by Mobius [➚] · Monday, May 1st, 2006
Filed under Social Action, Socialism
and a one and a two, and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationale
having grown up in the USSR i find the Russian version quite catchy.
ah I also remember on that lovely May Day in 1991 I got my Pioneer red scarf.It was glorious ,glorious.Too bad the country colapsed ,likethe next day.
Ah, Jewschool. Where Chanuka can’t go by without a condemnation of the Maccabees or Purim without condemnation of the command to destroy Amalek, and Pesach gets distorted beyond recognition, but May Day gets uncritical love.
Today I’ll be thinking about the more than 100 million victims of Communism, of all classes.
On Labor Day in September I’ll celebrate the advances in our economy that are blurring the distinction between “labor” and “capitalists”. We now have a society in which most of the erstwhile “laborers” have choices as to jobs and careers, so that employers must cater to them as much as they must cater to their employers. (Not to mention stock ownership, directly and through pension funds, in many of the largest companies.)
To what do we owe this? The labor movement gets some credit, but ultimately none of its achievements would have been possible without a constantly growing economy (just try to get an eight-hour workday in a place where ten or more hours of work a day are needed to avoid poverty or starvation).
We’ve made progress, but there’s so much more to be done, which is why I look forward to your avid support of an increased minimum wage and universal health care. Thanks.
You have a lot of misconceptions going on.
First, I hope you’re taking today to think of the hundreds of millions of victims of capitalism: colonialism, mercantilism, slavery, sweatshops.
You must be in a very privelleged position to assume that all workers have choices in their careers, because many people around the globe still don’t have a choice and have employers doing anything but cater to them.
If people can’t make a living working 8 hours a day, our goal should be to increase their wages so they can make a living, not tell them to work more. People are not “resources” and should be able to enjoy their lives.
And since we’re talking about our US economy, you also might want to thank the Labor Movement for your shabbas off. See, if it wasn’t for the labor movement, you’d get fired if you didn’t want to work on saturday. Or, as General Anna said in a response to a post of mine on The Riot Act:
People who say unions are merely agents of selfish gain should give up their weekends, overtime, and wages and just enroll their 12-year olds in an assembly line instead of school right now.
“Weâ€™ve made progress, but thereâ€™s so much more to be done, which is why I look forward to your avid support of an increased minimum wage and universal health care. Thanks. ”
As long as you pay for it, the sky’s the limit, EV. But seriously, we already have universal health care. It’s the insurance / payment arrangement that’s tricky. As for increased minimum wage, you don’t say by how much. I’m sure you’ve done the cost/benefit analysis so that you don’t raise the MW to the point that employment decreases, right? Or do you think the French/German model of high unemployment, especially among youth, is humane?
“First, I hope youâ€™re taking today to think of the hundreds of millions of victims of capitalism: colonialism, mercantilism, slavery, sweatshops. ”
All of these things also happened in the absence of capitalism. Mercantilism is often CONTRASTED with capitalism. Slavery began before capitalism and was ended by capitalist countries. Sweatshops happen everywhere, except where capitalism creates enough wealth so that they can be outlawed without destroying the economy. Of course, you might just be equating capitalism with greed. But greed exists under any system.
“You must be in a very privelleged position to assume that all workers have choices in their careers, because many people around the globe still donâ€™t have a choice and have employers doing anything but cater to them.”
I was talking about the USA, so, as an American, I am privileged. As for other countries, I would advise them to develop their economies (and not fall for Leftist BS) as soon as is possible, so that they can also enjoy the privilege.
“If people canâ€™t make a living working 8 hours a day, our goal should be to increase their wages so they can make a living, not tell them to work more. People are not â€œresourcesâ€ and should be able to enjoy their lives.”
That all depends on what happens when less work is done. The advanced economies can afford this. Most people in most places and times couldn’t/can’t. And there’s no rule about “enjoying their lives”. If it’s affordable, then by all means. If not, then it’s the height of irresponsibility to advocate this.
“And since weâ€™re talking about our US economy, you also might want to thank the Labor Movement for your shabbas off.”
Arguable. (Note that in my original comment I did give the labor movement some credit.) If not for the expanding economy, no movement (even the Elders of Zion) could have gotten shabbas off.
If it’s actual people you sympathize with, and not some abstraction called labor, you should be grateful toward all the people and ideas that improved their lives: some initiatives of the labor movement, yes, but also the hard work of all classes (that work); the innovators; the engineers and researchers; the entrepreneurs; and the economic freedom (and its theorists and defenders) that allowed all these to maximize their potential to create the unparalleled prosperity we have today.
actually kids, may day was originally an anarchist holiday commemorating the execution of the haymarket martyrs. i’m less interested in its socialist cooptation.
The horrific ever growing exponential disparity between CEO and worker compensation in the U.S. makes me personally want to scream (42 to 1 in ’83 wasn’t good enough?), and I still don’t know why you feel most of are anything less than ardent anti-communists descended from ardent anti-commnists, but Happy May Day anyway. You know you’re always welcome at our parties. Seriously.
Re the CEOs, I basically agree (but not because of disparity per se – just as someone who has the rare talent of being able to hit Major League pitching gets paid hugely, so too are good CEOs far more valuable than the average employee), but because I think that these CEOs are taking advantage of Boards that are careless and/or too close with the CEO to restrict their payments to pure market value of the CEOs’ talents. But this is a relatively small issue (in terms of actual dollars) when discussing the economy or the virtues of capitalism as a whole.
As for anti-Communists, I don’t know where you got that from this thread. But have you seen what gets posted here generally? These people may not be Communists, but I wouldn’t call them anti-Communists either. Certainly the thought of the millions of victims doesn’t take up as much of their mental space as it should.
Obviously those of my persuation can’t be caught dead celebrating May Day, but now that it’s past (three minutes to go), I wouldn’t mind doing some partying. Assuming there’s good Scotch or Bourbon, or Belgian beer.
Well J, you can find me if you want to, and I like scoth myself. And I can assure you, I am most certainly anti-communist. Post-Social-Democrats modified with conservative nuance always are. The whole minyan of us.
I’ll try to make it out to the next event in Manhattan (had to miss the When Do We Eat showing due to work). And there’s no need to assure me that you are anti-communist. I never thought you were anything but. It’s some of the other people here who worry me…
“Post-Social-Democrats modified with conservative nuance ”
Well put. I’ve also heard these described as “responsible liberals”, “centrist liberals”, and “neo-liberal” (though I suspect that you’re staying away from the “neo” tag these days). But I think nationwide (if not in downtown Manhattan) there are a great many of you. Most writers for the New Republic are neolib. There must be millions of people who don’t think enough about politics to categorize themselves who fit the description, and there must be hundreds of elected Democrats who wish that the Leftist base of the party would leave them alone so they could campaign and govern as the neolibs so many of them really are.
I don’t perceive of myself as a Liberal because of the patrician aspects of that ideology that differentiated it from the Social-Democrats (the Left part of my lineage), who believed that any cause and policy needed to be formulated by the people involved in the conflict, not in the ivory towers, or crucial ingredients and complications would be missed or even exacerbated. I do like TNR, though, so I guess you have a point.
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