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Rowley: Hitting the Economic Wall

Saturday, January 14, 2012


What terrible timing for Daniel Wall, the Providence teacher and public union apologist who recently objected  to my claim that Marxist theory guides the attitudes and policies of government unions. Just several weeks after Wall’s GoLocalProv debut, RI AFL-CIO President George Nee suggested “rais[ing] the income tax on the highest income people” and recommended “engag[ing] in a fair and progressive tax system” as a means to preserve municipal pension systems – “and we have to redistribute that income tax and that wealth to the cities and towns.”

Perhaps unknown by Mr. Wall, within his Communist Manifesto Karl Marx advocates for several “measures” “as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production,” one of which is a “heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”

Now, if the last name of the man who drafted the Communist Manifesto was “Capital,” then one could call Mr. Nee’s proposal “Capitalist.” Instead, it is rightfully referred to as “Marxist.”
While this seems logical, I’m sure Mr. Wall will still have some sort of gripe.

For those who understand the Marxist design, it came as no surprise to find members of the International Socialist Organization holding up signs that read “Tax the Rich” at last winter’s union-solidarity rally at the State House. What was puzzling to discover, however, was union members’ lack of curiosity when they found themselves holding signs that expressed the same exact message.
At the end of the day, this lack of introspection is what truly perturbs American conservatives.

Why do union advocates seem unfazed whenever socialist revolutionaries are found to be standing right beside them? Why were union leaders unconcerned over Barack Obama sitting in Reverend Wright’s Marxist church for twenty years, especially after Obama revealed his plans to “spread the wealth around?” Why doesn’t it disturb union members when the Communist Party USA endorses the Democratic Party for the 2012 elections, remarking that “it is the only viable alternative to the Republican Party at this moment?”

What is it about the Democratic Party that attracts the communists?

Wall’s Marxist Assumptions

Part One of my response to Wall’s column focused primarily his embrace of the leftist culture – mainly his failure to confront the actual arguments I used to support my claim.

Wall went on to simply downplay my contention of union radicalism by claiming that organized labor innocently stands for “unity, loyalty, due process and honesty” – and that these ideals are “American revolutionary ideas.”

But these are not “American revolutionary ideas.”
I can assure Mr. Wall that, during the course of the Revolutionary War, British soldiers were united against the American colonists and loyal to the Crown. And our British brethren certainly understood the virtues of honesty and due process hundreds of years before the American Revolution.

In regards to Marxism and organized labor, individualism is the American ideal being most viciously eroded.

Wall’s pretty and patriotic line was in response to my analysis of a proclamation made by Marcia Reback, the former teachers union president and current officer of the RI Democratic Party. “If one of us is hurt, then all of us are hurt,” Reback stated last year, before receiving a strong ovation to an overtly anti-individualist notion.

There’s a reason why Wall sees nothing wrong with these cries for “unity” while others do: “Solidarity” is a virtue in times of war, such as the Revolutionary War that Wall references to justify the collectivism of organized labor. And it is quite clear from Wall’s column that he believes in an ongoing workers “struggle,” that workers are “stronger together than as individuals,” and that “to be victorious” workers “would need to unify.”

“Workers of the World, Unite” makes a lot more sense when you’re taught to believe in a Capitalist Boogeyman.

“I Am Still A Socialist”

A devout socialist once wrote a letter to a friend who had abandoned the radical cause in the 1970s, saying, “I do hold certain basic tenets from my old Left background. The first is that there are classes, and the rich are not on the same side as the rest of us. They exploit….I am still a socialist.”

Sadly, this is the same economic perspective that causes labor bosses to hold hands with Marx’s call for a progressive income tax. This is the intellectual premise that causes union members to hold signs at rallies that read “Tax the Rich” while Council 94 president Michael Downey ignites their passions: “It doesn’t surprise me…[Chafee and Raimondo] would stand with other rich people…who want to strip us of our pensions!”

Hatred for the rich is the basis from which liberal Democrats respond to Republican charges of class warfare with a reversal of the accusation, arguing that “class warfare” already exists as an offensive against the poor and middle class, that “class warfare is what's allowed the ultra rich to get even richer” and “the working people are waking up to all that’s being stolen from them” (MediaMatters.com).
Yes, according to liberal Democrats, allowing private citizens to keep their own money is, in fact, an act of hostility toward the poor and middle class.

Socialists everywhere agree.

It’s simply time to admit it: It is the embrace of Marxist theory that commands “solidarity” between workers and compels them to surrender their individualism. It is Marxism that has members of the Occupy Movement carrying signs that read “Eat the Rich.” And it is the socialist philosophy that spawns the rhetoric of class warfare, influences organized labor, and steers the entire Democratic establishment.
Loyalty. Unity. “The thought that these admirable concepts could be viewed as harmful or un-American is inconceivable,” writes Wall.

Well, once we have confirmed that these concepts are grounded in Marxist assumptions, then, yes, one can conclude that they are “un-American.” And perhaps Wall should go ask Central Falls retirees just how “harmful” these concepts can be.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.


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