Working for free might not make you a scab, but it sure makes you a Stakhanovite.......
Gar Lipow <gar.lipow at gmail.com>
lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org
Re: [lbo-talk] Von Hayek was wrong
Fri, 8 Apr 2011 15:43:38 -0700
On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM, c b <cb31450 at gmail.com> wrote:
> It might help to look into the history of the term "scab". "Scabs"
> in labor history are almost always people who are significantly poor,
> and therefore due sympathy for that poverty. However, one can be
> sympathetic for their poverty and look at the objective effect of
> their personally desperate action on the working class and trade
> union movement , and on Solidarity.
But "scab" referred to people who replace striking workers, who acted
to undermine organized struggles. It also sometimes referred to
official and unofficial thugs (police, military, private for hire
groups like the Pinkertons, umpaid volunteer thugs like the American
Legion who were violent strikebreakers). In spite of Jack London's
use of the word in a broader context it normally did not apply to
people who worked more cheaply than norm or worked harder than the
norm in the absence of such struggle. For that matter Martin Eden was
explicitly asked by fellow workers not to work so hard. So even
there, he acted against calls for solidarity from an informal
organization. Why is it scabbing to work for free if it advances
your personal self-interest in the absence of an organized movement
asking you to do otherwise?