Seen over at The Corner:
So the question is, can you have a liberal, progressive America without unions? History says no. For 200 years the existence of the union movement has been wedded to the rise of democracy, to the rise of liberalism. We saw this here, in South Korea, in Spain, in Africa. But now America is moving toward an experiment with whether it can have liberalism without unions. I think the answer is no. But we’ll see.
Interesting thought. Certainly we have seen, more and more, the major unions (especially the SEIU) forming alliances with Progressive / Socialist organization that are certainly in step with Obama’s “fundamentally transforming” the United States. Their stated goal is to move away from the democratic Republic of the Founders and to that Progressive version of ruler-ship first begun by Von Bismarck as he rolled up the Germanic city-states into a unified Germany (and in the process, creating the foundations of the trappings of the modern welfare state to “sidestep” the real Socialists). The unions, once focused on improving unsafe working conditions, have gone well beyond that to the acquisition of power and the enrichment of a few relative to the many.
Certainly the connection between unions and the Progressive political movement is well known. Their overwhelming support for the Democrat Party is well known not just in voting for their candidates with boots on the ground and massive spending. Loyal readers of the ‘Grok know about the money cycle that exists between the unions and the Democrat Party and that money that goes from unions to the Dem candidates can only come from union dues. And for the public sector unions, that dues paying money comes from the taxpayers (who pay the taxes and then the Dem now-elected officials hire the union members and sign the contracts with the union bosses / negotiators that pay the union workers who then pay the union dues….). and that is why they hate Right To Work.
Sure, the phrasing and framing is that the Right hates the unions and wants to bust them them all up. That’s what the unions say, and to a degree, they are right. GraniteGrok has two main principles in how we look at life, culture, and politics: can Individual Freedom and Individual Liberty be increased in a given situation, or decreased? With RTW, many unionistas scream that we are destroying their union, taking their freedom / rights away, and allow for “free riders” that take advantage of the economic “gain” they have bargained for in trying to achieve their personal Utopia as well as societal wide Utopia with their association with Progressive Socialists.
One thing that is often said amongst Conservatives and Libertarians is “why won’t they just leave us alone”? With the Freedom / Liberty outlook we have philosophically, we have no problem in saying “hey, you want to start your own commune? Your own society? Stay in a State that already is closer to your political philosophy and need to be collectivized?” – you have the freedom to freely associate with those you wish to.
Why won’t you allow us the same – but in reverse? Why is it that you push your Progressive philosophy and way of life upon us? Why CAN’T you leave us alone? Most of us think they have latent (and not so latent) delusions of despotic Utopianism, and from the same article in the Post, comes this line:
NL: Go all the way back to the 19th century, from 1877 onward, when there were strikes and violence. Why was there violence? Because the only way unions could work is if they deprived the employers of labor. Workers set up picket lines, the government would send in the police or militias or the army. And the whole principle of solidarity was that the union had to be united to succeed.
Solidarity isn’t a purely altruistic concept. Unions have to be a combat organization, ready to fight the boss. That means there is an element of coercion involved. It’s like taxes. The price of civilization is taxes. The price of unionism is solidarity. And, yes, that does involve coercing people to contribute to the union. Unions are not like the NRA or the Sierra Club, they’re not purely voluntary organizations. They were given a slice of state authority in order to solve the problem of industrial violence.
And that is the argument that is used by the Right To Work folks like ourselves. I have never worked for a union and given the violence, threatened and actual, projected by unions like that this past Tuesday, I don’t want to. But it is clear that in order for a union to be “successful” is HAS to include everyone – no choice, no option, and no freedom.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Thus, we see that the Unionistas / Progressive Principle of Coercion (as it currently stands) trumps that of the First Amendment of Freedom of Assembly in their eyes (and I so WONDER who is actually threatening that industrial violence to boot).
So, back to RTW. IF a true sense of Freedom to Associate was in place, Unions would have to sell themselves – instead of demanding. They would have to offer workers something of actual value for dues paid – and as we have seen in Wisconsin, once they have the freedom to pay the dues or not, a lot choose to believe “I can spend my money better for my own benefit than the union can” and decided not to send the dues in (sorta like most Conservatives / Libertarians believe writ large with a lot of the stuff that Govt does and shouldn’t or poorly as in “I can help me better than Govt can, so why shouldn’t I keep more of my own money?”. And further, I can negotiate better for my employment package than a union can – so why not let me AND suffer the consequences if I cannot? But in non-RTW states, just like the Progressives are doing with Government, the choice to choose is being removed by those who believe they know what is best for all of us (and isn’t that the definition of despotism?).
So, back to the main theme and answering the question. If you implement RTW, you do decrease the power of the unions. I’m not so all worried about the effects in the workplace, however. I AM glad to see it simply because this money making cycle, from union dues to Democrat Progressive elected officials that push Progressive (and by definition, anti-Constitutional and freedom diminishing) policies upon me, is weakened. It will no longer be my tax money used against me.
So I do believe that by disrupting one of the main pillars of Progressivism, the socialistic unions (go ahead and Google the SEIU, for instance, and run up and down the chains of how embedded the SEIU leaders are to both Socialist and Communist groups – it will shock you), is a good thing.
So yes, RTW is one tool that can be used. If the unions had not chosen to throw in with Progressives, I bet most of us wouldn’t care AS much. But because they decided to contribute and support those that remove choice from the rest of us, well, they are now reaping the consequences of their commitment to that cause, my attitude is “a pox on their house”.
Politics requires money. Progressives politics requires lots of money, and they discovered a way to recycle our money to themselves. Cut it off, and the Progressive efforts are much diminished.
And then individual Liberty and Freedom will once again be re-established as the Progressive movement begins to wither.
At least, I hope. And I hope, that is the plan.