and politically conscious people during the vicious anti-communist campaign of the McCarthy period. The Democratic party then played "footsie" with the remaining "loyal" labor leaders to provide them with perks and rewards if they supported the Party. This relationship has since morphed into the superficial loyalties now evident because the Democratic party, under this arrangement, has mainly delivered benefits to the labor aristocracy, unions have declined in membership and influence, and the more liberal wing of the ruling One Percent realize that the loyalty of organized labor is no longer of much importance.