My short response was that their prime directive is holding onto power and any fight back would require organizing the rank and file into a potent force which would require democratizing the union (once you wake people up they make demands) which would in turn threaten their hold on power. Thus they will readily accept a smaller membership - which they can control in a very tight manner. And after all, fighting the oligarchy pushing ed deform is one big job and isn't it better for the leaders to be on their good side and hope for some goodies from Gates and Broad (who gave the UFT charter $1 million) along the way. (Don't worry, they know you're with them and understand when you mouth off a bit for the benefit of the members.)
And then I came across this from a piece by Chris Hedges (Chris Hedges on Orwell and Huxley).
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake,” Orwell wrote in “1984.” “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
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