Unions Versus the Individual Spirit

by Michael Haberman on May 11, 2011 · 0 comments

I have made no secret of the fact that I am not a fan of unions. I am a fan of the individual spirit, individual initiative and independent thought. Unions have had their place in the past but I believe that is over with. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see the play Billy Elliot that is set during the time of the coal strikes in the United Kingdom in 1980s. The stage play is set to music by Elton John and it makes for a good evenings entertainment. The music is catchy, the dance is wonderful and the acting a pleasure.

I was struck however, that a play that tells the story of union strife and sings of solidarity at the same time shows that what really triumphs is the individual based on talent and desire. The union in the UK lost this battle and very little of the coal industry is left. But Billy Elliot gets in to the Royal School of Ballet. Not because of a union influence but because of individual talent and desire.  The towns largely have recovered, but the union is for the most part gone.

The message I got from Billy Elliot is that talent is what matters. The individual is what triumphs. It is an interesting conundrum that people with individual talent have to be members of unions to perform their individual talent. Go figure.

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