Think of the millions of jobs eliminated or off-shored over the past few decades. Consider the extent to which this is the result of alliances between our increasingly corrupt political establishment and the corporate elite. Look at the way politicians, the courts and the corporations have conspired to cripple organized labor, lower wages and drastically cut back on benefits for workers. Then tell me there’s a good reason to celebrate Labor Day, or even acknowledge it.
This is from a piece written in 1949 by Albert Einstein, who was a socialist and a humanist (anybody remember humanists?) as well as a brilliant physicist:
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
The only thing that dates the piece is Einstein’s use of the adjective “underprivileged.” In today’s world, “non-wealthy” would be more appropriate, because the corporatists now have enough leverage to screw the middle classes, too. As you may have noticed.