On September 15th, the United Auto Workers (UAW) struck three auto plants—the GM factory in Wentzville, Missouri, the Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan and the Stellantis (Chrysler) Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio—with 10,000 autoworkers walking off the job. The UAW has announced that if no progress is made in negotiations by Friday, September 22nd, they will expand the strike to include more facilities, with the implied threat that the strike might escalate to include most, or all, of the entire auto industry and the UAW’s 146,000 members.
LaRouche PAC has campaigned on the simple fact that if Joe Biden’s Green New Deal is implemented, with its zero carbon, zero fossil fuel mandates and its plans for electric cars, there will be no automobile industry in Detroit, the Midwest, or any place else in the US where there are expectations of a decent wage or working conditions. The Green New Deal is driving a rapacious economy-wide inflation, and the globalist oligarchs behind the Green New Deal advocate an economy in which the working and middle classes own nothing and are somehow happy renters.
UAW workers understand this even while their leaders are mired in the populist redistributionist rhetoric which implores rich billionaire bosses to share their wealth. A bigger piece of the pie means nothing when the pie itself is scheduled for extinction. Thus, this strike involves a direct confrontation about the most important economic issues facing the country. Already in Europe, the economy killing push for elimination of the internal combustion engine, which Biden has embraced, has been reversed at the behest of German and other car makers.
Donald Trump, by contrast is supporting the workers while advocating a high energy fossil fuel and nuclear economy sufficient to fuel a full-scale U.S. manufacturing and industrial renaissance in his second term. Aware of the peril to Biden’s election, mouthpieces for the oligarchy such as the London Economist and Financial Times, and the New York Times, via Steve Rattner, Obama’s auto czar who oversaw the decimation of the Union, are freaking out about the strike’s potential to trigger an economic revolution and a vast change in the political dynamic.
The strike occurs amid the largest strike wave in recent U.S. history. The Democratic Party, in former times labor’s ally, is now in the hands of wealthy donors, foundations, and hedge funds who view themselves and their monetarist looting policies as the laws of universe. These oligarchs, and their professional retainers inhabit would-be feudal fiefdoms, walled off from the rest of us. These are the people who joined in shipping American jobs overseas in search of cheap labor beginning in the 1990s. They now view the working and producing classes as relics of some ancient regime from the 20thCentury which they officially left behind after the financial crisis and the Wall Street bailout of 2008. But it is clear to millions of Americans that the policies of the Biden administration are impoverishing union members and destroying the productive manufacturing base of the nation.
Long ago, workers found their home in the coalition built by Franklin Roosevelt, and they relied on the FDR heritage within the Democratic Party to defend their interests. In 2023, however, when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. invokes that pro-labor FDR tradition, the Party ruthlessly attacks him. The son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of John F. Kennedy is shunned. They refuse to recognize his candidacy or hold debates. Biden has refused him Secret Service protection despite his family legacy, and last Friday he was the subject of an assassination attempt. Corrupt cash is what keeps union leaders aligned with a Party that consistently sells out the membership.
The proper home for working Americans, including all trade union members, is now to be found in the republican movement Donald Trump is building through his Agenda 47, policy agenda which—if implemented—will create millions upon millions of high wage productive jobs in an advancing economy based on great projects and the creation of capital goods rather than the manipulation of paper. That would return the Republican Party to the policies of Abraham Lincoln, the champion of the workingman and the producers.
Let Us Return to Lincoln
It was Abraham Lincoln, more than any other individual, who created the Republican Party. Yes, there were many others, but it was Lincoln who insisted that a majority party could only be created by returning to the original principles of the American Declaration of Independence.
Lincoln had labored for years in his youth as essentially an indentured servant, and he knew first-hand the toil of physical labor and the way in which working people were exploited by capital.
Perhaps his most direct statement on Labor is found in his Dec. 3, 1861, address to Congress:
“It is not needed nor fitting here that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions, but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. . . Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.
“Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.”
Earlier, in 1854, Lincoln delivered a speech before the Illinois Workingman's Association, and in 1859 he spoke before the Wisconsin Agricultural Society, emphasizing in both speeches the rights of “free labor” to decent wages, working conditions, and opportunity for advancement. Unlike some other Whig and Republican leaders, Lincoln frequently spoke out forcefully in favor of labor strikes. As an attorney, he had represented railroads and large corporations, but he consistently opposed efforts by the wealthy capitalists to exploit their laborers. In a speech in New England, in the spring of 1860, Lincoln said, “I am glad to see that a System of Labor prevails in New England under which laborers CAN strike. . . I would to God that such a system prevailed all over the world.” Later that same day, in a private discussion, Lincoln stated, “I know that in almost every case of strikes, the men have just cause for complaint.” [emphases in both quotations are added]
In 1863, shortly after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln was offered and accepted honorary membership in the New York Workingman's Association. That same year, Lincoln authored and transmitted a letter to the Workingmen of Manchester, England, wherein he praised the support the Workingmen had given to the Union Cause despite the “sufferings which the workingmen of Manchester and in all of Europe are called to endure in this crisis.”
Lincoln’s commitment was always to human advancement and upward human progress. He insisted and fought for the industrial, scientific, and technological advancement of the nation, but he insisted, as well, that this must always be on behalf of the people, that the advancement of working people was the priority. Lincoln’s legacy is seen in the activities of America’s first national trade union, the Knights of Labor, led by Terence Powderly. Powderly, a fervent supporter of Lincoln’s Greenback policy, served as Mayor of Scranton, PA, and in 1877 he proposed to finance public works projects through low interest government loans as a means of providing work for the many unemployed. In 1897 he was appointed Commissioner General of Immigration by President William McKinley, the last Presidential champion of high protective tariffs until Donald Trump.
Expunge the Billionaire Oligarchs
None of what is reported above is just “interesting history.” Today, the Democratic Party retainers of the oligarchs believe they “own” the labor vote just as they think they “own” the Black vote. But their plantation is crumbling, as the desperate situation facing working families under Democratic Party rule becomes inescapable.
The Republican Party side of the oligarchy—such as the Koch family, Stanley Druckenmiller, Paul Singer, Jeffrey Yass, and many others—all hate Donald Trump and are determined to prevent his election to a second term.
On September 16th, in Texas, an alliance of corrupt Democrats and Republicans failed to impeach Texas Attorney General—and Trump ally—Ken Paxton. Paxton’s lawyer Tony Buzzbee accurately characterized the nature of the battle when he stated: “The Bush era in Texas ends today.” The reality is that the oligarchy’s Republicans—those who also shipped our jobs overseas, who oppose the minimum wage, and who want to eliminate Social Security and Medicare—are now under siege as Trump fights to create a new Republican Party faithful to Lincoln.
In his Agenda 47, Trump has proposed to build hundreds of new power plants to power economic growth; he has proposed a 10 percent across-the-board tariff to protect American companies and provide revenue; he has proposed to build new cities; he has defended Social Security and Medicare; he has proposed a war on the drug cartels who are murdering our children, and he has proposed to overturn all of the policies of the “green agenda” which are destroying us. The Trump movement “big tent” rejects entry by the oligarchs and their professional political party retainers. But it welcomes the rest of us as We the People take back control of our destiny.