London is being thrown into commuter chaos today as a result of strike action by four transport unions which means there will be no London Underground services whatsoever for 24 hours. It’s the first total strike since 2002. The psychological cost to stressed-out Londoners struggling to get to work on packed buses traversing gridlocked roads will be significant. The cost to London’s economy will, of course, be immense.
The key point to grasp about the tube strike is this. It’s perfectly compatible with free and peaceful society for individuals to refuse to use their bodies and to go on strike. What’s not compatible, however, is a law that prevents the employer from using its resources to engage in an economic exchange and hire staff as temporary replacements (by way of threats of fines/imprisonment by the State).
This is a case of the law being perverted from its proper function of protecting all people’s rights to the unjust one of benefiting one group of people at the direct expense of others. In this case the law allows tube workers to indirectly extort higher pay and benefits out of the taxpayers (many of whom are fellow working class comrades) who fund TfL’s operations.
So much for strike action benefiting the ‘greater good’. It can do no such thing when there are government guns behind it. It’s simply a privileged group exploiting unjust powers granted to it by the State. The very same behaviour these socialist workers unions condemn as immoral and criminal.
People who consistently do that which they vociferously decry as wrong want the social benefits of being virtuous (e.g. respect, honour, friendship, love) without the material costs of actually being virtuous (i.e. refraining from extortion etc). In short, they want something for nothing. Only the force of perverted law can enable people to do this without having to face the harmful consequences such behaviour ordinarily and otherwise incurs.