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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-10 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #17
26. Indexed
Didn't know the fellah's name. Got him in my Junior J Edgar Hoover Index, now.

Spun from the right:

Boulwarism: Ideas Have Consequences

by William H. Peterson

April 1991 Volume: 41 Issue: 4 Print This Post 0 comments

Dr Peterson, Heritage Foundation adjunct scholar, holds the Lundy Chair of Business Philosophy at Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina.


Boulwarism. An idea. Sweet or sour? Description or invective? The death of Lemuel R. Boulware (1895-1990) in Florida last November recalls the controversy over his name as embodied in a General Electric employee strategy that prevailed for some 15 years after World War II. The controversy is seen in a 1969 U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that GE had committed an unfair labor practice via Boulwarism. Asserted the Court in passing: We do not think that Board Member Fannings use of the term Boulwarism was indicative of bias; the term is more description than invective.

Certainly Americas unions sought to make Boulwarism into invective, to undo Lemuel Boulwares lifelong idea of avoiding force, public or private, by trying to do right voluntarily. He held that labor and capital, employees and managers, wages and profits, are allies and not enemies in production. His ideas help explain GEs innovative employee policy following a rough seven-week strike in 1946 that saw acts of sabotage at various plants.

The strike shocked the company, which had long voluntarily installed such forward-looking employee programs as a suggestion system (1906), pensions (1912), and insurance (1920). Employee disapproval and distrust of the company, fanned by union hype, were widespread. GE charged Lemuel Boulware to correct the situation.

So began Boulwarism, the GE program that can be reviewed in his book, The Truth About Boulwarism (Bureau of National Affairs, 1969), written eight years after he retired from GE. Boulware tackled his charge first through job research, applying merchandising techniques that had been successful with GEs consumer products. He interviewed employees, for example, to find out what they knew about economics including the origin of jobs and wages. His finding: Not much. His solution: employee economic education on a massive scale.

For starters, he borrowed Du Ponts flannel-board economic study course entitled How Our Business System Operates, and gained full participation of every GE employee (then 190,000 of them) from top management to the last non-supervisory worker. The course involved three 90-minute sessions on company time. He also distributed thousands of copies of New York University economist Lewis H. Haneys book, How You Really Earn Your Living, to supervisors and other sponsors of study and discussion groups in GE plants, offices, and plant communities.


Thank you for the heads-up, Canuckistanian. Mr. Boulware helps us understand how Pruneface fits into the conservative puzzle. It also shows how the ultraright has hijacked universal ideas -- like unions and management working together -- into Reagan's demonization of unions and labor.
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