The View From 1776
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Greed Before Prudence
Wisconsin syndicalists are prepared to destroy organized government, if necessary, to continue looting the public treasury.
The spectacle of concerted strikes by teachers, other public employee unions, and by Democrat/Socialist Party legislators in Wisconsin is a throwback to the syndicalist origin of mass industrial unions in the United States. Such actions aim at forcing the state into financial ruin, if necessary, to keep and to increase the hugely disproportionate and unmerited flow of public funds channelled to public employees’ unions.
Wisconsin historically is dead center in the American syndicalist history of industrial unon violence and extortion. Milwaukee’s Victor Berger was a founder of the American Socialist Party and the first Socialist Party candidate to be elected to Congress. Berger’s co-founder, Eugene V. Debs, also was a founder of the IWW (see below).
Vocal and financial support for illegal action by Wisconsin unionists and legislators by President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrat/Socialist Party leaders is fully consonant with Obama’s full-speed-ahead, no-current-cuts, welfare-state budget. Their conduct in the Wisconsin affair makes the conservative Tea Party, in comparison, a tranquil afternoon of tea and crumpets at a ladies’ garden party.
Syndicalism originated in late 19th century socialist France under the leadership of Georges Sorel, a legislator of national prominence. Advocating general strikes, violence, and threats of violence, syndicalists intended to bring organized government to its knees and to replace it with workers councils that would assume control of all production. Syndicats, French for labor unions, would then redistribute wealth to the unionized workers.
In the United States the syndicalist movement found a home in the violent ranks of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which gradually melted into the American Socialist and Communist Parties after World War I. The avowed aim of the IWW to take over the government and reshape it into a Soviet people