Re: Trade Unionism as its own Compromise? Re: [sixties-l] Re: Residents Express Outrage Over Howard Zinn

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Wed Dec 05 2001 - 11:15:52 EST

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    I quite agree with drieux blast at corporate welfare as it's called.
    But I think his take on trade union history (back to the turn of, I take
    it, the 20th Century) reads the present back into the past. I think
    it's a pretty accurate take on much of trade unionism today --my share
    of the pie, my house in the 'burbs, etc. But, this is a post-World War
    II version of trade unionism, promulgated through a well-oiled corporate
    attack on the more militant element in the labor movement --an attack
    that (a) reflected the reality that the labor movement had a much more
    pervasive radical take on American capitalism & capitalists, and (b)
    combined with red scare tactics generally (against antiwar dissidents,
    civil rights activists, etc.) that went well back into the early decades
    of the century --notably in the Palmer raids and propaganda efforts
    post-WWI. See ALex Carey's excellent book, Taking the Risk out of

    The capitalist class and its minions didn't just co-opt labor (which
    they began to do rather effectively after WWII, and continued in the
    post-60s years), they drove the more radical elements out to the
    demonized margins of society. The residue of THIS attack (as well as
    the cooptation) are with us today and are, I think, a critical obstacle
    in the path of radically democratic mobilizations.


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