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redgiant Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:34 PM
Original message
Ethics of a general strike
If a general strike is effective in largely shutting down the economic activity in a city (highly unlikely, but let's assume), it means that hundreds, if not thousands of workers won't be able to work even if they don't want to participate in the strike. This might be because transportation is shut down or the businesses they work for are unable to operate normally. Loss of a day's pay would likely result.

What are the ethics of essentially conscripting the unwilling to participate in a general strike?
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. What are the ethics of keeping our economy "running" the way it currently is?

:shrug:
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Salviati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. +1
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redgiant Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. That's a separate issue...
...what about the 99%ers harmed by the general strike?
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. It's "separate?" And no one is being "harmed" the way things currently are?
:shrug:
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Not a separate issue at all in fact it is the entire point. If the system is bad enough then
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 03:57 PM by Exultant Democracy
not taking part in it is the most ethical thing you can do. To someone partaking in a general strike the issues you bring up do not matter and from a moral stand point should not matter according to this justification.

If the cause is just and the system is unjust, then the top 1% in power are responsible for the fallout of the general strike. Blaming those on strike is just blaming the victim.
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redgiant Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. The unwilling are collateral damage in the bigger war? n/t
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. They are also victims of the powers that be just like the strikers. The 1% bare the blame
for bringing things to this if in fact it does happen.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. "the top 1% in power are responsible"
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 04:14 PM by redqueen
Precisely. Blaming the strikers IS blaming the victim.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. no it is not
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
35. They(we) will be harmed if we don't gs
Or is having feudal over-lords ok as long as they throw us a crumb every now and then?
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. Do those same people also get out of jury duty?
Hmmm?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. Short-term thinking vs. long-term thinking.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 03:41 PM by redqueen
Hopefully most people can see the big picture.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Unemployment is over 10% officially. Likely closer to15%
in reality.

People have very little to lose any more.
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redgiant Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Isn't that their decision to make? n/t
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Strikes are part of the reason people have
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 03:56 PM by redqueen
many of the benefits they currently enjoy.

It's their right to participate or not. It's not their right to demand that strikers stop fighting for positive change, simply because they personally find it inconvenient.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Up to a point. When you live in a community, you negotiate with the group.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Since it's been a few generations since this happened in the us
I understand the confusion.

One way to deal with the innevitable is to shop at businesses both before and after to reduce some of the pain.
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redgiant Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. But...
...the business don't suffer if you by their shit before or after, but what about the loss of pay to the workers that can't/won't strike?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Actually in that you need to read on practices for strikes
Including support. This is new to the us. It should not. And some people WILL get hurt, that includes businesses that employ those workers.

That is short term...
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wobblie Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. some thoughts on the general strike
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
17. This is a common right wing tactic to used to fight against worker movements
Shoot it could have been used to argue against the abolishment of slavery.

Do you think MLK jr stopped to worry about the people inconvenienced by his bus boycott, the poor bus drives who didn't make the policy who wouldn't get paid? Or the poor company owners who just had to accommodate the racist jim crow era ethics of the south? Hell no!

Why because in the end it is an absurd argument that basically equates to not fighting for the rights of poor people because it may hurt poor people, when we know not fighting has never worked.

The most recent polls show greater support for the issues the OWS movement represents then there was for the American Independence movement. If we use Independence as a moral measuring bar then obviously a general strike is justified.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. This should be an OP. (nt)
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Thanks, I hate to see this type of bullshit spun.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. OWS enjoys far higher % of support among the masses than the
Democrats (or Repukes) do currently. I would say the legitimacy and sovereignty of elected Dem officials is starting to crumble, esp in Oakland after Tuesday night.

In the American War for Independence, roughly 33% favored independence, 33% favored remaining British subjects and 33% were neutral on the question, acc. to a couple historians I've read.

