[lbo-talk] Working For Free

gauche1968 at aol.com gauche1968 at aol.com
Fri Apr 8 17:54:32 PDT 2011

Working for free might not make you a scab, but it sure makes you a Stakhanovite.......


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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.


> Charles

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?

> ___________________________________

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