Monday, February 28, 2011

Public Unions and the Socialist Agenda

One of the more interesting things about the left is the refusal of its partisans to admit they're socialists. The truth, of course, is obvious to anyone who witnesses the massive progressive demonstrations, of recent years, for example the big One Nation rally the Democratic base held last year (see, "Democrats, Union Workers, and Communists Rally Together in Washington"). Indeed, we often hear that conservatives are chasing after "imaginary communists" and that attacks on Democrat Party extremism is "McCarthyism." The only problem for the left's denialists is that when one actually goes out to the protests and mobilizations, communists are everywhere, and they're usually in fact the key organizers. Progressives know that if the socialist label sticks they'll get slammed at election time, and rightly so, since Americans are by nature individualistic and entrepreneurial. By definition, then, the social program is anti-American, to say nothing of totalitarian. So it's interesting to see the AFSME members saying here that they're all about inclusion, and that they'd prefer the socialist alternative to the rational budget planning of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

And see also, Robert Tracinski, "
Public Unions & the Socialist Utopia" (via Memeorandum):

The Democratic lawmakers who have gone on the lam in Wisconsin and Indiana-and who knows where else next-are exhibiting a literal fight-or-flight response, the reaction of an animal facing a threat to its very existence.

Why? Because it is a threat to their existence. The battle of Wisconsin is about the viability of the Democratic Party, and more: it is about the viability of the basic social ideal of the left.

It is a matter of survival for Democrats in an immediate, practical sense. As Michael Barone explains, the government employees' unions are a mechanism for siphoning taxpayer dollars into the campaigns of Democratic politicians.

But there is something deeper here than just favor-selling and vote-buying. There is something that almost amounts to a twisted idealism in the Democrats' crusade. They are fighting, not just to preserve their special privileges, but to preserve a social ideal. Or rather, they are fighting to maintain the illusion that their ideal system is benevolent and sustainable.

Unionized public-sector employment is the distilled essence of the left's moral ideal. No one has to worry about making a profit. Generous health-care and retirement benefits are provided to everyone by the government. Comfortable pay is mandated by legislative fiat. The work rules are militantly egalitarian: pay, promotion, and job security are almost totally independent of actual job performance. And because everyone works for the government, they never have to worry that their employer will go out of business.

In short, public employment is an idealized socialist economy in miniature, including its political aspect: the grateful recipients of government largesse provide money and organizational support to re-elect the politicians who shower them with all of these benefits.

Put it all together, and you have the Democrats' version of utopia. In the larger American culture of Tea Parties, bond vigilantes, and rugged individualists, Democrats feel they are constantly on the defensive. But within the little subculture of unionized government employees, all is right with the world, and everything seems to work the way it is supposed to ...

This is why the left is treating any attempt to fundamentally reform the public workers' paradise as an existential crisis.
Well, some folks are for the insurrection, as we've been seeing for weeks.

See also, Pejman Yousefzadeh, "
Marxists. I Hate These Guys" (via Instapundit).

Well, of course Ezra Klein doesn't hate 'em, "
Do We Still Need Unions? Yes" (via Memorandum).