The largest labor union in the United States posted a video Tuesday that should scare the bejesus out of every freedom-loving American citizen. The AFL-CIO essentially removed its mask and took the gloves off to announce that its endgame is communism.
Perhaps emboldened by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, prompted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s call for a tax on assets, or encouraged by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for all, the message denies capitalism’s greatest gift to mankind — the creation of the middle class.
Dan Whelan, the video’s messenger, who’s described as a “Marxist roofer,” claims that the American middle class is instead, “a fiction.”
“Class is actually determined by a person’s relationship to or ownership of the means of production,” he begins. “The means of production being a factory, a plantation, a skyscraper. Something that generates money and requires workers.”
The 2-minute-plus video was posted on the AFL-CIO’s Twitter account, along with the inscription, “We all need to seize the means of production.”
American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Christina Sommer observed, “Somebody needs to brush up on 20th century history.” In particular, early 20th century Russian history, which brought about the Russian Revolution.
That, in turn, resulted in the seizure of the means of production, and an extreme class division: The proletariat and the political class. It didn’t work: The USSR died of its own weight in December 1991.
Whelan seems to believe that Americans are born into a caste system, and whatever caste we’re born into is where we’re destined to remain. That’s poppycock.
According to the Small Business Administration, more than 627,000 new businesses open each year.
The SBA’s latest figures indicate that 58.9 million workers — 47.5 percent of the private workforce — were employed in 2015 by small businesses.
It also reported that of the 30.2 million small businesses, 8 million — more than 26 percent — are minority-owned.
Most small business owners weren’t born into their ownership. They struggled, saved, planned, and turned their dreams into reality.
Without question many new businesses fail; but others succeed beyond their founders wildest imagination.
- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started tinkering with electronics in a garage to found what we know today as Apple Computer Company.
- Jeff Bezos envisioned selling books, videos, and music online; today Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce company, making Bezos the world’s wealthiest person.
- Childhood friends Paul Allen and Bill Gates wanted to make a living out of their love of coding; the result was Microsoft Corporation.
And those who have no inclination to start a business aren’t left in the cold either.
Everyone starts at the bottom, but it’s what you do with that initial position at the company that can have the greatest impact on your future. We hear examples of this every day, including:
- George Bodenheimer started at ESPN as a mailroom clerk and became its CEO.
- John Borghetti got his aviation start as a Qantas clerk; today he CEO of Virgin Blue.
- NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer began in the movie business as a driver with the Paul Kohner Agency.
- McDonald’s Vice Chairman and CEO Jim Skinner started out with the eatery chain as a restaurant manager-trainee.
- In 1980, Ursula Burns joined Xerox as a company trainee; in 2009 she became its CEO.
And through corporate profit-sharing, employee stock offerings, and company-sponsored 401(K) plans, an ordinary worker can become a partial owner in the company that employs him and a host of other companies as well.
In Whelan’s case, if he were to put down that book on Marxism for a moment and look around, he might see the opportunities. He could step up his production and make himself more valuable to his employer and rise through the ranks.
On the other hand, he could learn the ins-and-outs of his trade from an owner’s standpoint and start his own roofing company.
Then again, he’ll probably continue memorizing pithy phrases from Chairman Mao’s little red book, spout nonsense theories from Karl Marx, and complain how unfair life is in the United States.
As for the rest of us, we should be aware of Whelan and others like him. And we should be more wary of trade unions now that they’ve let their mask slip. Seizing the means of production never ends well. Once you have it, you have to know what to do with it.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.