Your average union member has no idea what they’re a part of and what they support and promote. In fact, the belief systems of a great majority of them are diametrically opposed to the fundamental principles of the organizations to which they belong. Most of them allege insanity when someone accuses their union of aligning themselves with socialist, communist or Marxist forms of government; however, it’s recently become increasingly exposed through public events in Wisconsin, California and other locations, as well as the “Occupy X” phenomenon, and it certainly shouldn’t come as a surprise if you really understand what make them tick. The premises on which both unions and socialist governments operate and their requirements to flourish are exactly the same, making them perfect and very real allies. I should note that you can use the term “communism” in place of the term “socialism” for the purposes of this discussion, as socialism is simply an impure transitional phase in the journey towards full blown communism.
Destruction of the individual. A key objective of both unions and communism is to make everyone the same. In a union the almighty “collective bargaining unit” speaks for everyone. The individual, willingly or unwillingly, legally forfeits the right to speak for themselves in the interest of the “greater good.” As the union negotiates with the company or government, they decide what terms are acceptable for everyone they represent regardless of individual positions, desires and beliefs. The individual is irrelevant. It’s an understatement to say that socialism functions the same way, as this is the foundation on which it is built. The individual doesn’t matter and everything is allegedly done in the interest of the masses. “We all must sacrifice,” you hear them say. Individual wants, needs, opinions, perspectives and beliefs simply don’t matter, and master central planners determine what’s best for the “common good.”
Equalizing outcomes instead of opportunity. Performance and individual achievement mean nothing. In a union if you give 200%, your compensation is exactly the same as your union brother or sister who gave 70% (or maybe less). Next time the bargaining unit negotiates your raise without your input, you can be assured it will be the same as the person who only comes to work three days a week. Even union members will tell you that the union representatives spend 80% of their time dealing with 10% of the membership who are problems; however, at contract time they are represented just the same and benefit from the same outcome. Again, this is a fundamental building block of socialism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The over-producer forfeits the product of his achievement so that the under-producer can enjoy an equivalent quality of life regardless of effort or initiative. All receive an equal outcome in the interest of fairness. They are equally miserable, but equal none-the-less.
Greater separation between the mega-wealthy and the “working class.” Perhaps the most ironic common attribute between unions and communism is that both claim to represent the common person or worker and to protect them from the “evil” elite. The irony exists in that they themselves are precisely these same elites. If you examine reality, you’ll see that the most predominant common characteristic between socialist governments and unions is this: Both have a small elite group of people who represent “the masses,” make decisions on their behalf without their input, and instruct them as to what the rules are, how they should and will behave, what rights they have and don’t have, and who gets what. Additionally, the rules and requirements established by the elite for the masses do not apply to the elite themselves. They are above these rules, yet are the only ones “qualified” to determine what they should be for those below them. In a truly free society or organization, an almost infinite number of often indistinct classes exists along with the ability to move up or down based on personal initiative. By necessity, both unions and socialist societies require that there be two highly distinct and separated classes: Those who rule and have power (and wealth); and those who are subservient to those who rule and have an equally distributed amount of wealth, concessions, and other necessities as determined to be appropriate by those who rule.
Finally, in understanding the commonalities between the two, we can see why they are such close allies. Both depend on this fundamental structure to exist because once individuality and personal initiative are introduced, along with personal reward based on initiative, both unions and socialism become impotent and useless. If you want proof of the alliance, to use a cliché, just follow the money. Socialists (including Democrats and liberals in the United States) strongly support unions. In 2010 in the US, approximately 6.9% of private sector employees belong to unions, while 36.2% of public sector (government) employees belong to unions, although socialists support both private and public unionization. They create policies and laws that are intended to enable union growth. As the union grows, more dues are collected from their membership. These dues are then funneled back to socialist, liberal and Democrat candidates running for office via Political Action Committees, with the Service Employees International Union (the largest public sector union) leading the way in the US. It’s a beautifully synergistic relationship… if you’re a union leader or a socialist politician.