Worker’s Revolution

One idea communists and many flavors of anarchism agree on is the idea that workers should revolt against their bosses. In a communist society and many forms of anarchist society workers are each to own an equal share in the business they work at. The big scary capitalist, the owners of the businesses, are to be overthrown. Of course this idea also has a habit of leaving dead bodies in its wake:

Workers at the Regency Ceramics factory in India raided the home of their boss, and beat him senseless with lead pipes after a wage dispute turned ugly.

The workers were enraged enough to kill Regency’s president K. C. Chandrashekhar after their union leader, M. Murali Mohan, was killed by baton-wielding riot police on Thursday. The labor violence occurred in Yanam, a small city in Andra Pradesh state on India’s east coast. Police were called to the factory by management to quell a labor dispute. The workers had been calling for higher pay and reinstatement of previously laid off workers since October. Murali was fired a few hours after the police left the factory.

The next morning, at 06:00 on Friday, Murali went to the factory along with some workers and tried to obstruct the morning shift, local media reported. Long batons, known as lathis in India, were used by police who charged the workers, injuring at least 20 of them, including Murali. He died on the way to hospital, according to The Times of India. Hundreds of workers gathered outside the police station and demanded that officers be charged with homicide.

There is so much fail in this story that I’m not sure where to begin. First you have the workers striking in the hopes of getting better wages. I’m entirely for workers voluntarily coming together and demanding better pay, benefits, and working conditions but I’m also entirely for an employer being able to fire those employees. Some will call me and evil bourgeois but they miss the entire point of voluntary association. As an employer I can choose to associate with you by trading for your labor or not. On the other side of the coin workers can also choose to associate with an employer by trading their labor or not. When laws are made giving unions power over employers the entire concept of voluntary association is thrown out the window.

If the value brought to the job by the employees is worth more money then they will be paid more money (they may have to strike first). On the other hand if the value brought by the employees isn’t work the money being demanded they are given the option to continue working at the previously agreed to wage or leave and make room for a new person to take the job. Thus employees who strike need to realize that they may be replaceable making their strike worthless.

Next you have the idea of a picket line. Picket lines are simple in concept, strike participants block entry to the business. If the picket line is on the business property and the property owner doesn’t want the picketers there the owners should have the right to remove the picketers. This is a condition of absolute property rights.

Then you have the fact that police showed up to remove the picketers and were faced with physical assault. Somebody trespassing on your property has initiated violence again you and you have the right to take necessary means to remove him or her. This doesn’t mean you have the right to kill them outright, you do have the right to push or shove them off the property and if they escalate the situation you have the right to react in kind. In other words if you try to drag them off your property and are faced with physical force you have the right to use physical force yourself.

Some of the workers were killed by the police so the act taken by some of the other workers was to hunt down and kill the employer. Let’s stop and think about this for a minute, instead of targeting their wrath at the police officers who killed those workers the wrath was instead focuses at the employer whose land was being trespassed upon.

Violent revolution always ends with dead bodies therefore revolutionary communists (and any other philosophy for that matter) is a necessarily violent philosophy.