For the last several years, labor bosses and their leftist allies have been waging a PR war on American business. Sadly, American business is losing the war. The problem is, as business loses this war, it is the American worker who ultimately suffers. For those businesspeople paying attention to the climate in the country right now, they realize they are losing the war, but very few understand why.
Note: For an excellent, protagonistic definition of what a businessman is, go here.As American business is the engine that drives economic prosperity in one way or another for all honest Americans, when the union bosses and their leftist allies win, the results are generally increased regulation, higher tax burdens, or, in the case of the union bosses' ultimate goal (the Orwellian-named Employee Free Choice Act) a broad expansion in unionization--all of these factors result in weighing down and choking the engine that drives prosperity for America.
Why, then, is it that American business is losing the PR war? To answer this question, there are several factors that come into play, as follows:
First, blame Al Gore. For, were it not for his inventing the internet, much of the propaganda spewed by the Left would fall on deaf ears. Now that there is instantaneous communication available to just about anyone with access to a computer, the Left has found innumerable ways in which to spread its message and, in doing so, has formed coalitions among previously disparate groups.
Before St. Gore invented the internet, no one knew (or cared) who Arianna Huffington was, there was no such thing as George Soros' Salon.com, and the proliferation of leftist propaganda was relegated to old mimeographed paper rags. Today, the Left has built an empire almost entirely through cyberspace. Unfortunately, defenders of American business came to the dance late. [To view our post related to this topic, go here.]
Second, though not entirely their fault, blame American business for its complacency. Businesspeople at all levels are generally a positive and productive breed. They see problems as 'opportunities' or 'challenges' to overcome.
Conversely, all-too-often, Leftists have a paranoid, glass-half-empty view of the world. [Think of the saying "it's THEM," then repeat it everytime something remotely bad happens, and you'll understand this phenomonon.] As a result of this frame of mind, Leftists typically blame capitalism (aka businesspeople) for all of the ills that befall society. [Anyone watching the current campaign for president can bear witness to this fact.]
Since the drivers of business generally think in terms of "production" (not "destruction," as many on the Left do), they are generally of the mindset to ignore their detractors on the Left, figuring the detractor is a mere nuisance and that no one of a rationale mindset would give credence to the Left's annoying irrationality.
Note: For a brief description of these two competing worldviews, read Ayn Rand's description of the Malevolent Universe Premise versus the Benevolent Universe Premise. The Left primarily operates in the former, while businesspeople primarily operate in the latter (though not always).Third, and perhaps most importantly, given the above, it is important to understand that for many on the Left, their full time job is not to build, but to tear down. Not to produce, but to attack. In fact, for most people who are employed full-time in the union movement, their jobs are nothing more than to identify (or invent), complain about and propagandize problems.
Perhaps it is because we came from the union movement and have spent more than a dozen years fighting Big Labor’s propaganda and enlightening workers to the realities of unions that we recognize this for what it is--a war of ideas and a war of propaganda.
You see, whether its the AFL-CIO or the Change to Win union bosses, leaders of these groups (as well as their allies) are either personally trained, or they employ those who are professionally trained in the art of propaganda and very few businesspeople understand this. Businesspeople who fail to grasp the nature of this war are the ones who enable their detractors to win.
Fourth, businesspeople have no idea that by appeasing their detractors, they ultimately lose. It has been said that, "In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."
Lastly, businesspeople do not understand that there are no Geneva Convention-like rules in this propaganda war. Fair play is non-existent to the Left. Businesspeople do not realize that the Left's malevolent view of the world leads them to deploy a strategy of 'the ends always justify the means.'
In this regard, for businesspeople to have any idea of the type of foe they face, they need to know who Saul Alinsky was. Though dead now for more than 35 years, Alinsky's Rules for Radicals is the foundation of what many on the Left have built their arsenal on.
If businesspeople understand Alinsky's "rules," they can go a long way in countering Big Labor's PR offensive. In this regard, here are Alinsky's "rules," compiled by a friend of ours whom we refer to as Spartacus:
Alinsky emphatically stated that the end justifies the means but cautions that extreme means are only justified in certain situations. Here are Alinsky's rules to test whether the means are ethical.
- One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue.
- The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.
- In war the end justifies almost any means.
- Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
- Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.
The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
- Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
- The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
- Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical.
- You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments.
- Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."
Alinsky also had rules for what he called "power tactics" or the means used to "take." He described it as "how the Have Nots can take power away from the Haves."
Here are his rules of power tactics.
- Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
- Never go outside the experience of your people.
- Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.
- Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
- Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
- A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
- A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
- Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
- The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
- The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
- If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
- The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
- Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Even a cursory review of these rules for radicals reveals that a Leftist activist schooled in them will have no compunction about using almost any tactic in a conflict with businesspeople. In fact, radicals must often create issues to stir up problems in order to radicalize their potential followers.
As stated above, perhaps it is because we've spent so many years both in the belly of the beast and so many years battling Big Labor's propaganda and educating workers to the realities of unionization that, for us, it is easier to engage in the battle than it is for most. However, even to a lay person, once you recognize the tactics for what they are, the Left can be defeated, but in order to do so, one must sometimes play by the same rules as the radicals.
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