3

In the discussion of Directive 10-289, Fred Kinnan said the following:

His smile disappeared, and with a sudden, bitter look of weariness he added, "...I'm not going to say that I'm working for the welfare of my public, because I know I'm not. I know that I'm delivering the poor bastards into slavery, and that's all there is to it. And they know it, too. But they know that I'll have to throw them a crumb once in awhile, if I want to keep my racket, while with the rest of you they wouldn't have a chance in hell. So that's why, if they've got to be under a whip, they'd rather I held it, not you - you drooling, tear-jerking, mealy-mouthed bastards of the public welfare! Do you think that outside your college-bred pansies there's one village idiot you're fooling? I'm a racketeer - but I know it and my boys know it, and they know that I'll pay off. Not out of the kindness of my heart, either, and not a cent more than I can get away with, but at least they can count on that much. Sure, it makes me sick sometimes, it makes me sick right now, but it's not me who's built this kind of world - you did - so I'm playing the same as you've set it up and I'm going to play it for as long as it lasts - which isn't going to be long for any of us!"

What exactly was he gaining from his racket (other than getting power by having a stranglehold on the Unification Board)?

3

Related: How much of the Looters' philosophy did Fred Kinnan actually accept?

I think that the key phrase here comes at the end of that speech:

"...Sure, it makes me sick sometimes, it makes me sick right now, but it's not me who's built this kind of world - you did - so I'm playing the same as you've set it up and I'm going to play it for as long as it lasts - which isn't going to be long for any of us!"

He's playing the game that the Looters created because he doesn't see an alternative. Earlier, he said that

"Do you think that the country will stand for [Kinnan stacking the Unification Board with his own men]?" yelled Taggart.
"Stop kidding yourself," said Kinnan. "The country? If there aren't any principles anymore - and I guess the doc is right, because there sure aren't if there aren't any rules to the game and it's only a question of who robs whom - then I've got more votes than the bunch of you, there are more workers than employers, and don't you forget it, boys!"

From his perspective, it's "rob or be robbed," and he might as well be the robber if that's his only choice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.