This piece is part of our 2022 Year in Review, a reflection on some of the most urgent issues and causes that mattered most this year that we’ll face in the next – and the tangible ways you can take action.
John Steinbeck is misquoted as saying that Americans never imagine themselves as poor, only as temporarily embarrassed millionaires instead of capitalists. Still, it is almost certain that your wealth is several orders of magnitude closer to the panhandler down the street than the corporate mogul or celebrity on your smartphone screen, though we are taught to identify with the latter much more strongly. For a just society, we must undo this programming and build solidarity with each other, whether employed, precariously employed, unemployed, documented or not, or working in illegal industries. Those of us fortunate to have time off for the holidays might use this opportunity to deepen our commitments to the struggle for justice.
• Contribute to Philadelphia Red Umbrella Alliance, Project Safe, Black Sex Workers Collective, Bay Area Workers Support, and Rad Mission Neighbors.
• Reject the narrative that “economic anxieties” make people support racist policies and support liberatory organizing in predominantly-white working class communities to combat racism and economic exploitation.
Praising Hard Work Covers Up Structural Inequalities
After Elon Musk laid off half of Twitter’s workforce, around 75% of the remaining workers resigned after he issued an ultimatum demanding a “hardcore” regime of work for “long hours at high intensity” (Truthout). The idea that those who don’t work hard are undeserving easily becomes the noxious belief that non-affluence is only ever the result of laziness. It’s a demonstrably false idea profiting only those who benefit from exploitation. Read More >>
The Unofficial Labor Holiday In The United States
There is a holiday celebrated in nearly every country in the world that few people in the U.S. have ever heard of. That’s because it’s a protest against the brutality of the U.S. government. This article explains the history of International Workers Day, May 1st. Read More >>
The Mythology Of Trump’s White Working Class
Political stereotypes are always fraught in a bipartisan electoral system since each party claims to represent roughly half of the population. An image has nonetheless coalesced among some middle-class white liberals of the prototypical Trump voter: an uneducated, uninformed member of the “white working class” laden with “economic anxiety.” This stereotype leans on ugly elitism while failing to explain the 40% of those arrested on January 6th who are business owners or white-collar workers. Read More >>
Outsourcing Drudgery In The Servant Economy
The wealthy tell us they get more done because of their drive, discipline, and focus. But it’s easier to make better use of your time when increasing wealth allows you to offload more and more of the drudgery of life onto underpaid service workers. The distribution of time—for leisure, for community, for care, and for joy—is as pressing an issue of justice as any.
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Beyond Decriminalization: The Fight For Sex Workers’ Rights
The ARD had the honor of speaking with Raani and Sultana of Philadelphia’s Nightshade, a collective of sex workers. They explain the importance of supporting the labor organizing of sex workers and the full decriminalization of sex work, creating “solutions that allow us to imagine worlds outside of institutional barriers.” Read More >>
Creating Change With Effective Protest Tactics, Strategies, And Goals
We might protest to publicize our opinions, to be in community with those around us, or to assuage our conscience. The overriding necessity of any protest that isn’t becoming performative politics of the shallowest kind, however, is to win: not merely to signal our opposition to brutality and exploitation but to eradicate the institutions manufacturing them. The people benefitting from cycles of domination and oppression are thinking strategically; we must do the same. Read More >>