Category: Fall 2015

Collection: International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985)

Careful What You Wish For: A Critical Appraisal of Proposals to Rebuild the Labor Movement

Alarmed at declining union density and frustrated with the National Labor Relations Act, many worker advocates want to ditch the NLRA, forsake traditional unions, and start the labor movement afresh. But they should not let novelty overwhelm judgment. Many of these new ideas are clever in theory, but in practice...

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Fall 2015

Gay Marriage and the Invisible LGBT/Q Precariat

Contents

From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar

By Sarah Jaffe

Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary

Careful What You Wish For: A Critical Appraisal of Proposals to Rebuild the Labor Movement

By Lance Compa

The LGBT/Q Working Class: An Invisible Majority

Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence

By Amber Hollibaugh and Margot Weiss

Contrary to the stereotype, most LGBTQ people struggle against the odds to make ends meet.

Gay Liberation: How a Once Radical Movement Got Married and Settled Down

By Colin P. Ashley

On the path between the Stonewall Riots and gay marriage, an insurgent movement lost its bearings. 

The Marxist Moment

Marxism and Consumer Culture

By Chris Lehmann

False Consciousness meets Commodity Fetishism.

Slow Growth and No Growth: Why the U.S. Economy Is Outperforming Europe and Japan

By John Miller

How to break out of the stagnation trap.

The Greek Inquisition: International Finance, Syriza, and theGreek Labor Movement

By Nicholas Toloudis

Can Greece recover its sovereignty and a Greek left survive?

Bernie versus Hillary: Building an Outsider Left inside the Democratic Party

By Charles Lenchner

Is there a future for left-wing populism inside the Democratic Party?

Fining McWalmart: Charging Employers for the Social Costs of Poverty Wages

By Erica Smiley

A new strategy to shame low-wage behemoths and force them to bargain collectively.

Indentured Studenthood: The Higher Education Act and the Burden of Student Debt

By Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Why a law to aid the less privileged ended up a financial boondoggle.

The Dispossessed: The Plight of Agricultural Workers on the Indian Subcontinent

By Subhashini Ali

How neoliberalism is devastating rural India.

Working-Class Voices of Contemporary America

Sold, but Not Selling Out

By Maribel Rodriguez

Roots of Rebellion

The Twenty-First Century Jungle: California Nurses Organize to Save Themselves

By Mariya Strauss

Organized Money: What Is Corporate America Thinking?

Franchise Fratricide and the Fight for $15

By Max Fraser

Books and the Arts

Documenting Dissent

American Revolutionary, Directed and produced by Grace Lee

The Hand That Feeds, Written, directed, and produced by Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Directed and produced by Mary Dore

Reviewed by Debra Minkoff

A Working-Class Tale of Embodiment and Belonging

Two Days, One Night, Directed by Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Reviewed by Christopher Baum

Making Music Pay

Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work, By Matt Stahl

Reviewed by Tom Juravich

Capitalism versus the Earth

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, By Naomi Klein

Reviewed by Brian K. Obach

“What Part of ‘Illegal’ Don’t You Understand?”

Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, By Aviva Chomsky

Reviewed by John Trumpbour

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed

By Matt Witt

Poetry

Letters to the Editor

 

The Greek Inquisition: International Finance, Syriza, and the Greek Labor Movement

Why has the new Greek government failed to accomplish so much of what it had promised? And where does that leave the Greek labor movement? The government’s and the labor movement’s problems stem from the same fact, which has endured since the February 2012 signing of the second bailout agreement: Greece is no longer a sovereign nation state.

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Indentured Studenthood: The Higher Education Act and the Burden of Student Debt

Promising to do something about student debt has become the means for politicians to pretend they are doing something for the 99 percent. That was true even before the 2016 election campaign really got underway. Obama, after all, promised two free years of community college in his 2015 State of the Union address. That idea, like so many others from Republicans and Democrats, did not go anywhere, even though the most recent re-authorization of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA) expired in 2013. However, inaction is not just a symptom of Washington gridlock. The reality is that paying for college is a confounding, sprawling sector of the economy involving loans, grants, scholarships, and tax credits.

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Queers for Economic Justice

Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence

The LGBT movement’s laser-focus on marriage equality propagates the myth of gay and lesbian affluence as political strategy, leaving aside any analysis of class or economic inequality or poverty—much less an analysis of capitalism. LGBT people are typically depicted as affluent consumers with high disposable incomes, yet this is hardly the norm. The majority of LGBT/Q people are poor or working class, female, and people of color, who struggle to get a job or hold onto one, to pay their rent and care for themselves and the people they love.

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Notes on the Future of Greece

Why has the new Greek government failed to accomplish so much of what it had promised? And where does that leave the Greek labor movement? The government’s and the labor movement’s problems stem from the same fact, which has endured since the February 2012 signing of the second bailout agreement: Greece is no longer a sovereign nation state. It cannot implement any fiscal policy without the troika’s support, backed principally by the German government, and since the terms of Greece’s bailout agreement require austerity, any deviation threatens the financial assistance that enables Greece to avoid defaulting on its debts.

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