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View Full Version : I think "Communist" is essentially a code word for "Labor Union"



Myra Bronstein
12-21-2008, 03:22 PM
What do you all think?

Magda Hassan
12-21-2008, 11:44 PM
Oh yeah. It's also code for anyone not god fearing, apple pie loving, motherhood respecting too. It's a well known fact that communists eat babies and will come to your home at midnight and break your windows, smash grandma's porcelain, molest your daughters, burn your family photos and piss in your pot plants if you don't hand over all your money to them.

On the other hand 'business' is also code for society. So all policy must include 'business' as it is for society, that is everyone. All business indicators must be responded to and business needs met. But you're on your own as an individual or human being. Only corporate personhood matters.

Magda Hassan
12-22-2008, 02:21 AM
Seriously though. The whole relationship of workers to owners is quite clear. It is the owner of capital/business who desires to maximise profits (for them selves). Profit is the surplus value. This is the difference between what the worker is paid and what the item made/service provided by the worker is sold for. Only the worker can make this surplus value. No worker, no labor, no surplus. In a truly equitable and just society the worker would receive the full value of their labour. They would be paid for what they produced in full. If the worker is a co-operative (or family business) member this profit is distributed amongst the co-op (or family) members. But if, as is usual in a capitalist society, s/he works for a private company or organisation this surplus value is kept by the owners. It is 'magically' transmuted into the private property of the owner of the business and kept by them as decreed permissible by the (capitalist) laws of land. Just as owning slaves was okay in law in slave owning times. It is labor stolen from the workers. Hence Proudhon's quote "Property is theft". Business owners know this and workers know this. Even if only on an intuitive level not academically (if interested read Marx Das Kapital heavy going in parts but very worthwhile). Ways an owner can maximise profits are reduction of capital costs and/or increase in production. A worker can do both by being paid less than others doing the same work (less capital cost - labor being a cost of production so go to China/Mexico where it is cheaper-race to the bottom) and they can be required to work more for the same money (increased production) Make 100 widgets and hour instead of 75 widgets an hour but the hourly wage for the worker/producer remains the same. Effectively a pay cut for the worker but a 25% increase in profit for the owner. That is why business are forever wanting workers to make 'sacrifices'. Work harder, increase productivity, longer hours, less conditions, go with out wage rises etc. which all lead to increased profits. Trade unions want their members to get a bigger slice of the surplus value created by their members (and workers in general). Most unions for some reason are even okay about keeping capitalism but just want a bigger slice of the profit pie. Business hates organised labor of any kind because it threatens their profits. So anything they can do to divide workers from each other they do - confidentiallity clauses, restriction of union activities etc. See how much more difficult it is everywhere for workers now that the USSR and East European states have had a counter revolution? Divide and conquer. Break workers, communities and nations up into little individual atomised components and do what you want. Keep the strategy of tension happening. Don't let things settle long enough for people to connect and talk and compare and most importantly organise and build an alternative. Keep the homeless moving on. Keep the workers heads down. Keep them exausted and frightened. Fascism is a business wet dream. Capitalism will always lead to fascism without a united working class to resist it.

Mark Stapleton
12-22-2008, 02:32 PM
I think you've said it all, Maggie.

There's also other more insidious ways of keeping labor costs down---get the Government (taxpayer) to underwrite mass immigration, for one. They will also obligingly underwrite all the social costs involved in overcrowding, joblessness, higher crime rates, lack of adequate infrastructure etc.
(N.B. any infrastructure which makes a buck like telecommunications, power generation etc, then the corporate sector would love to participate. But if you're talking about unprofitable infrastructure, like public schools, then forget it.)

Mass immigration at a time of economic depression, housing shortages, water shortages and environmental degradation guarantees one thing---a large pool of cheap and desperate labor.

There were times when high immigration was desirable. This is not one of those times. The Australian immigration minister has stated it's very important for our global 'brand name' that immigration remains high--it's at its highest level in the history of this country--as if that kind of marketing spin lingo is somehow important or relevant.