Latest polls show 54% broadly agree w/ OWS, while 24% oppose, so that's a better than 2-1 position in favor of OWS currently. And it's only about 45 days old.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
18. Rolling strikes would be much more maddening and less crippling
meaning strikes based on the first letter of the first or last name, strikes based on occupation, strikes based on place of birth. There would be no way to identify the common thread until it was too late and by then they'd be on to the next one. Productivity would slide dramatically and the plutocracy would start to lose lots of money.

The general strike is the last resort, the complete stoppage of business as usual until they cave.

In any case, strikes keep protests decentralized and people in their homes, away from nightsticks and tear gas.

Yeah, they'll try to fire people but they'll be put into the eventual position of firing everybody and not being able to find replacement workers who have not struck in the past.

That assumes enough people are desperate enough to go for the economic jugular. I don't think we're anywhere near that, yet. People are just starting to get educated, thanks in great part to the OWS and fellow strikers. They've had a lot of years blaming themselves and old habits might be hard to break.

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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. I hope you are participating in your local OWS activity, b/c you
bring a very sophisticated tactical understanding to the process. The movement can use your talents.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. I had another op a week and a half ago
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 05:25 PM by Warpy
so my participation in anything is extremely limited right now.

If you like the ideas, pass them along. This is all public domain and I don't want the credit.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. For Occupy Oakland, unfortunately, the die is already cast and a
general has already been called for Nov. 2.

However, I will pass them along at the Actions Committee of Occupy Los Angeles this coming weekend.

Thanks again for the insights.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
19. Fear has no place anymore. n/t
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
22. The point is that the general strike says "Without us, you can't function"
That people not willing to participate can't function is their own problem.
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ljean8080 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. my sister has a life threating
condition.Would things like ambulances continue to run?
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. It's impossible to tell. Life in society always means depending on other people's availability.
If it weren't for the fact that these people usually can be depended on, your sister would probably already be dead. But just because she might need them doesn't mean they're obligated to always be there. A strike is when people say that they refuse to do as their told unless they are given more in return. They have been there doing things of their own volition and your sister has no right to force them to do a thing, even if she is ill.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. in the past general strikes have made certain that people
did not suffer, so essential services were protected. The point is to stop the income of the ruling elites, to bring the PRIVATE economy to a halt, to to damage public services.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #31
39. Is it just me or is it fucking heartbreaking to have to educate people on a democratic site
about this shit.

:banghead: :cry:
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. It is 50 years of relentless bullshit
people are very confused.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
28. The people who don't strike are harming me by supporting the system. I have a right to fight that.
If you work in a factory making armaments for one side in a war, you can expect bombs from the other side to fall on your factory. Not being a soldier doesn't give you immunity.

AFAIK, no one ever said that war was fair to everyone concerned. In fact, I rather suspect it's not.

America's Revolutionary war raised similar issues. How did we treat people who continued to work for the British?
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
30. The ethics are just fine.
The unwilling are not conscripted into anything. The use of that phrase is argument by emotion. The unwilling are perfectly free to go about their affairs as they choose. They may not be able to avail themselves of services provided by others, but why are these others compelled to provide these services?
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. Would there be this discussion over a weather day?
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
36. Judging from what I've seen...
there are no ethics.

Trite little phrases like "short term vs long term thinking" do little to make me want to support any action carried out with no care as to how it may actually hurt innocent people.


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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. How may it "actually hurt innocent people," praytell?
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 05:55 PM by redqueen
Maybe if you provided some examples, you could get some reassurance.
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
41. I just think it'll be ineffective - ethically, also questionable
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 06:54 PM by DaveJ
It will make a lot of people poorer, which the 1% will love! The poorer we get, the richer they get, in comparison.

Ethically, well just general work ethic says you work and care about customers. The customers are the 99% and in most cases do not want to do business with you, they need to. Trust me I already do my best to buy nothing but life has requirements.

All in all the banks would love to see us all living in tents.

Edit: Sorry. I know this is a popular idea. As usual, just my opinion.
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