Universities strike

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Universities strike
Printer-friendly version

The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Universities strike. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Thanks for your account of

Thanks for your account of the universities strike Demogorgon, it all sounded like fun.  I particularly like the woman who almost cried but appears appears to be starting to see right through the unions, and probably much else too. The actual "strike" itself  seemed an almost inevitable bit of a damp squib, given all the anguish that preceded it: "should we go on strike; dare we go on strike;  is it okay for non-  union workers to go on strike;  how will we make up our work if we lose a day  for a strike - taking a holiday is difficult enough (this makes having a job nowadays sound like penal servitude)   but losing a day for a strike: is it worth it  (probably not if its union organized) ; and does disobeying our holy and all -powerful employers by daring to go on strike in any way threaten our under-paid, over-exploiting jobs, which actually sound as if they would be a relief to escape from?  (This last bit I made up but people must think this  from time to time. ) 


= Demogorgon thinking aloud wrote:
 What did my small action achieve? On the face of it, very little. None of my colleagues were persuaded to join the strike. But I was able to prevent them from sleepwalking into their decision - they were forced to make a conscious choice about their decision. A tiny seed of consciousness that may, one day, flower into something more significant.

 I also showed that being a marxist is more than “reading clever books at lunchtime” which is often how people see me. It means standing up for something, even if only in a very small way. I also showed that it’s possible to do so without brow-beating or being accusatory. At root, my colleagues were frightened and I understand because I was frightened too. I cannot judge others for crossing picket lines when I cannot honestly say if I will always have the courage not to.

     I like the confessional aspect of "reading clever books at lunchtime" and award you  pints for that. ( I actually meant points, but pints could go down better I suspect.)  and heartily approve of the whole of this second paragraph for its frank honesty and bravery.     But the strength of the fear the bourgeoisie seems able to generate in situations like these, where workers are frightened to cross picket lines, and don't know either whether to join a union organized strike or not,  is scary in itself. Oh! The power of the  bourgeoisie!  Rising up, towering over us like horrendous giants!  And then there's the often unspoken fear of losing the ghastly and bloody awful job, that hardly pays anyway.  What a ghastly existence is imposed on us all.  Surely it's almost better to be unemployed (I know it isn't ) because at least then you have nothing left to lose.  Or to be a starving pensioner just waiting for the grim reaper to call in the cold winter days.  Wouldn't it be nice if these groups of former workers could realize the power they have in being already destitute and at the bottom of the bourgeoisie's burial pit for the useless,  and begin self-organizing   against their plight and against the system that brought them to this misery?  They could show us all the way forward and give us some confidence.   Forcing people into making conscious choices is a use of force one might approve.