The Minister says he is sympathetic to the arguments for high immigration which have been pushed by the Business Council of Australia. I thought politicians had a binding agreement with those who put them there. I don't remember voting for the BCA. Suddenly the Government listens to them and not us.

They're packing them in in London, Paris, Sydney and wherever they can get the Governments to do their bidding. Bastards.

Magda Hassan
12-22-2008, 02:43 PM
Unemployment is a favorite tool of the bourgeois technocrats. A large pool of unemployed always keeps wages down (that is profits up) Full employment is highly undesirable for this kind. That will lead to higher wages and more concessions WRT conditions. When BHP closed their Newcastle plants it was totally devastating for Newcastle but the share price sky rocketed. Immigration is one way to do this especially if the birth rate is low.

Myra Bronstein
12-22-2008, 02:54 PM
Unemployment is a favorite tool of the bourgeois technocrats. A large pool of unemployed always keeps wages down (that is profits up) Full employment is highly undesirable for this kind. That will lead to higher wages and more concessions WRT conditions. When BHP closed their Newcastle plants it was totally devastating for Newcastle but the share price sky rocketed. Immigration is one way to do this especially if the birth rate is low.

Another advantage of high unemployment, from the perspective of the regime--more people join the military for lack of better options. More warm bodies (though they don't always stay warm) to deploy to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan... all the PNAC countries.

Myra Bronstein
12-22-2008, 03:11 PM
Seriously though. The whole relationship of workers to owners is quite clear.... Keep the workers heads down. Keep them exausted and frightened. Fascism is a business wet dream. Capitalism will always lead to fascism without a united working class to resist it.

Precisely.

Agenda item #1 for workers = a united working class.
Agenda item #1 for industrialists = a divided working class.

Myra Bronstein
12-22-2008, 03:46 PM
Ok, there seems to be some consensus that "Communism" is, at least to some degree, a code word for "Labor Unions."

So, when did it become a code word?

Was it in 1933 when Hitler solidified power after the conveniently timed Reichstag fire (the German 911), blamed the "Communists," banned Unions, sent Union leaders to concentration camps, seized all Union funds, and replaced collective bargaining with regulation by the new government?

Or was it earlier?

Magda Hassan
12-23-2008, 12:05 AM
October 1917 in the Julian calendar. Or November 1917 in the Gregorian calendar. Precisely. The 10 days that workers managed to take over a whole country for themselves struck fear into the heart of every elite, aristocrat, bourgeois and bourgeois wanna be. Prior to that time their fear was of anarchists. All the attention of the Czarist police was on the anarchists. Once they realised that workers could ORGANISE and take control for themselves the horror of their underestimation dawned on the ruling classes and we have never heard the end of it. It was also something of a surprise to the communists because it was expected that only in an advanced industrial country like Britain could the workers succeed. Russia was very primitive and backward compared to Britain industrially. The key difference to anarchism is the skill that communists have in organisation. Not that anarchists don't have their own talents and contribution to make in a transition of class rule or revolution.

Hitler knew all the above and which side his bread was buttered on.

Myra Bronstein
12-23-2008, 01:24 PM
October 1917 in the Julian calendar. Or November 1917 in the Gregorian calendar. Precisely. The 10 days that workers managed to take over a whole country for themselves...

Hitler knew all the above and which side his bread was buttered on.

Thank you Maggie, this is just the information I'm seeking.

Myra Bronstein
12-23-2008, 01:41 PM
Speaking of Russia, I know I've read that bankers declared war on them many decades ago because of their refusal to allow British style (and now American style) private central banking. Now I can't find details. Anyone know what I'm referring to?

I want to understand what impact this had on Russian/USSR/global history and if it relates to the 1917 revolution. After all, the private banks took over the US in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act, aka Glass-Owens bill, just four years before the Russian revolution.

Magda Hassan
12-23-2008, 01:59 PM
With out checking it out more I can only imagine that Imperial Russia was in hock up to it's eye balls given the expenditure on the First World War. I don't think that Lenin and company felt obliged to repay any debts incurred by Imperial Russia. This would have pissed off quite a few people who had money involved.

