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I am very thankful for the opportunity to share the spirit of Labor and Unions with so many people all over the country and all over the world today.  My roots are in the working class.  My dad was a worker and his was and so was my mom and here ancestors.  I was the first among all our relatives to go to college.  I went on and became a university professor, author, and scholar.  I never lost touch with my roots.  I help in Union organizing while on the Faculty at Harvard.  I was active in our AAUP chapter at VCU and served as president for a while.  I led in the movement of the 60s and spent time  marching in the streets, organizing and fighting for what we believe in.  I lived in Israel during my postdoctoral training and reaped the benefits of a Labor Party government including universal health care with no restrictions.  In France my coworkers were often Communists.  I saw their towns run by elected Communist party members.  I saw how hard work was the bulwark of all they did at every level.  I saw the Oligarchs succeed in crushing workers here again and again.  In Poland when Solidarity was at it height many of the colleagues I was with when I taught there were in the movement's leadership.  There is more but enough of the past.  Read on below for my future with you will not be all that much longer and I want to share some thoughts.

My traveling days are probably over.  We are comfortable with our retirement income but it does not stretch.  In the old days I traveled because people wanted me to speak or teach or do research with them.  Now things are different.  My own work is so radical that it is not understood by many.  I hope the new book Jim Coffman and I are writing will stir up interest.  It has among those who read the drafts.  My health is OK but due to peripheral neuropathy I don't get around very well.  

So the internet has become a very important part of my life.  I blog and share thoughts on facebook.  Living where we do there is little opportunity to discuss anything with anyone.  The Tea party is dominant and many people who share our ideas are effectively underground for their own well being.  When  many  people around you are among groups contemplating armed revolution if Obama is reelected it is uncomfortable at best.

What is hardest for me is the realization that times I have lived through are forgotten already!  I used to wonder why the history of labor and the massive genocide in this country can be so lost.  Now I am old enough to watch the process.  I am reading about the Nazi takeover in Austria right now because one of my favorite painters is Klimt and the book is about his painting of a Jewish woman..  The book gives me real feelings of apprehension.  I see all the seeds of what happened there all over our nation.  We get the publication from the Southern Poverty Law Center and it is really scary!

Reading about the 30s in Austria and how much the change was like global warming in its non-linear acceleration and the failure of people to anticipate the fact that change would accelerate makes me want to shout it from the roof tops..

So it is good to be able to communicate on the internet.  I hope we can spark a fire under people before it is too late.  That is if it is not already too late.


This Labor Day

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:16:12 AM PDT

  •  When I was born, there were folks who (3+ / 0-)

    still remembered the Homestead Steel Strike just up the river from us. Labor lost that one. And I sure there were a few who remembered when the West Virginia coal miners fielded 10,000+ armed men in support of union rights. They lost too.

    Nobody remembers anymore so we all have to go through it  again. I grew up with two rules; never cross a picket line and never vote Republican. I won't forget but I'm getting old.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:34:01 AM PDT

  •  I think the mistake is assuming that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky

    we will ever run out of instinct-driven, self-centered humans who take and don't really have anything to give back.  So, they feel vulnerable and become obsessively needy and are never satisfied.  Giving such people what they claim they want is never going to be enough. As the woman interviewed at the RNC said, they are the party of 'no' because that's what they have to be told.
    They give orders, but they're largely imitative.  That is, somebody gives them a direction and they pass it along.  It's all they can do; they can't implement. Given simple directions to complete simple tasks, they eventually learn to do them by habit, without thinking about them and without understanding the process.
    There are people who cannot tell either how or why something works or doesn't.  They don't understand process.  They don't get the sequence that has to be followed to complete a task.
    When we notice them in children now, we try to work around these mental impediments.  That kind of teaching wasn't available when the baby boomers were growing up and I think it's why they are so jealous of educational opportunities for the young that they never had. School was a torture.  They acted up and made fools of themselves to hide that the assigned tasks were never done.
    The ones with the gift of gab can persuade others to give them what they need.  Those that can't cajole or threaten end up stealing until they get put away and we take care of their needs in prison.
    It is not good that we have three million people in prison.  It is not food that they are being exploited as slave labor because the ideology of individualism has led to the dismantling of all kinds of social structures.

    Why do some people lock themselves away in gated communities?  Prisoners by choice.  I'd say it's because they are endemically insecure, perhaps because of some pre-, peri- or post-natal insult to their cognitive brain.  Difficult child-birth would explain why they are found all around the globe and in all populations.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 12:34:24 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary don. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky

    It's not good to forget history. Somebody said something important about that once. I forget who or what.

  •  Are there not countries with strong Unions and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky

    strong economies??

    Like Germany maybe.

    I understand that although German companies pay autoworkers more there than we do here the car companies manage to make a nice profit. The unions and companies work together.

    DUH what an odd idea? Has someone not told the Repubs how this working together works for the good of everyone.


    Maybe we do not need a country where every company has to be Union but at least there should be enough union protections so any thug company or thug political party could not take away our rights with lies and money and more lies and lots more money.


    Just a thought….

    Where did the money come from? My dad told me the reason money had a value was because some one worked for it.

    Thank you Unions for your work to give value to our dollar.

    I’m sorry Wall Street found out how to reduce that value and some of them even had to sell their third or fourth vacation home. Looks like they have found out a way to use a political party to rob many of us of our meager retirement so they can repurchase those homes they had to sell now at bargain rates too.  

    Conservatives supported slavery, opposed women’s suffrage, supported Jim Crow, opposed the 40-hour work week, the abolishment of child labor, and supported McCarthyism. from 'It's The Conservatism, Stupid' by Paul Waldman July 12, 2006

    by arealniceguy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 02:01:24 PM PDT

    •  It is now locked...Global they call it. (0+ / 0-)

      we all go down together...Climate change is here
      Running out of resources is here
      Welcome to the Titanic

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 03:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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