[lbo-talk] Class nature of the state (Was: Socialist modelling)

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Thu Dec 29 08:00:03 PST 2011

On Dec 29, 2011, at 10:23 AM, Marv Gandall wrote:
> The crown jewels of its labour friendly legislation such as the
> Wagner Act, social security, and unemployment insurance, still bore
> the imprint of corporate lobbyists rather than the trade unions,
> which is not to say that they were not gains and that the working
> class should not have struggled for them.

This is entirely true about social security and unemployment insurance. But not so for the Wagner Act which (after Norris- LaGuardia had outlawed antistrike injunctions) reimposed a legal/ bureaucratic control over all aspects of labor organization that soon was used to impose loyalty oaths, to outlaw secondary boycotts, and in general to emasculate the unions it was supposed to "protect." Union organization and activities, especially strikes and boycotts, were already, from a constitutional point of view, fundamental rights immune from government interference under the First and Thirteenth amendments. But as these rights could be exercised, against the will of the courts and the government, only through militant working class power, the leaders of both AFL and CIO gladly renounced them in return for the patronage of their "labor friendly" Democratic Party masters.

Shane Mage "Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64

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