PERFECT STORM: The general strike and the eclipse of unionism

by

from the gazuedro collective:

“Recognizing the diversionary nature of the union structure as it exists now, workers must deny its role as the effective voice of the movement.  Workers must reclaim responsibility, determine their collective voice, and redefine class consciousness according to a shared identity.  Workers must construct a counter-narrative to the dominant explanation of economic crisis, denaturalizing the accepted story of recession as explanation of injustices.  What we need is a re-articulation of the working-class identity.” (read more)


One Response to “PERFECT STORM: The general strike and the eclipse of unionism”

  1. S Says:

    While the earliest forms of anti-capitalist resistance addressed the imposition of the capitalist system as such, the struggle later shifted from WHETHER the commodity-form would be imposed to HOW MUCH it could be imposed, leading to a struggle over how long work would be. Once the working class, via union struggle, etc., had made gains in labor laws dictating the number of hours per day and days per week that an employee could work, the struggle shifted to gaining fair wages. At this point, the working class accepts the commodity form but demands a higher price for its commodity: labor-power. However, the struggle for wages turns out to be a double-edged sword, as each working-class attack becomes a spur to new forms of capitalist growth. As the working class wins battles for higher wages, capital develops science and technology so that it can raise productivity apace, in order to ensure continued profit. Thus the struggle to ensure worker’s rights in the end becomes the very motor of capitalistic growth in a new way. As it becomes understood that working class struggle develops capital and increases the intensity of work as well as expanding its imposition to new sectors, the struggle evolves once again, returning to the question of not how long or for how much work must be done, but instead a reopening of the question of whether capital has the power to impose work through the commodity-form– at any price. This is the point we must return to. It is no longer a question of for how much or for how long we will accept capitalist control, but instead a rejection of the current capitalist system and a search for other means of organizing outside of union action.

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