Organized labor is the only part of the American left that I have any respect for. Why? Because they fucking fight. It’s depressing how much the power of labor is waning right now and it’s more depressing how often I talk to “liberals” who are ambivalent about labor.
One of my favorite movie scenes is the opening of the Godfather where Bonasera asks Don Corleone to exact revenge on two men who beat his daughter up and didn’t have to go jail for it. Don Corleone says
You found paradise in America, had a good trade, made a good living. The police protected you; and there were courts of law. And you didn’t need a friend of me. But now you come to me and you say — “Don Corleone give me justice.”
There’s a lesson here for everyone who makes a good living but is not a member of the Galt class. They may think they’ve found paradise and don’t need a friend in labor. But they’re wrong.
The most pernicious myth in American politics is that there’s such a thing as “reasonable people” or “people of good will”. Everyone has an agenda, and everyone is, at heart, at least a little bit of an irrational asshole. That goes double for political and media and business elites, who compete in an arena that rewards being a sociopath.
We’re not going to protect ourselves with totebags.
I’m not as confrontational IRL as I’d like to be. I usually conclude that it’s not worth it, Mr Gittes, it’s really not worth it. But I’d like to get involved with groups (like this one that a friend told me about) that are more aggressive and radical.
On this Labor Day, may your thoughts be cynical and may all of your arguments be ad hominem.