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Can the Working Class Change the World?

Can the Working Class Change the World?

Forthcoming in September 2018

One of the horrors of the capitalist system is that slave labor, which was central to the formation and growth of capitalism itself, is still fully able to coexist alongside wage labor. But, as Karl Marx pointed out, it is the fact of being paid for one's work that validates capitalism as a viable socio-economic structure. Beneath this veil of “free commerce”—where workers are paid only for a portion of their workday, and buyers and sellers in the marketplace face each other as “equals”—lies a foundation of immense inequality. Yet workers have always rebelled. They've organized unions, struck, picketed, boycotted, formed political organizations and parties—sometimes they have actually won and improved their lives. In his timely and innovative book, Michael D. Yates asks if the working class can, indeed, change the world. | more…

Workers at Scop-Ti in southern France

The Meaning of Work in a Sustainable Society

The idea of total liberation from work, in its one-sidedness and incompleteness, is ultimately incompatible with a genuinely sustainable society. The real promise of a system of labor beyond capitalism rests not so much on its expansion of leisure time, but rather on its capacity to generate a new world of creative and collective work, controlled by the associated producers. | more…

March to save City College San Francisco (CCSF)

What Happened at CCSF?

Did the accreditation crisis and subsequent labor struggle at City College of San Francisco represent a failure of union democracy, or a hard-won victory against corporate education reform? Rick Baum’s recent article on this question, “A Teachers Union Against Itself” (published the April 2017 issue of Monthly Review) prompted a lively response from AFT Local 2121 members and supporters. This correspondence article collects their letters, as well as a reply by Baum. | more…