Howdy Laborers, welcome to the forty-sixth organized protest of HACK. If you’ve made it this far, I’m looking for a friend with benefits.
First of all, I really could care less about all this temporal human nonsense. My knowledge on this very subject is scant at best, so don’t expect a lot of detail or corroborating “facts.” Hell, I never even read The Jungle when it was required in high school.
Anyway, unions. As I understand it, we created unions as a defensive reaction against oppressive corporate entities that demanded exorbitant labor from their employees without giving them any basic human benefits. Unions became our protection from the unstoppable force of centralized human greed. And they did great things: fair wages, reasonable working hours, safety regulations, health and retirement benefits, etc.
Chances are that your line of work either has a union or doesn’t. Maybe your line of work is similar to education, where some educators are in a union but others aren’t. In teaching, for example, if you’re a public school employee you’re probably part of the union. If you work at a charter school, forget it, no unions.
Charter schools are a great example of how government and corporations continually seek to dissolve unions altogether. Ronald Reagan started it with the air traffic controllers in the 80s. Then down the slippery slope to just last week with all the brouhaha over Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election. And the issue that started it all–protests over removing Wisconsin teachers’ collective bargaining rights.
Of course the…* sigh *…I’ll just call them the 1%, OK? Apply whatever conspiracy theory you like about power elites, alien overlords or whatever. I’m just talking about anybody who has enough power to fuck the rest of us over so that they can stay in power. I’m talking about people whose primary agenda is maintaining control over others.
Of course the 1% wants to get rid of unions! It would put them that much closer to total domination. I also want to get rid of unions, just not for the same reason. I want to get rid of unions because they’ve become the very thing they’re supposed to protect us from. Unions are no different than any corporate entity. Corporations are broad-range systems of consciousness that operate similar to our own individual id-impulses. CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE, YOU DOLT! They are meta-people. Specifically, meta-toddlers. To give a corporation the same rights as a person is like letting a 4 year old drive a car or use a credit card or sleep with your spouse. It sounds ridiculous until you realize that both of you are being raped by corporations every day!
Like any living entity in the vast swath of cosmic competition, unions’ prime directive is SURVIVAL. At one time our relationship may have been symbiotic, mutually beneficial for employees and unions alike. Yet now the cells have turned cancerous. They parasitically feed on the very host they’re supposed to be helping.
Let’s be clear. I’m not speaking about all unions. Nor am I truly advocating eliminating all unions. The 1% hate unions because unions assert their right to steal their slice of the pie. Get rid of unions and that’s one more slice of pie to divide among the rest. I don’t like the unions because they eat the same pie. Too much metaphor? Just think: pie = your very soul.
Sure, they’ll tell you that they’ve got your back. That’s what all of these power-mongering motherfuckers tell us. My own experience clearly demonstrates the dichotomy of unions. The one time I really needed a union to support and defend me, I found same the guy who was supposed to be my representative on the same side of the table as the administrators. Now I work at a place with no union. So really, what’s the damn difference?
What do we do now? Do we get rid of unions because they’re corrupt to the core? In that case we may as well get rid of every cherished institution that has fallen prey to the S.N.A.F.U. Principle. I’m not talking anarchy. I’m thinking more along the lines of a reboot. Well, maybe anarchy would be an inevitable byproduct of such. For the short term, however, if we let them take away our unions, or “collective bargaining rights,” which is the very heart of a union, it would be for the wrong reasons.
So do we try to fix unions? Are they truly our last bastion against corporate oppression? Can we fix corporations? Perhaps the more pertinent question is: Can we fix ourselves?
Make no mistake. Things may be better overall than they were decades, centuries and millennia ago. There are more creature comforts, greater global awareness, plenty of possibilities and potential for our future. But don’t be fooled by the illusion. We are still trapped, still exploited, and still oppressed. As Chancellor Gorkon said in Star Trek VI:
But before we go, I’d like to slip onto a brief tangent and talk about the average work week. For most of us, the work week is 5 days on, 2 days off. What the fuck? Since when does 5 days make us more productive than 4 days? Doesn’t it make more sense to have 4 days on, 3 days off? It’s closer to half. 3 has all kinds of numerological significance. Even without it, it’s like any standard plotline: the weekend should have three acts. I am vehemently in support of the 4/3 workweek. Do you really think one less workday is going to make us less productive, or make us stop buying worthless shit, or stop the people who want to work 5 or more days a week from doing so? Hell no. If you love work so much, go do it. My work is play.
Don’t worry though, folks. Like I said, it’s all just temporal human nonsense. Speaking of play, think of us as play dough. The harder the Fist of Oppression™ squeezes, the more we ooze through their fingers, forming new and radically different shapes.
Towel Boy is a company man to the bitter end.