In other words, the System took advantage of the union’s great weakness, its own sense of in group solidarity. This is the central thesis of the book that the author dances around for page after page without explicitly stating. In fact, the author goes to great lengths to say anything but this inescapable conclusion.
But the social issue wrapped itself in rights language, which spoke to the group as well as to the individual, and hence, creating a union organizations that increasingly became irrelevant as the rights talk was aimed at state sponsorship (which it was soon to receive) rather than then more overall, ideological position of the unions. The fact is that this argument has confirmed this writer’s view of the labor question for some time.
Why if in 1945, a single blue collar laborer, a man in a union, could support a large family and have full pension, health and other benefits, where in 2009, the same man could not live at all, especially, with a large family. What happened? It seems that the “social agenda” happened: race equality and feminism, not to mention immigration reform brought millions of new workers to the fore, none of whom had much loyalty to a union, and most of these looking to the state and management for protection, rather than the union.
Hence, a coalition developed between the state and these social groups, a state, mind you, that no longer shared the outlook of the Roosevelt administration in terms of social democracy: diversity and pluralism took over from trade union militance, and hence, the labor movement, divided as it was, was now permanently divided and heading for irrelevance. At the same time, globalism had reared its ugly head, globalism itself ideologically mirrored in the “diversity” language (which in modern times has taken over from “rights” language, though with the same effect).
This coalition, along with the insider consciousness of the unions themselves destroyed organized and labor and hence, real workplace democracy. The final result? In 2009, labor rarely makes the front page news. 2. Did the “Capital/Labor Accord” Create a “Blue Collar Ghetto? ” This question overlaps very much with the previous one, since they both concern the growing irrelevance of organized labor as a serious ideological force.
The destruction of any chances for real workplace democracy is a symptom of the creation of a ‘blue collar ghetto,” but this ghetto itself is also a symptom of the decline of labor unions: the above coalition, again must be brought in to fully understand the nature of this decline and its disastrous consequences for worker’s standards of living, political debate, and the solidarity in the face of capitalist and corporate domination.
The theoretical backdrop that Liechtenstein hold to is worth mentioning: in Europe, the development of large corporate entities led to the creation of a large bureaucratic state to regulate them both at home and abroad. Far from the notion that a large state is hostile to capitalism, the capitalist system requires it. What makes America different is that the order is reversed: in America, the large corporate structure came far before the state, thus leading to a very different relation between corporate capital and the state (or really, anything that might act as a countervailing power, cf 105-106).