Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
February 07, 2017

refugees [2/7]

are from the past . . . 

But the first Gilded Age. . . During this period . . .  protests often crossed lines of ethnicity, religion, gender -- even race -- and embraced whole communities, towns and regions. In defiance of the traditional American fear of government meddling, they looked to a revivified democratic state to get their robber baron overlords under control.  . . .

Together they comprised a society-wide reaction to the damage caused by primitive accumulation. Foreclosed homesteaders, craftsmen, immigrant peasants, industrial artisans, subsistence farmers, small businessmen, ex-slaves  --  a galaxy of refugees from pre-capitalist ways of life went down the rabbit hole of proletarianisation. Before they did so they cried out against an alien future, imagining alternatives to wage labour borrowed from their diverse pasts or extrapolated from the technological and organisational breakthroughs of industrial capitalism. Primitive accumulation, so essential to the strength of the American economic behemoth, was also the source of enormous oppositional energy.

from "Thanks to the Tea Party," Steve Fraser's review of Jefferson Cowie's Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class

(. . . or rather, from a present that's already happening somewhere else, and that threatens to overtake us next)