Friday, December 15, 2006
in unity, there's each other, and your friend becomes your brother and in the tyrant's heart a lesson will be learned:
Michael Rubin ponders a question dear to my heart: how can a decadent-neoconservative support strikers in Teheran but not in Tucson? His answer:
While I haven’t written anything about labor for about a decade, I still oppose closed shops and binding membership card drives as opposed to secret ballots. But, putting debates of U.S. labor issues aside, might I suggest: So what? Policy is about building coalitions. Some of the most effective in foreign policy involve the right and left versus the center. Poland in 1981, Sudan in the late 1990s and today, to name just two. If both conservatives and big labor have a mutual interest in seeing that striking Iranians force their government to become accountable to ordinary people, doesn’t it make sense to cooperate on that specific issue even if we may disagree on other issues?
Well, no, not "so what." See, there's a concept known as "solidarity," which is kind of big in the labor movement. When a gaggle of warmongers starts flailing their arms about the plight of the poor worker in a country they just happen to want to invade/subvert while not caring a toss about what happens to the poor worker in any country they don't want to invade/subvert, no one who cares about solidarity will be fooled. One can retort that the labor movement in, say, the U.S. should care more about the Teheran bus drivers' strike, but -- oh, look, the AFL-CIO has shown solidarity with the drivers. Mike, if you're serious about building a coalition, you have to build a coalition, not seek to cynically manipulate the labor movement. I know, I know, you went to Yale and they didn't. But it turns out they're not stupid.
--Spencer Ackerman