I will start, today, highlighting a current, singular, American event, because it is HISTORIC, but, as EVERYTHING ELSE, with global relations and impacts.
GM (General Motors) and its autoworkers unions, UAW, (United Auto Workers), here, in the US, are begging Congress for a part of the lucrative financial tax handouts for their industry, and, their jobs.
While this may seem to many like just one more item in a long laundry list, there is a tragic and ironic significance represented by the UAW and their most likely, probable demise.
This is the culmination, not the beginning, but, the end, of an historic process.
The UAW is not just any union.
It is symbolic.
They were the first major industrial union organized in 1936-37 by the then newly formed, independent, (of the conservative, reactionary AFL, Am Federation of Labor), militant, Left led and Communist affiliated CIO (Congress of Industrial Organization) leadership.
The CIO broke off from the AFL in 1935.
The UAW and auto industry, at the time of its historic organization and inception, was the largest in the country.
And, I believe, the world.
It still is, I believe, the largest union, here, and POSSIBLY, the world.
I'm not sure about that last fact any longer.
They set a bargaining pattern for the latter half of the 20th century.
When the UAW first organized their union and got recognition for it, they had had a very famous, very militant, sit down strike in Flint, Michigan, lasting, I believe, something like 44 days.
It was an epochal, watershed event, struggle and victory in the annals of American and global labor history.
The history of the UAW is a complicated story and I cannot do justice to it, here, much beyond the snapshot above.
I will, however, provide one link, below.
Anyway, to fast forward to the present.
Irony upon irony multiplies.
Amongst the many issues involved at present with the UAW and the auto industry are funded pension benefits, of course, privately invested, and, health care insurance, which, as everybody knows, continues to be privatized, also.
And, the UAW leadership, like ALL other American unions, supports the Nazi Democratic Party and the Hitler-Obummer-Bush Presidency.
What could and should happen, now?
Well, at minimum, a MILITANT RESPONSE, like its forebears and history.
For example, the entire union and industry could strike, once again, occupy buildings, CALL FOR A MAJOR, MASS, NATIONAL, MOBILIZATION AND SHOW OF SUPPORT AND demand their INDUSTRY be preserved, nationalized, funded for any necessary transitions and removed from public stock offerings and shareholders, and, likewise, expansion of a publicly funded pension and health care system.
Will this or any part of the above happen?
A resounding NO.
The reasons are all the above and what I have had on my blog, repeatedly.
And, so, the blessed, globally historic, wonderful, progressive, watershed UAW, itself, will become history and fade into oblivion.
And, that, kids, is today's domestic and global event in its implications.
And, the industry will either be reorganized, without, of course, a major labor union and purchased by the same folks organizing the money-go-round in the GCC speculative bubble and/or be relocated to those same areas of "emerging growth" with a cheaper labor force and no unnecessary expenditures for other amenities.
So, I said I would provide a link for the above.
Well, there are so many sources from which to choose, I decided on one, altho not DIRECTLY discussing UAW history, because it is a very nicely written, general, informative, fascinating read and much more reflective of the SPIRIT of how and why the UAW was formed, what it was about and represented, how it fit into the period in which it was formed, and, as well, a less highlighted and usually grossly distorted subject matter, and, hopefully, a future project for anyone else wishing to do more.
But, just before I link to the following, I would like to add one personal comment.
I happened to know someone in NYC who helped organize the UAW in the 1930s and was a part of the famous Flint, Michigan sit-down strike.
He died just recently.
He was a very inspirational, extraordinarily decent, humble, loving human being, but, as well, an excellent, excellent, tactician and strategist from whom I learned alot that is NOT in books, and I consider myself very, very fortunate to have known him.
I nicknamed him "Lenny the Leaflet," since he was forever politically active and a chronic "leafleteer," prior to the advent of the internet, and, I would hope and imagine he died leafleting, "with his boots on."
And, so, the following is my personal dedication to Lenny the Leaflet and others like him.
In addition, I would like to add, the labor union called "District 65" is mentioned in the following.
I personally, albeit it, briefly, experienced the WONDERS, and, I do mean, WONDERS, of District 65 and what a REAL, progressively led labor union CAN BE.
It is not hyperbole.
The difference between an institution like District 65 in NYC and a reactionary, right wing, mafia led, corrupt labor union, which I also experienced, again, briefly, is GREATER than the difference between day and night.
It is more like going from one planet to another, Earth to Jupiter in terms of contrast.
So, with that lengthily, long winded introduction, dedication and provisos in mind, the following link, finally...
After reading the above inspirational piece, I must now return to the abysmal muck and obscene realities of the present day, all dedicated to overturning everything for which Lenny the Leaflet and his associated friends and companions fought.
So, for a few updates in the Middle East, GCC money-go-round saga and SOME of the many developments I have been following in this "emerging growth" area.
First, the Dana Gas/Crescent Oil/Hamid Jafar, et.al., octopus and growing empire, "Dana Gas...New Discoveries...Five Year Growth Plan,
And, since Egypt was mentioned above in the Dana Gas article, here's something more about Egypt's privatization.
It's in Arabic, with English subscript.
It's quite silly for me to post something in Arabic, I suppose, since everybody reading this speaks fluent English.
But, it's an indulgence.
I personally enjoy hearing another language, even if I can't understand one word of what is being said.
And, maybe others will do so, as well.
And, of course, those who CAN understand at least some of what is being said.
And, on the left hand sidebar, you will also note reports related to MerchantBridge and UBS combining.
I will link to an entirely English language ARTICLE after this video regarding the MerchantBridge and UBS story...
And now for MerchantBridge.
In my previous blogs, below, I highlighted the emergence of Stonebridge, and, of course, Citigroup--the newer guys in town, bought in by the Obummer-Clinton Presidency.
But, MerchantBridge still are/were the folks responsible for privatizing Iraq's state industries.
And, Rahim of MerchantBridge is associated with the "Harvard Circle" of wealthy Iraqi expatriates.
In previous historical terms, this would be labelled counter-revolution and restoration.
So, MerchantBridge and UBS to merge,
And, just as a little personal, historical rumination on these developments. I was thinking to myself the other day about the parallel historical roles of Switzerland during WWII and that of the GCC so-called states, now.
Both were/are supposedly neutral actors, but, both the epicenter of related financial manipulation and secrecy.
Neither are a major military actor, but, both sit nearby or between the active theatre of war.
Just thought I would toss out these similarities which could easily be developed and substantiated further, including the continuity of financial actors.
And, finally, for just about everybody with sawdust in their brains and heads of brick and mortar, here it is, spelled out, once more, in two articles, following,
"Former Head of World Bank, Wolfensohn, Sees Tectonic Shifts to a New World Order,"
And, "Gulf Countries Becoming New Power Brokers,"
And, all of you, at least, in the US, are aiding and abetting this process and your own demise.