Print

Print


Just one additional thought here. In my original response to the posts
of the "old men" (you obviously know who you are), I took clear issue
with any notions that the lack of workers' democracy in the United
States could not primarily be explained by any notions that the ruling
class had rigged the electoral or representative process. That is part
of the explanation, in my view, but not the main problem. The main
problem is that the "masses" don't want socialism, they want
capitalism, and that does not seem to be changing no matter how much
capitalism beats them over their heads. In other words, they identify
with the capitalists much more than the working class despite the
injustice of it all. Why is that? The burden of explanation lies with
those who would seek to convince the working class, the middle class,
etc, that socialism is the solution. That's why I keep harping on the
Soviet Union, Cuba, etc, because these are very negative examples and
it is disheartening that the "old men" think it is somehow in bad
taste to mention that.

MB

On 8/10/11, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks to Carrol and Herb for taking my digs with humor, and to Herb
> for responding to them in a thoughtful way. Better responses than that
> of our moderator, who insists on silly apologies.
>
> The decrease in union membership can probably be traced to a number of
> factors, and anyone here who tried to explain it would probably just
> be guessing. My guess is that it is a combination of increasing
> disenchantment with the possibilities of socialism beginning in the
> 1950s with Hungary, the 1960s with Czechoslovakia, the 1970s with
> China, and the 1980s with the fall of the Soviet Union, along with
> capitalism's increasing ability to satisfy the major needs of an
> increasing number of people (a big middle class despite poverty and
> increasing wealth gaps.) Certainly the fall of Communism, which many
> on the American left have yet to come to grips with, has made
> socialist goals farther away than ever for both leftists and the
> people they might organize.
>
> But good to know that my remarks have generated a discussion, that's
> encouraging. I will keep on truckin.
>
> MB
>
> On 8/10/11, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> At 10:54 AM 8/10/2011, herb fox wrote:
>>>Apparently either unable or unwilling to investigate what actually
>>>is the political practice or position of those whom he judges, he
>>>cavalierly invents their views.
>>
>> Putting words in the mouths of one's opponents is an old
>> tried-and-true tactic. Sooner or later, some of that will inevitably
>> stick, tho' we never know beforehand which ones.
>>
>>>in 1952 (when this old fart's eldest son was born) 21.6% of the
>>>workforce was organized and popular support was at 75%.  Today about
>>>half, around 11% is organized and popular support of unions is below
>>>50%.  Explain that M. B.
>>
>> Similarly, let me put Michael Balter's inevitable one-note response
>> in his mouth. Why should Michael have all the fun? Michael says: No
>> doubt 10.6 percent of the workforce withdrew support from labor
>> unions because they were disgruntled with the Soviet Union. And Cuba.
>>
>> Isn't it obvious?
>>
>> :-)
>>
>> Mitchel
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> http://www.MitchelCohen.com
>>
>>
>> Ring the bells that still can ring,  Forget your perfect offering.
>> There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
>> ~ Leonard Cohen
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> New York University
>
> Email:  [log in to unmask]
> Web:    michaelbalter.com
> NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
> ******************************************
>
> “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there
> is
> no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
>                                                   --John Kenneth Galbraith
>


-- 
******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
******************************************

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith