Saturday, April 12, 2014

Working People's Amnesia

Apropos the to my mind odd outcome of the union vote the other week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the Volkswagen plant, you might read this post:

Note that after winning to some extent, the workers at the Toledo factory did not pursue their victory. This must be something fairly basic in human psychology, as it recurs in various iterations. A breath-taking example is the failure of General Meade to pursue Lee's tattered forces as they staggered back into Virginia after the horrible three days at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. To be sure, the Union forces were also tattered, and the battle was not at the time, by either side, seen as a clear victory for one side or the other. Lee, however, was expecting to be attacked as they crossed the river into Virginia, and was surprised when such an attack never materialized. It's the Roman practice, salting the very earth after Hannibal's defeat that's the exception.

At any rate, how many high school, or even college kids know that events like the ones depicted in the labor history post above ever happened in the United States. Yet in fact, they happened all too frequently.

It'd be nice if working people at least knew about our history. But it is in the short term interest of the "makers" to keep the "takers" oblivious. Like the two little pigs said about the farmer, as he poured the tasty slops into their trough, "I don't know, he must just like us." Keep the beer cheap and the ESPN a-runnin'.

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