02

Jan

12:53am
Andrzej Ranek USA
The State of Labor Power and Class Consciousness in Today's America

The State of Labor Power and Class Consciousness in Today's America

Andrzej Ranek USA//12:53am, Jan 2nd '21

Through my life I have always understood that something was inherently wrong with how labor is instituted in America. My father had been laid off of his job when I was very young. Ever since, he's moved from job to job, never being fired, only laid off or leaving one job for a better paying job, and then laid off again.

Now that I'm older, I've had the chance to see for myself the nightmare of the capitalist mode of production. I work in Texas, here we have a "Workplace Freedom" law or "Right-To-Work" law, its name is antithetical to its function. Under these laws, it is essentially impossible for workers unions to exist and operate. It also gives the employer the right to fire anyone for any "legal" reason. An employer simply will fire a person, for skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Then they will cite the employment termination as a failure to perform or some other legitimate reason. It would not be easy to prove a case of wrongful termination.

Then there's the position of the worker in the workplace. Any effort to organize a union or a collective action in a workplace is met with cynical annoyance, people understand that their position is bleak but they are taught to hate any mention of unionization. Education and cultural influence is adamantly against workers rights. A job that is beneath someone is deserving of scorn, drawing statements like, "that's a young persons job. That job shouldn't give a living wage."

There's much to be done in the matter of guiding fellow workers. I've had long arguments about the merits of a living wage, benefits, job security, and health coverage. Some aren't receptive, many are reactionary. But that brings me to something that's become a reoccurring thought, this is how the capitalist class wants the working class to view itself.

The working class, at least in my part of the country, believes so much in individual success, that it forsakes ideals that would advance the whole of the people. It is perverse, leading to reactionary thought, allowing many to blame away their misfortunes on other struggling groups of people. These beliefs also promote paranoia against fellow workers. Many a conversation about unions inevitably brings up the fear of corruption. At least a corrupt union president can be voted out! I've never heard of a corrupt factory manager being voted out by their workers, one can only dream.

It is an uphill battle. At times one becomes tired. But we socialists must continue to educate as much as possible and organize those that can be organized.

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