I will have to research more about names and amounts though.

Myra Bronstein
12-24-2008, 08:36 PM
Unemployment is a favorite tool of the bourgeois technocrats. ...

Oh lookie--in their own words:

"Rising unemployment was a very desirable way of reducing the strength of the working classes.... What was engineered--in a Marxist sense--was a crisis in capitalism which re-created a reserve army of labor, and has allowed the capitalists to make high profits ever since."

--Alan Bud, chief economic advisor to Margaret Thatcher
(The source is an article by Christian Parenti in The Baffler.)

http://www.marxmail.org/facts_frame.htm

Magda Hassan
12-25-2008, 12:25 AM
Oh yes indeed. The capitalists think dialectically too. They must not be underestimated.

The other issue with unemployment is when immigration is used as a tool to create this situation (as it is in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, France and other many other places) workers are encouraged to think that it is the immigrants that have caused their reduction in living or unemployment. They are ripe for picking by the right wing racists. This is how Hitler initially got a base of support amongst some of the German workers. Blame their misery on 'The Jews' In Germany "The Turks", UK 'The Pakis" Australia "The Lebos, wogs, Asians' etc Divide and rule. A divided working class is the key. An educated and organised working class knows who it really is that brings in migrants to lower workers wages and keeps the focus on that. They make allies of the migrants as they are also exploited and in unity they can achieve anything.

Myra Bronstein
01-30-2009, 04:08 AM
I think it's the main reason the French have been demonized for decades, at least in the US.


http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSTRE50S1MX20090129

"Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:54pm EST

France hit by national strike

By Estelle Shirbon

PARIS (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of strikers marched through French cities on Thursday to demand pay rises and protection for jobs, challenging President Nicolas Sarkozy to do more for ordinary workers.

The streets filled with flag-waving protesters, but the one-day strike failed to paralyze the country and support from private sector workers appeared limited.

After dark, as Paris crowds thinned, some protesters clashed with police, throwing bottles, overturning cars and starting a fire in the street, but no major violence was reported.

Labor leaders hailed the strikes and rallies, which marked the first time France's eight union federations had joined forces against the government since Sarkozy took office in 2007.

"This is one of the biggest days of worker action in the past 20 years," said Francois Chereque, head of the large, moderate CFDT group.

Unions said 2.5 million people took part in dozens of rallies across France, including 300,000 in Paris. Police put the figure at just over a million nationwide.

"The government has taken measures for banks but today it is the workers who are suffering," said striker Charles Foulard, a technician at a refinery run by energy giant Total.

"This crisis comes from the United States, it's the financial bubble that is bursting. It's not for the workers to pay for that," he said as crowds gathered at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, birthplace of the French Revolution.

In a rare show of unity, the unions drew up a joint list of demands for the government and companies, saying Sarkozy should drop reforms they see as a threat to public services and aim stimulus measures at consumers rather than companies.

GOVERNMENT STANDS FIRM

Specific demands included better pay and conditions for public transport workers and the abandonment of plans to reform hospitals, cut 13,500 jobs in education this year and change the status of the state-owned post office.

Unlike in 1995 and 2006, when mass strikes forced the governments of the day to back down on reform plans, public transport continued to run on Thursday, albeit on a reduced and erratic schedule, and many schools stayed open.

Perhaps encouraged by that fact, ministers indicated they were not ready to review their 26 billion euro ($34 billion) economic stimulus plan, which is aimed at encouraging industrial investment rather than boosting consumer spending.

"I don't think one can constantly zap and change policy," said Budget Minister Eric Woerth. "We have to keep our cool during this very major storm," he told RMC radio.

Sarkozy, however, struck a conciliatory tone, saying people's concerns were "legitimate."

"This crisis imposes a duty on the public authorities to listen, to hold a dialogue, and at the same time a strong determination to act," he said in a statement, adding that he would meet union leaders next month to discuss planned reforms.

France's economic woes are less severe than Spain's or Britain's but its jobless rate is rising, hitting 2.07 million in November, up 8.5 percent on the year, and unions say Sarkozy's policies are not helping ordinary people.

