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Democracy

Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress

What 1930s Radicals Totally Knew: Scott Borchert on the Federal Writers’ Project

Scott Borchert on the Federal Writers' Project

The Great Depression is almost one century old. Today in the United States we remember this international economic collapse, and the suffering it engendered, by reading novels and essays about it, watching plays, viewing paintings—often forgetting that the U.S. government of that time encouraged and financially supported much of this art. Not only art: the Depression was one of the few times that the federal government ever stepped in to help ordinary people get on their feet. | more…

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

Stay tuned for July, 2022!

For most economists, labor is simply a commodity, bought and sold in markets like any other – and what happens after that is not their concern. Individual prospective workers offer their services to individual employers, each acting solely out of self-interest and facing each other as equals. The forces of demand and supply operate so that there is neither a shortage nor a surplus of labor, and, in theory, workers and bosses achieve their respective ends. Michael D. Yates, in Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle, offers a vastly different take on the nature of the labor market.

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Medical Paperwork

Disease, Disability, and Paternalism in the Fight for Medicare for All

The sick and disabled need true co-conspirators who hold politicians accountable, who value the sick and disabled as expert strategists speaking to the needs of the community; who understand and amplify our urgency and our anger. We need universal, single-payer health care—comprehensive care for all, regardless of income or health status—now. | more…

Inside the Overseas Chinese Museum of China

Can the Chinese Diaspora Speak?

The Chinese diaspora is compelled either to prostrate to an edifying project of assimilation to U.S. liberal democracy, or be branded as illiberal “Red Guards” unfit for serious political discourse. This discursive context has long mobilized overseas Chinese to affirm the universalism of Western liberalism in opposition to a Chinese despotism defined either by dynastic backwardness or communist depravity. Can overseas Chinese speak for themselves in the face of the West’s “hegemonic right to knowledge?” Or will all such speech that challenges U.S. presuppositions of liberal selfhood and Chinese despotism simply be tuned out as illiberal noise? | more…