Friday, February 12, 2016

"Why is “Laborism” an increasing influence within the Democratic Party even though union density continues to decline?"

Rich Yeselson (previously here) makes the most honestly absurd, earnestly self-blind and self-serving argument I've read in a long time. It's impressive even by the standards of CT.
For about 30 years, a goal of the most sophisticated sectors of the labor movement has been to import the talents and commitment of the college educated middle class onto union staffs, and to export, via programs like Union Summer, the Organizing Institute, and organizing campaigns on college campuses, the ethos of unionism to colleges and other precincts of the professional liberal elite. One milestone in this effort, for example was the union-intellectuals conference at Columbia in 1996, for example, which called for an explicit alliance between leftist intellectuals and unions and featured keynote addresses by Betty Friedan, Richard Rorty, and Cornel West and John Sweeney, then president of the AFL-CIO. And this strategy worked! Key thinkers and pundits like Paul Krugman became more interested in unions as a lynchpin for addressing income inequality and, even, as institutions of civil society, being a kind of the liberal equivalent to evangelical churches. Lots of public intellectuals, during this period, wrote about labor and union issues in non-academic media.

...Meanwhile, college kids, disproportionately at elite colleges and universities, got involved in campus organizing fights and—in another superstructural result of post sixties scholarship—took leftist oriented classes in American labor history and the social sciences. Yale, to name a major example, became a major venue of the new laborism and continues to send undergrads and grad students to union staff positions as organizers and strategic researchers.

...So this all became a virtuous circle—college types go into the labor movement, making it more creative, attentive to recognitional issues of race and gender, and more interested in larger questions of political economy. (For a time, the most creative union presidents were, by common consensus, three graduates of Ivy League universities. Now David Rolf, a graduate of Hamilton College, who got interested in unions in college and has an intellectual partnership with class traitor, billionaire Nick Hanauer, is considered the cutting edge union thinker.)
A "virtuous circle" led by our liberal elite, and billionaire "class traitors".

Change comes from below.
Pew Research Center surveys show that half of Millennials (50%) now describe themselves as political independents and about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion. These are at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics.

At the same time, however, Millennials stand out for voting heavily Democratic and for liberal views on many political and social issues, ranging from a belief in an activist government to support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

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