Socialism Bromides #4 — Strikes Are Only For Bowling & Baseball

It is taken as a given that there is a right to strike without losing one’s job, but does that make sense?

Certainly people have a moral privilege to quit but is quitting, while using force to make sure “scabs” don’t take your job moral? Is it ethical to be able to coerce by force a employer, who without use of force would be unwilling to meet the demands of increased pecuniary and benefit recompense? I would say that no person, nor any league of persons who have banded together in order to negotiate by the force of the mob has an ethical place to stand when it comes to going on strike.

Imagine if we tried to take the reasoning attached to going on strike and marry it to the Doctor – patient relationship. The patient comes to the Physician with a malady and comes to contract with the Physician to treat and heal his disease. Both patient and Doctor are pleased with the arrangement. If either Doctor or patient pulls out of the agreement without breech of contract there is no problem. But, assume instead that the Physician (employee to the employer patient) in the middle of the corrective surgery or treatment goes on strike against the patient and says,

“I demand three times the wage that we agreed on or I quit and furthermore upon quitting I will, by use of force, prevent any other available qualified Doctor from treating your disease. If you do not meet my demands you will live without medical care forever.”

Stripped of all the emotional baggage the above parallel Doctor, Patient scenario is exactly what striking in the workplace is. Without the emotional baggage of “worker’s rights” and “being ‘fairly’ treated,” suddenly the right to strike is seen as morally ugly and unseemly as it really is.

To insist that one has the right to strike is to embrace that “might makes right,” since the right to strike embraces the right to use force to exclude competitors who might be pleased to take the wage and work that the striker is refusing to take or do. To insist that one has the right to strike is to embrace the idea that thug control normally associated with the acts of government are to be preferred over the voluntary exchange that occurs in a free market between buyers and sellers where mutually agreed on price (price of labor, and price of wage) are arrived at peacefully.

Leonard Read could write on this subject wisely offering,

“Lying deep at the root of the strike is the persistent notion that an employee has a right to continue an engagement once he has begun it, as if the engagement was his own piece of property. The notion is readily exposed as false when examined in the patient – physician relationship. A job is but an exchange affair, It ceases to exist the moment either party quits or the contract ends. The right to a job that has been quit is no more valid than the right to a job that has never been held.”

There is no moral right to strike, and as striking leads to a forced expropriation of funds from the one who is the Employer of the Strikers, one could easily make the case that striking is a form of violation of the 8th commandment since as the Heidelberg Catechism teaches, a strike would come under Lord’s Day 42, Answer 110

Answer: God forbids not only outright theft and robbery[1] but also such wicked schemes and devices as false weights and measures, deceptive merchandising, counterfeit money, and usury;[2] we must not defraud our neighbor in any way, whether by force or by show of right.[3] In addition God forbids all greed[4] and all abuse or squandering of His gifts.[5]

[1] Ex. 22:1; I Cor. 5:9, 10; 6:9, 10. [2] Deut. 25:13-16; Ps. 15:5; Prov. 11:1; 12:22; Ezek. 45:9-12; Luke 6:35. [3] Mic. 6:9-11; Luke 3:14; James 5:1-6. [4] Luke 12:15; Eph. 5:5. [5] Prov. 21:20; 23:20, 21; Luke 16:10-13.

Certainly no one could argue that Striking is not a wicked scheme and device that is tantamount to outright theft and robbery.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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