Pages: 1 2
One of Lerner’s favorite pastimes is conflating often-violent labor activism with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. At the Sept. 22 SEIU pow-wow, he said
“When you look at every great movement in history from the abolitionists to the suffragettes to the auto workers who seized the auto factories to the civil rights movement to the immigrant rights movement, everywhere in the world, what do they all have in common? People willing to march en masse and people willing to go to jail in greater and greater numbers and if we really believe that the richest, most powerful people in the world, that their goal is to destroy us, then there’s an urgency that our actions and our words and the crisis all put together [creates].”
Lerner led SEIU’s much-ballyhooed “Justice for Janitors” campaign. In 1988 the campaign went after employers in a dozen cities. In Washington, D.C., the campaign used political theater in order to make labor activism seem noble and public-spirited.
Like any good disciple of Saul Alinsky, Lerner dressed up union thuggery in priestly robes. He utilized tactics of civil disobedience and conducted an ecumenical church service, a 24-hour candlelight vigil, “human billboarding,” and provided Easter dinner for the homeless.
Lerner is an expert at cloaking union intimidation tactics in what Alinsky called “moral garments,” first offering the carrot, and then the stick if the victim doesn’t comply.
In an interview with Mergers & Acquisitions in 2007, Lerner said private equity firms should, in a sense, honor SEIU’s picket lines if –wink, wink— they know what’s good for them.
He held up the “Responsible Contractor Program” of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) as a politically correct model to be emulated in the financial world. Equity firms “can adopt a policy to hire only companies that respect the rights of their employees” as judged by Lerner and SEIU.
“It might seem like a small number of people who are being helped, but if all firms do this it can affect hundreds of thousands of workers,” he said. “I believe the poorest workers can do better and we can afford it.”
This is the same warmed-over “corporate social responsibility” mush that Ralph Nader has been peddling for decades, but this time it’s backed by Big Labor’s brass knuckles. It’s also a cousin of the “fair trade” movement that presupposes Third World coffee growers are too stupid to get the most they can get for their product on world markets – so they need liberals to strong-arm traders into paying artificially high prices.
Like all neo-communists Lerner, who used to work for Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers of America (UFW), is a control freak who aspires to bully others.
“We literally have a handful of billionaires that are marauding around the globe, buying and selling things, and they need to be held accountable,” Lerner told Australian TV in 2007. (How dare rich people spend their own money!)
Lerner is infected with a visceral contempt for economic freedom that rests upon a pathological hatred of human diversity. This viewpoint treats differing levels of intelligence, aptitude, and job skills among people as social aberrations that need to be remedied. Leftists like Lerner have long believed the mere fact that there is material inequality among people is proof of the supposed unfairness of capitalism.
It all boils down to a simple idea.
People like Lerner have no interest in teaching people how to fish so they might feed themselves for a lifetime, as the old adage goes. They prefer to teach people how to steal fish from their neighbors.
This is the principle that animates America’s parasitic public sector unions.
It is also the essence of so-called social justice.
Pages: 1 2