"I am protesting against wages that are stagnating, demands on workers that are constantly increasing, and understaffing. It's my first strike in the 20 years I've been on the job," said Malika Youcef, who works at a school canteen in Paris.

At the Paris march, hospital workers in white coats mingled with Air France staff carrying model planes, chemical factory workers, teachers and plumbers, among other professions.

The powerful CGT union was out in force, with its red balloons filling the horizon and loudspeakers blasting the revolutionary song "The Internationale." Other unions favored the hippy anthem "California Dreamin.'"

(Additional reporting by Gerard Bon, Crispian Balmer and Geert de Clercq; editing by Andrew Roche)"

Magda Hassan
01-30-2009, 07:05 AM
And I think "French" is essentially a code word for "Labor Union"
I think it's the main reason the French have been demonized for decades, at least in the US.

:rofl:

I think you may be on to something there. Yes, they've had some bad press from the US in recent times. Just because they wont roll over and die for them and want to keep their own language, culture and traditions and bits of the original bourgeois French revolution.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs

Peter Lemkin
01-30-2009, 07:15 AM
I just heard a report that in the year 2008 the number of persons in labor unions in the USA increased for the first time in decades. I assume it is due to the 'economic collapse' and workers seeing how they are getting screwed while their bosses take yet another helping of cream. Speaking of which the [under-estimate] of 18,000,000,000$ of Public Bailout money the bankers took last year as bonuses is such heartening news - there is no reforming that type - they show no contrition, take no blame, only plunder the average sucker.

Magda Hassan
01-30-2009, 07:34 AM
That is good news. about union membership that is. Sales of Marx have gone up exponentially too. Looks like some are dusting off the classics and having another look.

Myra Bronstein
01-30-2009, 05:31 PM
That is good news. about union membership that is. Sales of Marx have gone up exponentially too. Looks like some are dusting off the classics and having another look.

I hope both are true: increased union membership and interest in Marx. I further hope that, as people wake up to the predatory nature of unregulated capitalism they also wake up to the fact that we've been feed decades of propaganda about capitalism, communism, socialism, and... much more.

There needs to be a snowball effect wherein people have an epiphany about the systematic lies they've been told about some things, and realize that systematic lies have been told about other things. For example President Kennedy's murder. Then they'll see things with fresh eyes and be able to connect the dots. I hope.

Jan Klimkowski
01-30-2009, 10:15 PM
Some excellent posts in this thread.

Magda - you have probably seen Adam Curtis' excellent documentary, The League of Gentleman, in the fine series, Pandora's Box.

Alan Budd, an Economics Professor, frequent advisor to the British government, member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, and "consultant" for numerous banks, was interviewed for the film, which was about Thatcher's monetarism. Aka shock therapy.

In 1991, Budd said the following (referring to the "monetarist" policy of Thatcher's government which created 3 million unemployed in Britain and attempted, with considerable success, to break the unions):


The nightmare I sometimes have about this whole experience runs as follows: I was involved in making a number of proposals which were partly at least adopted by the government and put in play by the government. My worry is as follows; that there may have been people making the actual policy decisions, or people behind them, or people behind them, who never believed for a moment that this was the correct way to bring down inflation. They did however see that this would be a very good way to raise unemployment. And raising unemployment was an extremely desirable way of reducing the strength of the working classes; if you like, that what was engineered there - in Marxist terms - was a crisis of capitalism which recreated the reserve army of labour and has allowed the Capitalist to make high profits ever since.


As if waking up and realizing he was talking to a camera, Budd then added:



Now... I'm not saying I believe that story but [that]... I worry whether that was... really what was going on.


Between 1991 and 1997, Budd was Chief Economic Advisor to the British Treasury and Conservative government....

Magda Hassan
01-30-2009, 10:23 PM
Magda - you have probably seen Adam Curtis' excellent documentary, The League of Gentleman, in the fine series, Pandora's Box.

No, I haven't but I will be sure to keep an eye out for it now.