The Organized Labor-Neoconservative Nexus

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this Nation article on the Progressive split over China policy, but Labor’s belligerent tone is pretty striking:

AAM’s Paul expressed grave concern about China’s efforts to enhance its military power. “The trade surplus is being used by China to build up a military. They want to build a blue-water navy in the Pacific, to develop sophisticated nuclear weapons, satellite-killing weapons. What does that say about peace?” he asks.

“Their stated goal is, they want to have a presence in the Pacific Rim and challenge US supremacy in the Pacific. That has enormous implications.” And on Fiedler’s list of steps to be taken to show China that the United States means business is a slowdown or suspension in US-China military ties and sharp limits on Chinese students studying in America. Fiedler tosses out words like “fascist” in regard to China, adding, “I would continue to sell arms to Taiwan.”

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4 thoughts on “The Organized Labor-Neoconservative Nexus

  1. Well labor has vested interest in any restrictions of trade with China that have more to do with rent seeking than with national security. All the rest of it reads like paranoid bunkem. China wanting to have a military presence in its neighborhood and the waters about its coast? The horror!
    I wonder whether any policy short of military attack would be more likely than a curtailing of trade to build up belligerence between China and the west? It’s insane to me. They have a massive population and limited national resources. The Chinese desperately need external input in order to increase their national standards of living (which are the main means by which their autocratic government retains the support of the masses). If we limit their ability to get what they need/want by peaceful trade means then how the hell could we claim to be surprised if they started considering non-peaceful alternatives? Free trade is what is keeping the Chinese peaceful (and admittedly somewhat mercantilist). If we start curtailing the one we should expect the other to diminish as well and what kind of idiot would desire such a thing?

    I can think of no event more likely to immiserate billions than a hot war in the Far East.

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  2. On the second order, that may contribute to the stance in the exceprt, one can note that the shipbuilders that make the US ships that would counter a China blue water navy, as well as the shipyards that maintain the ships*, have over the average levels of unionization, and (naturally) a way under-average of overseas outsourced work.

    *additionally a good chunk of the overall supply chain

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  3. This is not all that new. Back in the 60s, one of the biggest reasons for the divide between the Old and New Left was that union members (and even more so, union bosses) considered supporting the War in Vietnam a simple matter of patriotism.

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