Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Happy International Workers Day

Today is Monday, 6 September 2010.

“Labor Day” in the USA/USE. International Workers Day is observed in the rest of the world on 1 May.

With 33 miners still trapped underground in Chile, it’s particularly appropriate and important to recall: throughout history, human suffering has been required to produce individual and social prosperity. And that suffering is done by those who labour, not by inert capital. For, contrary to malignant fantasists and propagandists for ruling elites, such as Milton Friedman (admirer of the anti-Semitic and admirer of Hitler Augusto Pinochet), capital is not a Ding an sich, a “thing in itself”: rather, it is “crystallized labour”, a storehouse of work previously accomplished.

As such, capital is a social inheritance, briefly committed to our stewardship, not individual property. In societies which worship “capital” as a false god, misuse and waste abound. As global warming reminds us: time is running out to transform human civilization into one which values justice and responsibility to future generations instead of selfish dissipation and greed.

Happy International Workers Day! Solidarity forever!


Anonymous rtr said...


Unfortunately, it exists and it is anti-union. The backbone of unionism - a middle class lifestyle for the working class has disappeared and the left has fostered and perpetuated the demise with our own brand of elitism and a morality of division.

It is difficult for me to envision the founding leaders of U.S. unionism attacking such things as whether the second amendment should be narrowly construed and other issues that substantial numbers of the working class may consider to be crucial to their belief systems (see Georg Lakoff on citizens voting their identities rather than their pocketbooks).

Where should labor (with the complete endorsement of labor's natural allies - progressive and populist politicians) search for solidarity? Let me suggest that until the left wraps its mind around tractor pulls, NASCAR and other motor sports, shooting sports, competitive bass fishing and the smell of sweating men and women creating wealth from the work of their hands, backs and feet, that labor will eventually cede working class solidarity to the demogogues of the tea party movement (if it's not already too late - see SEIU Treasurer Anna Burger's resignation remarks).

Gompers, Debs, Bridges, Lewis and Hoffa didn't build a movement by holding working class people's value systems in contempt.

2:58 PM  

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