Friday, June 25, 2010

Workers of the World, UNTIE!

The extremes gains power by magnifying conflicts and division.

One of the best ways to create deep divisions is to unify segments of society against each other.

Modern thinkers love the paradox that they can create division by projecting an image of unity. Uniting "us" against "them" is an act of division, despite the fact that speaker uses the term "unity."

The master of the left, Karl Marx, ended his manifesto with the immortal words: "Workers of the world unite." Marx's goal was to gain power by uniting the working class against the middle class in a peoples struggle. Marx's unity built totalitarian dictatorships that led to hundreds of millions dead and untold suffering.

Despite the widespread devastation of Marx's dialectics, the modern left is still drunk with the power gained through the promotion of class division.

Nowhere is that seen clearer than in the union movement which seeks to pit workers in a class struggle against management.

The shrill debate about unions generally centers on the conflict between workers and owners.

The claim of the union is that workers must unite into a centralized political force to counter the evil owners. The interesting effect of this centralized collective bargaining is that business must consolidate to counter the influence of the powerful centralized union. This effectively shuts down the mobility between worker and owners.

There are, of course, evil business owners who love the process of unionization. Business tycoons use the centralizing force of unionization to consolidate industries and to shut out competition. Business tycoons also benefit from the shutting down of social mobility as this process establishes the tycoon as the upper class.

There are big elite business owners who feed on the division created by the unionization process.

The long term result of unionization is a system with big powerful union bosses, big powerful tycoons, and a diminished worker.

The unions, of course, are working on a false dichotomy. There is generally a mutually beneficial symbiotic relation between the different parts of a business.

The conflict between worker and owner is really a chimera.

Workers own their labor and should be looking for ways to build equity in their careers. The owners usually work really hard, often alongside the other workers. Usually owners work for the mutual benefit of themselves and others with a stake in the business.

Combating Unions

As with all of the false dichotomies presented by Marx's Material Dialectics, one cannot combat the thesis by arguing the anti-thesis.

For the people who love freedom to counter the divisiveness and political centralization that results from unions, they must take a different path.

The different path realizes that good business develops healthy symbiotic relations between all of the players in the business. Workers, business owners are customers are all engaged in a mutually beneficial process.

Rather than rallying against the abuses of big unions and big business, the defenders of freedom must approach the problem from the side and develop working alternatives to unions.

The Professional Society

A professional society is a member owned organization that works to advance the careers of its members. A professional society provides educational resources, counseling, coaching and employment resources.

A professional society sees its members as a vibrant whole beings who own their own labor and talents and who reinvest their labor and talents for to benefit of the profession and society at large. As such, professional societies should actively work to help members become the next generation of owners.

Unlike unions that magnify class division, professional societies actively promote social mobility.

Professional Societies v. Unions

Rather than arguing for business against unions, the defenders of freedom should argue for professional societies against unions.

Unions were built on the Marxian notion that society advances through class struggles and that workers must have a big centralized political entity in the peoples struggle against business owners.

The centralization of big labor leads to a reactionary centralization of big business.

Professional societies realize that everyone is an owner and that there is a symbiotic relation between businesses and the professionals within the business.

As professional societies coach members through their careers, they help encourage the process of social mobility, which has been a hallmark of the American free society.

The centralization created by the collective bargaining process effectively alienates the individual worker and magnifies divisions within society. This effectively reduces social mobility.

Unions as Professional Societies

I should emphasize that there is not an absolute dichotomy between professional societies and unions. Unions ofter work as professional societies providing training and resources to its members. Professional societies often work in setting professional standards and often end up involved in wage negotiation.

Professional societies can end up being every bit as oppressive and top heavy as the unions.

Rather than promoting the idea that there is a dichotomy between professional societies and unions, it really is better to imagine there being a scale that runs from the idea of promoting individual careers on the right to the establishment of a centralized power base on the left.

The ideal professional society dedicated to providing career enhancing resources to its members sits on the right. The ideal of a powerful union engaged in collective bargaining sits on the left.


Unions were built to magnify the division between labor and business. Unfortunately, one cannot counter this centralization process by taking the side of business. Effort to argue the anti-thesis simply amplifies the thesis/anti-thesis conflict.

To counter the ill effects of unions, one needs to promote an alternatives to unions. The most effective alternative is the professional society. To save our free society, we must create institutions and small businesses that help individuals achieve their career goals as individuals.

We need to reject the false dichotomies of the left. One does not advance the cause of social justice through the creation of intellectually dishonest centralized political groups. One advances social justice by building a strong free society.

One does not create unity by uniting people against each other. One creates unity by creating structures that advance all people in society. To truly achieve social justice, we should reject the slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!" and adopt the slogan "Workers of the world, untie!"

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