Have you read any good anarchist defenses of strikebreakers? Also, are you familiar with nihilist anarchism and Stirner egoism?
1. Yes, the case of the strikebreaker (or ‘scab’) is handled in Walter Block’s Defending the Undefendable(the audio version is about 8 mins), here is Block’s conclusion:
'Scabs’ obviously have been unjustly maligned. Employment does not give the employee and proprietary privileges closed to workers who wish to compete for the same job. 'Scabbing’ and free competition are opposite sides of the same coin.
2. Aware of but not anything I’d call 'familiar’ with. Neither has ever been of really any interest to me. And what little I know of them hasn’t made me want more.
Top 5 Simpsons Moments: Strikebreakers Grandpa Simpson: “We can’t bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what we called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels at bumblebees on ‘em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where was I? … Oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn’t get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones …“
Happy May Day! The first May Day was a massive strike for the 8 hour workday in Chicago, led by a coalition of socialists, union leaders and anarchist revolutionaries in 1886. That strike remained peaceful for three days, until police and strikebreakers instigated violence.
The paltry labor standards we have were not given to us. Our great grandparents fought and bled and didn’t ever back down. Those workers were people of color, queer people, women, the disabled, the exploited, and the poor. Remember them today.
The ‘Battle of Blair Mountain’ wasa five day fight between striking coal miners and strikebreakers, fought in Logan County, West Virginia in 1921. The largest uprising experienced in the United States in generations, the Army was eventually brought in, finally forcing the miners to concede defeat.
The shortest lived union of all time was the “Pinkerton Agency Detectives Union” which lasted only a few minutes before its own strikebreaking members busted it while breaking its own strike against itself.
The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest labor uprising in United States history and one of the largest, best-organized, and well-armed uprisings since the American Civil War. For a week, between 25 August and 2 September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers, called the Logan Defenders,who were backed by coal mine operators during an attempt by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields. The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired, and the United States Army intervened by presidential order.
In August of 1921 the Battle of Blair Mountain raged for 5 days in Logan County, West Virginia, between striking pro-union coal miners and coal company backed-strikebreakers, and local law enforcement.
Federal troops had been called in to quell disturbances caused by strikes by West Virginia coal miners. Worried about the spread of violence, the U.S. Government ordered the miners to return to their homes. Cartoonist Clifford Berryman shows a stern Uncle Sam pointing the way home to a miner carrying a shotgun, telling him “I’ll give you until noon Thursday to go back to your homes.” The miners relented in the face of Federal intervention, and over 900 were indicted on murder, treason, and other charges. The burgeoning union movement suffered a drastic setback but ultimately the disturbances resulted in greatly increased awareness about the plight of miners and their communities.
Today in labor history, April 6, 1905: Teamsters in Chicago begin a sympathy strike in support of locked out Montgomery Ward & Co. workers who were on strike to protest the company’s use of nonunion subcontractors. When other businesses rallied to the company’s defense, the dispute spread quickly. Workers battled strikebreakers, police, and scabs for 105 days; 21 people died.