Are Labor Unions Anti-Communist?
One of my favorite books, and one I highly recommend, is Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. The title is self-explanatory, so I won’t belabor what you’ll find when you read it. I mention it here because I believe it was in that book that I read that, from the 1950s through the 1970s, one of the staunchest anti-Communist forces in America was . . . wait for it . . . the AFL-CIO!* Yup, under the leadership of George Meany, big labor was enormously hostile to Communism. This was not just a symbolic thing. The AFL-CIO’s political and economic heft meant that it could affect America’s political and economic approach to the Soviet Union. For that reason, the AFL-CIO contributed largely to the Soviet Union’s downfall — and the freeing of a significant part of the world as a result.
MediaMatters, a Leftist media watchdog, wants to assure us that unions are still anti-Communist. MediaMatters has therefore mounted a full frontal attack against Glenn Beck, who in turn is contending the SEIU president Andy Stern is not only Obama’s best buddy, but is also a communist. The problem as Beck sees it and as Kathy Shaidle explains, is that Andy Stern likes to go around quoting communist slogans as his guiding principles. In a recent interview, he announced that “workers of the world unite, it’s not just a slogan anymore. It’s the way we’re going to have to do our work.”
Stern hastened to add in a subsequent interview that he thinks it’s just great that communism is dead. It’s certainly nice of Stern to say that, but his conclusory statement about communism’s death hasn’t assuaged anyone’s worry that he, like Anita Dunn, who quotes Mao with the best of them, looks for moral and practical guidance to some pretty rotten people with really bad ideas.
You and I aren’t simplistic or naive. We know that even bad people have good ideas. Indeed, to be a high functioning bad person, you have to have some good ideas or otherwise you won’t sell your overall ideology. Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were all effective managers, and Mussolini did get those trains to run on time.