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Down with Labor AND Management!
September 4, 2006 6:36 PM   Subscribe

As Labor Day 2006 winds to a close, America's long & twisted history with Organized Labor seems to never come to rest on any one side of the fence, opinion wise. While we hate the idea of the evil CEO crushing the employees underfoot, there's something profoundly un-American about bolshevikism. This excellent collection of political cartoons from Life Magazine from the early decades of the 20th Century explores both sides of the debate, reminding us at the end of the day that nobody loves a fat man.
posted by jonson (21 comments total)

 
The wonderful blog that these images were culled from was originally found via Projects, FYI.
posted by jonson at 6:47 PM on September 4, 2006


I get 'Access Denied' when trying to figure out why nobody loves a fat man. Must I go to bed without knowing?
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:11 PM on September 4, 2006


I couldn't open any of the photos1.blogger.com links in FF. They opened fine in IE.
posted by taosbat at 7:27 PM on September 4, 2006


When did "Bolshevikism" become a word?
posted by longsleeves at 7:28 PM on September 4, 2006


I'm sure the poster meant Bolshevism, just like in the cartoon.
posted by taosbat at 7:32 PM on September 4, 2006


Thanks! And goodnight.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:55 PM on September 4, 2006


Devaluing Labor
posted by homunculus at 8:02 PM on September 4, 2006


Cool site, thanks. I love those old political cartoons. The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco has had exhibits of this kind of cartoon, very cool.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:08 PM on September 4, 2006


I couldn't open any of the photos1.blogger.com links in FF.

Ditto. Wonder what's up with that.
posted by mediareport at 8:16 PM on September 4, 2006


d'oh! Bolshevism indeed.
posted by jonson at 8:23 PM on September 4, 2006


Copy and paste the URL. The site doesn't like our referrer.
posted by ryanrs at 9:26 PM on September 4, 2006


Or just open the image in a new tab then hit enter in the address field to get around the referrer issue.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:56 PM on September 4, 2006


Grrrr.... Damned Blogger. For whatever reason, it's not letting most browsers link directly to images. Jonson posted this for me, so I feel responsible for the ilinking mess here. The third link is the meat; it goes directly to the post. I'd hate for anyone to miss "Kill It NOW!" or the unbelievably condescending "From Whom All Blessings Flow" and "Capital and Labor Come to a Pleasant Agreement." Why, if I had my own army of Pinkertons, those Blogger fellows would be in for quite the ear-cuffing!
posted by maryh at 11:09 PM on September 4, 2006


Try adding a space on the end of the links and hitting refresh.
posted by fshgrl at 11:24 PM on September 4, 2006


Damn, fshgrl, that works, for whatever strange Blogger reason. Thanks!
posted by mediareport at 11:53 PM on September 4, 2006


When did "Bolshevikism" become a word?

Never mind that, when did organized labor become equivalent to Bolshevism, except in the fantasies of asshole plutocrats? I appreciate the post, but I intensely dislike the implied association. The reason unions have been tanking has nothing to do with being commies, it's a combination of their own corruption and complacency and the unremitting propaganda and dirty tricks waged by the usual suspects.
posted by languagehat at 5:33 AM on September 5, 2006


I'm pretty sure that in the years when the Life cartoons were published, organized labor would have been mostly "commies", although I think in America they were more anarchists than Bolsheviks.

I love the cartoon where the "Predatory Wealth" Fat Man escapes from earth with all his swag. It's Blade Runner before Blade Runner!
posted by stammer at 6:52 AM on September 5, 2006


"Not Seeing Each Other In The Right Light" is good, too. Very liberal.
posted by stammer at 6:53 AM on September 5, 2006



By Gad, sir! No one loves the fat man? Indeed, sir. Don’t like that, sir, I don’t appreciate such a thing at all. You will forgive me, but I am a man for clear speaking, sir, and honest deliberation.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:42 AM on September 5, 2006


The reason unions have been tanking has nothing to do with being commies, it's a combination of their own corruption and complacency and the unremitting propaganda and dirty tricks waged by the usual suspects.
- languagehat

And that unions have been able to make such great strides in extending some of their most important work to all working people: like OH&S, the 40 hr work week and maternity/parental leave (in some countries, at least). There is a certain amount of protection for all workers that wasn't there 100 years ago, so there is less a sense of fighting-for-our-lives urgency like there was in times past.

I think a lot of workers take for granted the things unions have been able to accomplish, especially younger workers like myself. My co-workers like to complain about what their union does or doesn't do. I remind them: the great thing is that unions are democratic. They are an instrument of those who get involved. If you don't like what your union is doing, go to meetings, run for a position if you wish, have your say. Many unions have trouble making quorum at their meetings, so you can have an impact just by participating.
posted by raedyn at 8:09 AM on September 5, 2006


This was a great labor day post!
posted by dejah420 at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2006


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