Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Must Read, Speaking Loudly - The St. Louis Dispatch

It's rare that we read anything radical in a mainstream newspaper anymore. Indeed, it is like seeing a pterodactyl perched on the local church steeple, so accustomed are we to reading the bland protests on the editorial pages of the New York Times or listening to the sweaty, drug-induced rages on FOX.  

Radicalism from the left? A sighting:

Here is a link to a piece in the St. Louis Dispatch on September 3rd that hearkens back to the radicalism of the 1930s and other angry eras when the people who really make this country work last got riled up over economic issues.  

Click: Labor Day 2010: Puppets of the plutocrats

There are echoes of another, long-ago America in the piece, one where the majority of people worked physically rather than at a desk. So, there is a bit of a disconnect between the exhausted worker at the metal speed press or on the railroad on one hand and the counter person at Wendy's or the "tech rep" on the other end of your call to your cell phone provider on the other hand.

But the spirit and the goals of labor today ought to be the same today.

Make no mistake, business is exploiting the latter today just as business exploited the industrial worker of the past. And the only way for those workers to get their just desserts is to organize themselves. (If you think that a disruption by labor in steel manufacturing had dire consequences 80 years ago, just imagine what a stoppage in wireless service today would do.) 

Not only is labor not organized and not protesting, but their sinister nemeses - the Tea Partyers and the radical right wing marching in the name of some cryptic populist urge - are being financed by the very billionaires who want to further drive down wages and ruin the country. There is class warfare and those of us who are preparing to walk off the stage of our working life should not be leaving such a world to our children.

Workers of the new millennium, unite... you have nothing to lose because you've already lost most of it: your well-paying jobs, your homes, your dignity. What else would you like to turn over to your new masters?

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