In Western countries, unions have long become assimilated respectable institutions, kind of like churches or the Rotary Club. Early in my radical “career,” I held to the standard “workerist” paradigm of the Old Left. Working with real-life trade unions, socialist parties, and anarcho-syndicalist organizations cured me of all that. I tend to agree more with the Maoist and some post-left anarchist views of “workerism” as representing a kind of First World labor aristocracy. Although with the qualification that at least certain sectors of the working classes of the First World are being reproletarianized in a classical 19th-century sense. But for at least 25 years, my orientation has been more toward the Third World and the Western lumpenproletariat.
Categories: Economics/Class Relations