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...
Gay Marriage and the Invisible LGBT/Q Precariat
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
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
Letters to the Editor
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.
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.
Our obsession with the question of what sort of consciousness attaches itself most readily to the culture of consumption has paradoxically blinded us to the ways in which the ideal type of the American consumer has achieved a new level of uncontested sovereignty in the political rhetoric of our market culture.
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.
Electing Bernie Sanders won't be easy. But remapping ‘the left-wing of the possible’ (to use a Michael Harrington phrase) is within reach, changing the political landscape for our issues and associated social movements going forward.
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.