How about them unions?
or this kid's union story...
One of the amazing things about our mode of capitalism is how well the ruling class is able to manipulate common folk like you and me for their benefit. It's impressive how our daily activities are really nothing more than a script which we follow obediently day after day.
Think about it. You wake up and probably pick up your phone and scroll uncontrollably. Those images you see are curated, just for you, but not to make you a better person. The content you are served is to simply make you covet something and buy more stuff. All this after getting your emotions riled up one way or the other.
One of the other amazing examples of how well we are manipulated is that people are convinced to stand against things that are designed to help them. In other words people are trained to vote against their own self-interest.
Whether it's through race baiting, class warfare, or other distinctions to make us think we are different from others so we are in a position to know more and be better than others.
It's always the other people that are messed up and we are the ones with the good information and who know best. Am I right?
Back in grad school, I was struck by a statistic that the percentage of employees who participate in labor unions has decreased steadily for many decades.
I had a hard time understanding why and here's the reason.
Backstory: My father was a printer for the New York Daily News. He was also totally Deaf. He was a member of a powerful union in NY at the time. He would take me proudly to his workplace at the Chrysler building in midtown and show me what he did and introduce me to his friends that worked there. He was clearly in his element.
A few others in his composing room were also deaf, so my dad was part of a workplace of equals which is sadly not so common for Deaf people.
Random fact: back in those days the printing presses were loud and in this environment, deaf employees had an advantage. They could work for hours doing their jobs and not be bothered by the constant din of the presses. The deaf employees were also union members and I'm sure were treated much more fairly for it by their employer.
Fast forward just a year or two. My father took seriously ill which would lead to his permanently ending his employment and dealing with chronic health issues for the rest of his all too short life.
One thing that has stayed with me was that his union brothers would take him back and forth to work to keep him working as long as possible as he was too ill to drive or take public transportation.
As a young child of deaf adults, it was quite surprising and novel to see these hearing adults in our deaf house trying to help by doing these acts of service for their union brother.
This plus the subsequent way my father was treated during his separation at work made me see how unions help protect members from being treated poorly in such circumstances.
This was in the early 1970's. A stark contrast to today where there are daily layoffs of many thousands of workers. Some may have severance but most probably don't.
There is no regard for people's dignity or livelihoods in our present day workplace where union membership is down to almost nothing and only a handful of jobs have maintained a union presence.
Circling back to the topic of manipulation by the ruling class.
I am not convinced that the years long campaign to portray unions as bloated, corrupt, and anti-capitalistic was an accident.
It seems to me that this was actually a well-played long game so that we would wind up in a society where very few have any protection and executives are free to shed workers to make their bonus numbers.
I'm not saying unions are flawless and without their own issues but the worker protections they offer are sorely missed in today’s workplace.
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