Business unionism’s dead end

Each year in the US, the labor unions get smaller and weaker. What is the cause of this since life is certainly not getting easier for the working class of our country?

Will the unions finally just evaporate into thin air? At this time they are providing about ZERO protection for the population from the corporations and their corporate run government.

In this blog we have talked at some length about the problems of ‘Peace’ organizations run as small businesses rather than as democratic community organizations opposed to war. We have the same phenomena in the Labor Movement and with the same results which are the demobilization of people rather than their mobilization. Organizations with small paid office staffs that separate themselves from the people they supposedly are serving lead to organizations that do not inspire people to move themselves. Why should they? They have no control over the organizations they are in. Apathy, disinterest, and demobilization results.

We also have to factor in the corporate control over trade unions themselves, which is achieved through the Democratic Party. Once again, this process parallels what happens with the “peace’ groups run by paid office types. In both types of organizations, trade union and ‘Peace’, the Conservatives office milieu that is cultivated by business models of organization see themselves a lobbyists, and lobbyists to the politicians. That becomes their principle focus. These types often talk about ‘speaking truth to power’, but what they mean is that they should spend all their time in some form of lobbying of Democratic Party politicians.

As a result, demonstrations and independent organizing are deliberately kept from happening, and excess value is given to hobnobbing with the corporate press currying ‘reporting’ and visiting the offices of political insiders with pleas in hand. This is activity that is seen as needing paid organizers separate from community control, whose folk are only seen as potentially messing up this lobbying effort.

This method of using business models inside community organizations has paralyzed the antiwar movement, and has beaten down the Labor Movement into non-existence. Ads a result, unions can hardly be found any where actually engaging in organizing. In fact, they can hardly be found in actually hanging on to the membership that is left. What it will take is a completely different model of organization to ever be able to rebuild these organizations. That is not presently on the scene and it will not occur in an easy manner, but will require much sacrifice and effort.

BTW, that foto of workers at the head of this column is taken from a day labor company site. These are some of the many workers abandoned by business unionism’s failed model of unionism.

Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission

The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission is not a real community group at all. Real constituent organizations hold membership meetings from time to time, but the Justice and Peace Commission doesn’t. Instead, worse than a Stalinist organization, the group holds one supposed general meeting per year, where a small clique presents ‘board’ decisions as fait accompli to any who are suckered into watching the show.

The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission structure is that of a small business board, whose principle concern is always to raise funds. The funds are principally to be used to maintain a managerial staff who take a proprietary view of the organization. The organization is seen as theirs to be run for others, which is exactly what they proceed to do. Actually, the others are most often seen to be mainly themselves, as the office staff constantly fight to continuously keep an income flow moving to help guarantee their continued employment.

Over the head of all this, is now a minister who runs ‘the board’ as if he was running a church. Churches are small businesses and despite the pious manner of the pastors, most often pastors act like small business owners. Originally, it was a group of nuns who set the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission into operation, modeled along the lines of a semi-liberal church group. Despite the pretense of the group to be representative of ordinary people, the group has maintained the same undemocratic mode of ‘business’ managing that currently exists, over several decades now.

The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission board sees itself as a wheeler and dealer with the local power establishment. As such, it does not want to appear to be too confrontational in any way, but rather to appear as a responsible element of the community. It constantly embraces ‘communication’ with the military, police, and city council as a result. In addition, it fears anything and anybody that might impede this ‘communication’.

The PPJPC is not truly an antiwar group or justice group at all, but has taken on many characteristics of being a ‘new age’ organization. That’s a pretty safe way of maintaining some semblance of appearance of being different, without ever having to defend much substance or real opposition to the established order at all.

The real problem is that many small semi-alternative businesses and churches in the community give backing to this sort of thing. Plus, like a company union, the PPJPC is something that the mainstream Power Establishment would rather deal with than the real thing, which would be a real community organization run in a more democratic manner

Southern Colorado deserves better than this as it would be much better to have a pro-Peace organization that is not run from top down like a small business. That’s what we should strive for.