Union Leaders and the Left (RE: Laying Bets: W Will Win

Rob Schaap rws at comedu.canberra.edu.au
Tue Aug 15 22:10:34 PDT 2000

>Hoffa is a voice of working people about the same way Clinton is a poster
>boy >for safe sex.

Er, I'm no Clinton fan, Dennis, but I won't have the poor man accused of unsafe sex! Presidential goo is safer on a frock than in a body, and to deploy a cigar in the Clintonian manner constitutes and promotes not only safe sex (I'm assuming it remained unlit), but an awareness of the health risks associated with more prosaic cigar-related practices.

So I'd amend your claim thusly: 'Hoffa is a voice of working people about the same way Clinton is a voice of working people.'

But I agree with Nathan, unions are the only institutional form going - the only place within which, and the only medium through which, workers can express themselves. To treat trades unions, a priori, as playthings of bourgeois corporatism is to ensure just that. There's a political-cultural backlash going on out there in the lifeworld, freed by its non-institutional form (else, mayhap, it might never have been born) but limited by it (having been born, it needs to grow, which it can't do unless it gets some systemic nourishment). It's up to the unions now, I reckon, and unionists are entirely up to the task of getting their unions to do what they want. After all, if not there, than where? Ever?

Cheers, Rob.

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