1. Many posts from the Right attack unions, as though they are the enemy of business and the free market 2. By conservative, I mean those who favor individualism, free markets, and limited constitutional government, and that the people are the best judges of what is right, and opportune. 3. The enemy of the above is the belief that big government infused with beneficent, all knowing experts and technocrats will lead all to the promised land, to dole out social justice. 4. In the current shorthand, let's call this capitalism versus Marxism. a. Marxism rested on the assumption that the condition of the working classes would grow ever worse under capitalism, that there would be but two classes: one small and rich, the other vast and increasingly impoverished, and revolution would be the anodyne that would result in the common good. But by the early 20th century, it was clear that this assumption was completely wrong! Under capitalism, the standard of living of all was improving: prices falling, incomes rising, health and sanitation improving, lengthening of life spans, diets becoming more varied, the new jobs created in industry paid more than most could make in agriculture, housing improved, and middle class industrialists and business owners displaced nobility and gentry as heroes. https://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2007&month=05 5. But, the reality is that capitalist theory fell short as the size and complexity of the society increased. While capitalism is provably the best way to raise every level of society it still left many behind for a multitude or reasons not related to the theory itself. Orthodox capitalist theory recognized only one kind of social control: competiton .modern society imposed social control rather than the automatic regulation of the invisible hand. Thus the shift from self-regulation through economics to self-regulation through politics. 6. The adjustment of orthodox capitalist theory that blunted the threat of Marxist revolution is what Theodore Lowi, in The End of Liberalism, describes this way: Today, the public policy is based on an amalgam of capitalism, statism, and interest-group liberalism. Both capitalist and Marxist analysis ignore the fact that there are a number of institution other than the state in an industrial civilization, because there are so very many interests, and organizations which represent those interests, and are willing to use power to attain same. Thus, any explanation of modern society requires a pluralist theory which posits many sources of power and control other than the state. Marxism is based on the idea of a unitary society, of a few homogenized classes. This is not possible in the contemporary culture. a. By its nature, government in a democracy cannot act in a unitary manner: there are too many special interests that must be accommodated. In "Demosclerosis:: The Silent Killer of American Government," Jonathan Rauch points out that 7 out of 10 Americans belong to an interest group, and one out of four belong to at least four! 7. Unions represent one of the interest group assemblies. They serve a valuable function, as do all interest groups, a safety valve for dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Without this safety valve, other, less desirable avenues of redress outside of the political might be availed: the revolution that Marx predicted. 8. I know that demands of unions are seen by many on the Right as deleterious, and disruptive. But, in business, the organization has the ability to judge the cost of not giving in to demands, and deciding in its own best interest. a. Why is this not true for society? It is our elected representatives who rush to say Aye to union demands. So who is at fault? b. Laws should be designed to hold officials responsible for the results of their actions. They should not be immune from liability .beyond the time in office. In fact, they should be required to carry indemnity insurance that remains in effect long after terms in office, as costs dont always show up in a timely manner. c. Or....the political party of the office-holder may be held responsible. 9. Unions, and even excessive demands are covered by the words of the 1st amendment: no laws interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. If unions are the problem.....aren't political parties even more so?