Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Steve Miller's vision of the post-bourgeois workforce:

On Saturday, Delphi, the giant auto-parts company, filed for bankruptcy, kicking off what is sure to be one of the great cram-downs in American history. In a series of interviews with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times, Delphi CEO Steve Miller offered unionized workers a choice: They can accept pay cuts of about two-thirds or face the termination of their pension plan, which is underfunded by several billion dollars.

When he ruminates on the dialectics of global capitalism, Miller calls to mind a famous, simplistic big thinker with prominent facial hair. No, not Tom Friedman—Karl Marx. Because what Miller is talking about—and the effort he's been engaged in at companies in the steel and auto industries—is the re-proletarianization of industrial work.