Present-Type Unionism Would Seem Doomed

Westbrook Pegler

Rome News-Tribune/March 1, 1954

 Whether you like it or not, you have got to face the fact that the present type of labor unionism is done for in this country and is going to give way to something else. Probably state fascism. The present system is fascism all right but semi-private and totally irresponsible fascism jobbed out to the AF of L and the CIO under license, or charter, from the state and it is doomed.

One of the worst faults of our press and politicians is that they are afraid to admit obvious realities because they don’t like the look of them. We have all damned fascism for years and just can’t bring ourselves to admit that Mussolini was 30-odd years ahead of us. I hate the name and the substance of fascism. I have recognized fascism in the New Deal’s NRA, in the public-housing programs financed by excessive taxed which make it impossible for people to pay a fair rent for apartments, and in the government subsidies for farmers.

All this is of fascism. But the most flagrant phase of our fascism is the union system. And it is the only phase of American fascism which openly practices the bloody-handed brutality of Mussolini’s Black Shirts and arrogantly maintains that it has a vested right to do so.

AFL Admonition

I am not going to labor the proof of the perfidy of the unions system of fascism. Only a week ago, but only after the dirty details had been accidentally exposed as a byproduct of a cheap underworld murder in the Bronx, the A. F. of L. piously intoned a resolution to admonish its sub-rackets to refrain from excessive looting of the workers and the nation as a whole through fraudulent mass welfare insurance policies.

It wouldn’t go so far as to expose crooks in its own circle and send them to prison. It just said, “If you must take it, boys, take it easy!”

The gristle-headed bums in command of the A.F. of L. had known about this for years and years. The Teamsters’ Union has been reeking rotten with this corruption. Yet, the New York Times only a few months before the routine murder in the Bronx which dumped the load, had had the grotesque effrontery to try to sell Dave Beck, the boss of the Teamsters, as a progressive statesman of “labor” and a model of a public man. These revolting situations have become familiar routine.

The press, which owes a duty of intellectual leadership and brave indifference to fomented clamer, has dawdled along far behind all else in fighting this menace. It was timid about Taft-Hartley until the people plainly showed that they wanted freedom from the rule of the goon. Then the press caught up, panting; it is still queasy and other-handed about the basic issue of What Next?

State Fascism Next

Well, I will tell you what is next, state fascism is next. It is inevitable. It makes no difference whether it comes in a guise of labor courts under the federal jurisprudence or under some pretense of co-determination, the Marxian fake that the Eisenhower administration has been imposing on heavy industry in western Germany through the agency of Dave Dubinsky’s anti-Kremlin Communist, Irving Brown. It all comes down to fascism. These disguises and euphemisms do not impair the basic nature of the deal. That “co-determination” ruse, incidentally, is supposed to divide the executive authority on a hair-line right in the middle between the owners and the unions.

The unions pretend to represent “labor,” but “labor,” in their meaning of the term, is not an element of people who work but a political group run by the familiar type of manipulating politician. And the balance is loaded on the union side, so that actually, today, these heavy industries are managed by the unions. The only excuse for Eisenhower’s patronage of the mysterious Irving Brown, an always vicarious combatant in the gut-letting on the barricades, is that Ike doesn’t know or can’t persuade himself to believe that Brown is a Soviet Communist of old commitment, never revoked. As usual I note that Brown’s communism is a rival of the Kremlin.

If we must have fascism, why should we content ourselves with the inefficient, brutalitarian fascism which we have been putting up with all these Roosevelt-Truman years?

Loss To Nation

The waste of billions in lost wages not only of strikers but of others, thrown out of work by shortage of materials and transportation caused by jugular strikes, is a great loss to the whole nation. Should any modern nation put up with such damage in order to maintain a false pretense that “labor” is exercising a right to bargain “collectively” through freely chosen agents? Only last week, Beck claimed “jurisdiction,” meaning feudal power over 500,000 workers now embraced in other unions. These people were not asked whether they wanted to be Beck’s serfs. Yet, by the accepted understanding of union “authority” under the jobbed-out or delegated fascism of the unions, he has a vested right to the submission and the dues and fees of these American worker-citizens.

Am I advocating fascism?

No, I advocate absolute revocation of Taft-Hartley, the Railway Labor Act and all the rest of the delegated fascism now existing. We got along with free unionism until Roosevelt and in the 150 years from the founding of this republic until 1933 we became the greatest free nation on earth if not in history. Are we afraid to go back to freedom? If we don’t we will go forward to fascism.

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