Pre-industrial European societies, for the most part, didn’t conceive of time in the abstract as a scarce commodity that indicated when to work and when not, but as an elastic measure embedded in social relations. The seasons determined work: as daylight waned in winter so too did toil.
Occupy was a rarity in America – an explicitly “post-political” movement. It was not your textbook rebellion. No manifesto! No demands! No Villa, no Lennon, no Malcolm X to lead the masses, just a messy, somewhat incoherent, but ultimately a critical and joyful experience – until the truncheons, gas, rubber bullets, and all arrived.
U S Labor Day needs retooling
Labor Day needs some serious retooling. With millions out of work and the prospects of good paying (mostly union) jobs disappearing at a steady pace, Labor Day increasingly takes on the aspect of a memorial, not a celebration.
Many summers ago, just freed from the enforced boredom of high school, I signed up for a course on Marxist economics. Andy, the teen I worked with, asked if I would accompany him. I envied him his dad, a transplanted Marxist Scotsman, and I relished the transgression I was invited to undertake, especially as a recent apostate from Catholicism.
The Share-My-Bed press conference announcing its provocative rollout was extensively covered by the entire spectrum of news media. The “Sharing Economy” has obviously become mainstream. The college dropout CEOs of this multi-million dollar start-up were literally rolled out on an enormous bed custom-built for the occasion.
Guy Standing recently wrote a short introduction for openDemocracy on the main themes of his new book on the precariat. He ends the essay by suggesting three proposals to develop a precariat-sensitive political program.
But before commenting on his proposals I need to note a glaring omission in his analysis of the current global situation.