....ruling class relies on the trade union bureaucrats to sabotage the fight of the working class against the government. This sabotage takes the form, not only of open strikebreaking as in the air traffic controllers' struggle, but most of all keeping the working class politically disenfranchised by supporting the capitalist two-party system.
....Having funneled untold trillions of dollars to the major banks and finance houses to cover their bad debts, governments all over the world are now demanding unprecedented cuts to social spending. No allocation of resources is permissible—for pensions, health care, education, infrastructure— that does not grow the cash hordes of the worlds' banks, corporations and billionaires.
....unions and all the old organizations of the working class have played the critical role in this social retrogression.
....same process unfolded all over the world, perhaps most similarly in the United Kingdom, where in 1985 the Trades Union Congress (TUC) looked on as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher crushed the coalminers, setting the stage for the destruction of industry and working class living standards.
[Not to defend them, but the old-line cold war labor officials did not have the imagination in any country to see that the worm had turned by 1975-1980. These were the hacks left over after the best leading labor militants had been witch-hunted out, leaving the likes of Winpisinger, Fraser, and Kirkland to hope things would go along the way they had before. When they cried in fear of the suicidal implications of the general strike in Fall 1981, they were of course referring to their own suicide. Truly for these men the movement was all, the end nothing. ]
....Everywhere the old labor and Social Democratic parties completely embraced the demands of the financiers and helped line the pockets of the rich by impoverishing workers. In Africa, Latin America and Asia the old national liberation movements followed the same path, scrapping import-substitution plans and nationalized industry and competing with each other over who could provide imperialism with the cheapest labor and most lucrative natural resources.
[UMWA destruction a more long-term process. Emphasis on non-union western coal. Emphasis on table-tip instead of underground mining. Waiting out the demographic extinction of a two generations of rebel miners. Continued economic isolation imposed on Appalachia. Rise of non-union underground mining reaching higher levels during each economic recession. JR]
[True, but people are going to start wondering if each new turning point and each new challenge and opportunity always get the same response: "Vote for the Democrats." JR]
[It should go without saying, but I had better spell it out anyway: reading and taking notes on an article from the SEP website does not imply endorsement of its line, or that I have gone SEPtic. The PATCO article is very useful if the reader is able to maneuver around the "If they had only listened to the Workers League" interludes, or at least weight them properly in the overall assessment. JR]