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CapCon's professional intern has a hilarious misadventure with fascism

by: Eric B.

Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:53:51 AM EST

There's a quote that's floated around the last month or so relating to Right to Work laws. Actually, it's a quote from Hitler about the desire to do away with labor unions. You've probably seen it. Today, finally, CapCon's professional intern swings into action, but calling the Nazis a bunch of Socialists.

Strong words of nonsense.

The Nazis were the National Socialist Party — a belief system composed of many things, but an economic policy that was mostly indistinguishable from other socialists of the day. Nazis, as with other socialists, believed in government as an absolute authority (at least when they were in charge). Since the state was to have government ownership of production, at the same time setting work rules and compensation, why would Hitler and the party want to negotiate with workers?

Like he said ... strong words of nonsense.

This only makes sense if your worldview is so incredibly narrow that you define a political movement as either being socialist or free market capitalist, and if you think "the state" is synonymous with a government. The Nazis didn't believe in government authority over everything. They certainly didn't practice it. The Nazis believed that everything -- public and private sectors -- existed to support the state of Germany. They believed in a rigid class system, from which individuals would show undying loyalty to the state. The Nazis hated capitalism, but to the extent that big business and international finance were controlled by Jews and were corrupting the German state. This is why Nazism is considered to be a fascist movement, and the fascists come from the right wing, not the left. Calling the Nazis a socialist movement because they permitted things like universal health care and government management of transportation, is like calling the United Kingdom a communist nation because it has a working program of universal welfare for its citizens.

Update! ... Towards the end:

But opponents of right-to-work legislation are not arguing for the freedom of association with people; they are arguing for a government-imposed structure in which the state allows groups of employees to compel other groups of employees to pay dues money to a political organization.

No they aren't, because there was already a mechanism that existed by which someone could free himself from the yoke of union membership. He simply had to pay a fee to help support an organization whose work he or she was going to benefit from without otherwise contributing to it. What Right to Work is most like is a law allowing people to opt out of the federal income tax because they don't like the CIA.

Eric B. :: CapCon's professional intern has a hilarious misadventure with fascism
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Right To Work is Imposition of Right to Free-Ride
The Taft-Hartley 1947 amendment of the 1935 Wagner Act imposed an old idea upon union workplaces.  This idea had been sold as open shop or American Plan; it required that union membership be voluntary in union-represented workplaces.  Taft-Hartley Act provided two mechanisms for making union membership voluntary in union workplaces: First, it permitted states to enact laws to make it so; second, it required unions to seek an election authorizing mandatory membership conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.  From 1947 through 1951 the NLRB conducted 46, 119 elections covering 6.5 million workers.   Mandatory membership was authorized in 97% of the elections.  Workers overwhelmingly voted in favor of mandatory membership.  For open shop advocates the provision was an embarrassing failure since those directly affected did not want voluntary membership.  So, it was repealed.  It was far better after this social experiment for voluntary membership to be imposed by state law as an individual right.  Such Right-to Work Laws were then rightly seen as nothing more than the imposition of an individual right to free-ride since non-member workers still got full protection of the union contract with the employer.  An analagous situation would be a citizen or resident of our nation, state, or locality being able to opt out of paying taxes. Since it is state law that permits such free-riding, it is nothing less than state tyranny that aims to destroy an organization or , at least, weaken it severely.  There is nothing laudable about right-to-work laws.

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