Prof. Wolff on Polish strikers demanding a say in wealth distribution

Prof. Wolff on Polish strikers demanding a say in wealth distribution


My next update has to do with Poland, and
in particular on the 22nd of September a huge march of 15,000 workers through
downtown Warsaw, Poland. I wouldn’t bring this up if it were just another strike,
but Poland has played an interesting role in modern history. It’s often been a
weathervane for changes that then would spread and show up in many other
countries. So maybe what I’m about to describe is the beginning of something.
The demonstration in Warsaw was not just about better wages, better working
conditions. The demand there was very specific. Here
is what it was. Poland, the demonstrators said, has been showing good economic
growth but the benefits of that growth have gone to the richest 10% of the
Polish people, leaving everybody out. And the argument of the workers was: “we all
helped to produce this rising wealth. Why are we excluded from distributing its
benefits?” In other words the union was mobilizing its people, not just for the
members of the union, not just for the immediate benefit of the union, and the
workers there, but for the vast majority of the people the union was becoming
what it had once been: the leading force demanding and pointing the way to
fundamental social change. It’s a whole new world if the justice, the notion of
social and economic justice, says that the mass of people want to be involved
in deciding how wealth, that has been created by everybody, is distributed. In
capitalist systems that decision is left to the capitalists, a tiny minority. They decide what to do with the profits, who to give them to, what to use them for.
What those Polish workers were saying was “No, no, no, no. We helped to produce the
profits. We get a say in distributing them”.

4 Comments

  1. Bruce Villa says:

    It's too bad America's unions don't work for all workers in this country.

  2. Gigsro Uiy says:

    Somehow it's greedy to want to keep your money but not greedy to want to take somebody else's money. Good ideas do not require violence, supporter returns ancient free markets for the people based on sound money. Please don't text me some academic parotid puppetry b*** from your propagandized crusty text books LMAO

  3. Zenon Rodrigo says:

    Ahtung socjalista!

  4. H Kone says:

    I've been to Poland. Lots of Poles there. Kinda like there's lots of Japanese in Japan. Countries like these will experience fewer social upheavals in the future.

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