[sixties-l] Demming and The Destabilization of Trade Unionism

From: drieux (drieux@wetware.com)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 11:14:46 EST

  • Next message: John Johnson: "[sixties-l] Re: Don't touch MY sixties...<ggg>"

    On Wednesday, December 5, 2001, at 08:15 , Ted Morgan wrote:

    > 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

    Come on Ted - please, make up your Mind here - either the 'anti-red' Kabal
    goes back before WWII, or the Grand Konspirakii is a Post WWII affair.

    I use the film 'Matewan' as a wedgie when I am trying to explain why I
    consider the NRA a leftist GunGrabberGroup - since as the film so
    elegantly depicted, the Mine Owners had no problem with fielding heavy
    machineguns to defend their Pits against returning WWI vets who were
    carrying the Latest in Military Technology, the '06 Springfield....
    Solutions that would not be available to labor or management in the
    modern era....

    What complicates these discussions IS the Industrial Boom of WWII,
    which Demming would formalize, and is now sold as such neat stuff
    as 'TQM' - Total Quality Management, but which also showed a very
    socialist model of industrial production wherein labor and management
    worked together rather than playing the 'class warfare' game.

    Where your argument gets messier still, in the sixties, is the problem
    of the Soborne Uprising and the efforts to show the solidarity between
    the traditional Prols, and their 'white collar' compatriots, now known
    affectionately as 'cubicle critters'. A complicating factor as well,
    since 'Dilbert' has made a rich man of one of those CubeCritters -
    and hence, 'an enemy of his class'???? Should the state be allowed to
    prevent, uh, ridiculing the pointy haired manglement elements? Or the
    ability to do on one's own time what one wishes???

    The seventies made it hard for 'young kids' to get into the Unions,
    as they are today, without the usual 'gotta know some body' sets of
    games that are probably still being played - and much of that without
    any vision that there IS a global economy out there, and that there
    are those abroad who are not protected by the same labor, OSHA, and
    EPA laws that we have grown accustom to here in the USA.

    The recent catastrophe of Enron I hope will show the final failure of
    the whole 'greed based system' of 'free marketting' - but the question
    now is how to get to a legitimate 'open market' model - where we are
    really trying to work on DOING that 'Total Quality Management' - and
    providing the real 'worker empowerment' that comes with being actual
    share holders in the company. Some of the current rhetoric about the
    need for more governmental regulation to prevent people from BEING
    stoopid - such as not diversifying their 401(k) portfolio's - will
    only work if we OUTLAW STOOPIDITY - not likely in the next few
    congress' - since it will be hard to get a working definition thereof.

    The down side of the Collapse of Enron, though, is that it will take
    us just that much longer to bring on line such things as a 'Carbon
    Sink' trading model - which would help fund such wildly crazy notions
    of rebalancing the North/South split, by allowing the 'owners' of the
    Great Carbon Sinks - such as the Amazon Rain Forest, to realize the
    market value of keeping those forests AS forests, while the Northern
    Industrial Countries work out how to transition their economies.

    So while we have made some great strides - with, as I like to joke
    about it - the restoration of our WWII ProWar Approach of 'curb
    side recycling' - we are still no wheres near the levels that we
    could be in that process. But we got there, not by mere mandates
    from the Central Directorate of Ideological Purity, but because
    we were able to make Sound Biznizz Cases that this was cheaper
    and more practical.

    So while the whole 'information industry' is still in flux, it has
    provided some of the 'alternative' to the simplistic mindset of
    the 19th Century Romantic Marxianists that the sole solution is
    'unionize' and then have the full force of the state 'solve it all'.

    A point that shows up to the SOBER when they go back over Demming's
    work, and the limitations that the 'big industry' model presents,
    and the full on need to understand how to DO the 'risk management'
    balancing acts of entreprenueership that took dopy little collections
    of coders from a handful of Freaks to Microsoft... ok, that is a
    case of developing into that which one opposed....

    So there are still some issues that will have to be ironed out....



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