Pyrrho:The Dillemas of Labor Politics

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Chris Bowers' "Solidarity Whatever" got me thinking. Now, I have seen diaries on labor here, but Chris' point that the topic is not one that generates recommendations is certainly worth noting.

I have many theories about the dilemma of labor politics. Of course the problem most often cited is the numerical decline of the unions and the waning power of unions as evidenced in their unwillingness to vote as a block. But Chris is onto something we need to deal with first... our own attitudes toward labor politics.



First of all, let me say that I am an ally to labor politics, which I offer as a disclaimer because that I may gore a few sacred cows from some perspectives, and on the other hand some will think I don't go far enough.

I think the elephant in the room with labor politics, are all evoked with one unspoken concept, unspoken and feared: Democracy in the workplace.

It's a rude concept, for the capitalist it means losing ownership as they understand it, from a labor or progressive standpoint it brings out a cultural bias, it brings out a non-progressive attitude which is nevertheless strong in progressive circles, and dominant among moderates such as myself: what if it can't work. What if people cannot self rule? What if endeavors fall apart without the disciplinary measures of authoritarian favoritism?

Is "voting for your boss" untenable in the workplace? If so, why do we suppose democracy should work at all in any context?

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