02 February 2017

Bread and Roses: The Lawrence Massachusetts Textile Strike of 1912

"What connects two thousand years of genocide (and the abuse of human rights)? Too much power in too few hands."

Simon Wiesenthal

People forget, and too often the schools and the media fail to remind us, that even within our own history reforms such as the eight hour work day, basic workplace safety, and the end to abusive child labor were won in a long and determined struggle, not only with ballots, but too often with great personal sacrifice and even blood.

Yes there is no doubt that regulation can go too far, and become counterproductive. But simple dispensing with it based on the romantic notion of naturally efficient markets has a long history of terrible human rights abuses.

This is why unrestricted globalization is always going to be in a problematic dynamic relationship with individual and national freedom and choices. 'Globalization' can be used as a soft coup d'etat against national laws and principles of government, ie. democracy with a Bill of Rights and certain compacts between the leaders and the governed.

If, for example, the US were still constituted as 'part free and part slave owning,' one can easily imagine how that would imbalance the determination of the freedoms of many who hold themselves together within a common monetary and fiscal union. Indeed, this is one of the great weaknesses of the EU, in that their monetary union advantages some and inflicts hardships on others. The fortunate are, of course, perfectly content with it, and tend to blame the disadvantaged in all the objectifying ways that people have always done throughout history.

The notion that there is some 'invisible hand' sorting out these markets across the globe without human intervention, known as 'rules,' is utopian nonsense that works only in the minds of sophists and apologists for the moneyed interests within their servile economic and too often elitist theories about natural superiority of some over others. Class warfare and colonialism are just other names for the tyranny of the few over the many, the power of might abusing justice and 'right.'

The more probable result of unrestricted trade and multinational arbitrage by powerful and essentially nationless corporate interests is to drive the standard of living and quality of life for the majority of the people down to the lowest common denominator of whatever tinpot dictatorship or repressive oligarchy that chooses to abuses its own people and nature with the abusive use of force.