There have been immense efforts to drive these thoughts out of people’s heads—to win what the business world called “the everlasting battle for the minds of men.” On the surface, corporate interests may appear to have succeeded, but one need not dig too deeply to find latent resistance that can be revived. There have been some important efforts. One was undertaken 30 years ago in Youngstown Ohio, where U.S. Steel was about to shut down a major facility at the heart of this steel town. First came substantial protests by the workforce and community, then an effort led by Staughton Lynd to convince the courts that stakeholders should have the highest priority. The effort failed that time, but with enough popular support it could succeed.
We must overcome the marginalization and atomization of the public so that they can become ‘participants,’ not mere ‘spectators of action.’
And the leading twentieth-century social philosopher, John Dewey, basically agreed. Much like ninetheenth-century working people, he called for elimination of “business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda.” Industry must be changed “from a feudalistic to a democratic social order” based on workers’ control, free association, and federal organization, in the general style of a range of thought that includes, along with many anarchists, G.D.H. Cole’s guild socialism and such left Marxists as Anton Pannekoek, Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Mattick, and others. Unless those goals are attained, Dewey held, politics will remain “the shadow cast on society by big business, [and] the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.” He argued that without industrial democracy, political democratic forms will lack real content, and people will work “not freely and intelligently,” but for pay, a condition that is “illiberal and immoral”—ideals that go back to the Enlightenment and classical liberalism before they were wrecked on the shoals of capitalism, as the anarchosyndicalist thinker Rudolf Rocker put it 70 years ago.
The editor of the Industrial Worker, Diane Krauthamer, spoke to Noam Chomsky at his MIT office in Cambridge, MA, on October 9th, 2009.
The Industrial Worker is the official newspaper of the IWW (the Industrial Workers of the World), a radical union
For more info, please visit: IWW official website
After World War II, Americans did not believe in the Free Enterprise System. America was very Socially Democratic back then. In fact businesses were very worried about this: Click the 74th footnote on this website http://www.understandingpower.com/chap10.htm
Source: BloodMoneyConglomera’s Channel
The Second Bill of Rights was a proposal made by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944 to suggest that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second bill of rights. Roosevelt did not argue for any change to the United States Constitution; he argued that the second bill of rights was to be implemented politically, not by federal judges. Roosevelt’s stated justification was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt’s remedy was to create an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:
- A job with a living wage
- Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
- A home
- Medical care
Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America’s place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights had been carried into practice.
Roosevelt’s January 11 address was delivered via radio, due to the President’s illness at the time. During the last portion dealing with the Second Bill of Rights, he asked news cameras to come in and begin filming for later broadcast. This footage was believed lost until it was uncovered in 2008 in South Carolina by Michael Moore while researching for the film Capitalism: A Love Story.
The footage shows Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights address in its entirety, as well as a shot of the Five Rights printed on a sheet of paper
“The Economic Bill of Rights”
It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.
Source: Second Bill of Rights, Wikipedia
On post-World War II business fears about popular attitudes, see for example, Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: the Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 37, 71, 36):
One public relations firm . . . warned in 1947 that “our present economic system, and the men who run it, have three years — maybe five at the outside — to resell our so-far preferred way of life as against competing systems. . . .” In 1946, the Psychological Corporation found that 43 percent of surveyed workers believed they would do as well or better if American manufacturing firms were run entirely by the government. A 1950 Opinion Research Corporation sample of industrial workers found that over 30 percent believed that the government should control prices and limit profits, 26 percent wanted to see the government limit salaries of top executives and 21 percent would vote for government ownership of four key industries. . . .
[A 1946 survey in] the business journal Factory . . . found that 47 percent of factory workers thought that the government would do most in providing new peacetime jobs. Similarly, the Opinion Research Corporation discovered that over 70 percent of workers believed that the government should guarantee jobs. For some corporate leaders the most startling revelation in terms of the outlook for business growth and survival was a Fortune poll that showed less than half of those interviewed believed hard work would pay off.
Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997. An excerpt (p. 147):
[A] review in November 1945 of a dozen [popular opinion] surveys carried out in the previous five years concluded that: “[People] have two serious reservations about industry; that great industrial corporations lack warmth and friendliness in their human relationships; and that the owners of industry, the stockholders, realise too great a return on their contribution to industry. [Thus] two counts on which industry is most vulnerable are (1) its human relationships and (2) the widespread public misunderstanding about corporate profits.”
The corporate fears that intensified after World War II resumed a trend that had been evident in the 1930s (p. 24):
By 1934 American business, led by the N.A.M. [National Association of Manufacturers] had oriented itself for a massive campaign to recapture public opinion. “Public policies in our democracy are eventually a reflection of public opinion,” the N.A.M. warned its members, so public opinion must be reshaped “if we are to avoid disaster. . . .” [In] 1938 the N.A.M.’s Board of Directors . . . found the “hazard facing industrialists” to be “the newly realized political power of the masses.” It warned that unless their thinking was directed, “we are headed for adversity.”
For some reports in the press of this post-war “crisis,” see for example, Russell Porter, “Research in Human Relationship Seen Needed for Reconversion,” New York Times, April 21, 1946, p. 1. An excerpt:
No reasonable observer could deny that the country is facing a crisis within the next few years, in view of the way reconversion [from wartime production] has been stalled by one major strike after another. . . . Although the tremendous demand for goods from all over the world and the unprecedented productive capacity of the American industrial machine as expanded during the war no doubt insure the nation of prosperity during the next few years, both economists and business men are worried over the longer future. . . . [T]hey believe efforts must be begun right now to solve critical problems in the social and economic fields through management-labor cooperation. . . .
In the broader perspective, many also realize that the future of the free enterprise system is at stake, in view of its world-wide competition from Socialism and Communism, as we succeed or fail in the coming years to provide greater economic democracy and social justice to match our political democracy. . . . If the free enterprise system, including free labor as well as free industry, is to be saved, something . . . will have to be done.
Russell Porter, “Hunt Is Sharpened For Labor Peace,” New York Times, May 20, 1946, p. 2. An excerpt:
Just as research in the biological sciences has accomplished wonders in preventive medicine, the social sciences hope to prevent disease in and indefinitely prolong the life of the American system of free enterprise or democratic capitalism. This would be done by getting at the roots of the trouble instead of waiting for specific complaints to develop, any one of which under certain circumstances might prove fatal. . . . The current wave of major strikes has stimulated new interest in industrial, labor and scientific circles in encouraging and expanding such activities. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been contributed as grants and endowments to universities and other institutions for the pursuit of such work.
Editorial, “Business Is Still In Trouble,” Fortune, May 1949, pp. 67f. An excerpt:
Sixteen turbulent years have rolled by since the New Deal began to rescue the People from the Capitalists, and no one can say that business has retrieved the authority and respect it ought to have if the drift to socialism is to be arrested. Every U.S. businessman, consciously or unconsciously, is on the defensive. . . . A majority of the people . . . [according to public opinion polls] believe that very few businessmen have the good of the nation in mind when they make their important decisions. They think business is too greedy and that it has played a large part in keeping prices too high. They think, therefore, that government should keep a sharp eye on business. And they have been thinking just about that way for fifteen years.
This Fortune editorial then describes the business community’s response to the “crisis,” providing a revealing articulation of the theme of “manufacture of consent” which is discussed in chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 41. The relevant passage:
The immense expansion of the art of public relations in the past ten years was financed mainly by industry. . . . It is as impossible to imagine a genuine democracy without the science of persuasion [i.e. propaganda] as it is to think of a totalitarian state without coercion.
The daily tonnage output of propaganda and publicity . . . has become an important force in American life. Nearly half of the contents of the best newspapers is derived from publicity releases; nearly all the contents of the lesser papers and the hundreds of specialized periodicals are directly or indirectly the work of P.R. departments. . . . The day is surely coming when American business, so long run by its production men and supersalesmen, must be run by men who put public relations ahead of everything else. . . . [Public relations] is a corporate way of life.