Who Is Mistral Dawn?
Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018
The Power Of Propaganda Vs. The Power Of Unity
Hey Everyone!! :-)
I've got a little more of Alyce's adventure to share with you, today! Enjoy! :-)
Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"Has that ever happened? Have your people ever successfully overcome their differences long enough to push back effectively against the authorities in your society?" asked Yax.
"Yes. It has happened in history and it's also happening now. What's going on now is just the beginning, but it has the potential to grow and spread and become game-changing."
"Can you tell us about what happened when such movements were successful in your history?"
"Well, sugar, we've already talked about that, some. The organized labor movement that gained momentum at the beginning of the last century radically altered the way employees were treated and the rights that they had. Many of those changes are still in effect, though their power has been diluted over the decades by corporate interests. But, without unions and the fights they won, we wouldn't have a standard 5 day work week, children would still be doing hard labor in dangerous conditions, employees wouldn't have safety equipment or emergency escape exits in their workplaces, and many other protections that only exist because regular people banded together and fought for them."
"But you say that some of the ground they gained has been lost?" asked Squid-boy.
I nodded. "Yes. Those in power were able to successfully use propaganda to demonize unions in the minds of workers, so a lot of people stopped supporting them. Which meant they no longer had the power to be effective advocates for the working class in our political system."
"How could the authorities in your society have possibly come up with a disinformation campaign effective enough to confuse your people if their unions had been such powerful agents of positive change in their lives?" asked Yax.
"To be honest, the unions did themselves no favors, in that regard."
The tall alien blinked at me and crossed his arms over his chest. "How cryptic. Please explain."
"There's a saying in my society, 'Power corrupts.' And it certainly seems to work that way, quite often. The leadership of some of the largest unions became corrupt, after a while. There were even quite a few persistent rumors that organized crime syndicates were actually running some of them. Members of unions pay dues. The dues are supposed to be used to fund strikes, support striking workers and their families, fund political engagement, and other things that protect and further the interests of the members of the unions. But some of that money started getting 'lost' and, understandably, the people who paid into unions weren't happy about that. And the corporate interests that oppose unions were able to capitalize on that discontent to an enormous degree with their propaganda campaigns. The fact that the unions had been so successful also, ironically, worked against them. A lot of people thought they didn't need unions anymore because working people had already won the protections and rights that they needed."
"And once the unions were no longer in place to push back against the forces that seek to dominate and control the labor pool in your society, the advancements that were made were lost."
I shrugged. "Some of them. And others were changed enough in management's favor that they might as well have been lost. That's what happens when regular people stop working together to protect each other. Those with more power take advantage."
"But this is changing now and that's why there's so much civil unrest?" asked Squid-boy.
"It's starting to. We've had strikes by teachers who were fighting not only for increases in their own pay, but also for increases in the pay of other employees who work in the schools. Like janitorial staff, teaching assistants, office staff, and librarians. And also for increases in funding for students and classrooms, so that students wouldn't have to try to learn in classrooms with no heat in the winter or using books that were 20 years old, or more. On one notable occasion, teachers even turned down a twenty percent increase in pay for themselves because they didn't think the needs of students and other employees were sufficiently represented in the proposed increase. And there have also been examples of people who belong to other unions supporting teachers who were striking. In one strike, truck drivers refused to cross the teachers' picket line, so deliveries couldn't be made to the state government buildings where the teachers were striking."
"That sounds promising," observed Yax.
I nodded. "It really is. Acts of solidarity like that give me hope that the people of my country are finally coming to their senses and realize what we all need to do if we're going to take control of our government back from the oligarchs who are running it."