Unions and the Political Machines

Are modern American unions doomed merely to succumb to dealmaking with business Republicans and centrist Democrats?

Illustration by Leonardo Yorka

For much of the postwar period, New York intellectual Daniel Bell was the shrewdest analyst of American labor — both as a young socialist and then later as a skeptic. In his classic 1958 essay, “The Capitalism of the Proletariat: A Theory of American Trade-Unionism,” Bell tried to understand a paradox: labor’s rhetoric included many angry speeches […]