OWS and the Importance of Political Slogans

OWS and the Importance of Political Slogans

 Radical political movements always employ slogans that encapsulate in a few powerful words the aspirations of those fighting for a new world. The French revolutionaries fought under the banner, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” words that still resonate with radicals. The first words of the U.S. Constitution—“We the People”—have quickened the hearts of generations of populist activists. […]

Why Is Our Work So Meaningless?

Why Is Our Work So Meaningless?

 Workers in a hospital are sick of management violating their collective bargaining agreement. Their work is ever more stressful: hours keep getting longer; patient loads rise; safety rules are ignored. They tell their union steward that it is time to bombard the bosses with grievances before they explode in rage. He tells them, “You better […]

Oliver Stone, Obama, and the War in Vietnam

Oliver Stone, Obama, and the War in Vietnam

 Oliver Stone’s Showtime series, Untold History of the United States, is the most radical mainstream television I have ever watched. Eye-opening scenes, shocking speech by our presidents, splendid narration by Stone, all make for a compelling series. A 700-page book by Stone and historian Peter Kuznick accompanies the ten-part program; it provides greater detail and […]

My Christmas Story (for Tatiana)

My Christmas Story (for Tatiana)

 When I was a boy, I wore mostly hand-me-down clothes. The neighbors next door had a son a year or two older than I, about my size, and I got his discarded shirts and pants. Grandma or my mother would alter them to fit me better. Maybe some cousins’ outgrown outfits found their way into […]

Sego Canyon: Rock Art Glory, Mining Town Ruins

Sego Canyon: Rock Art Glory, Mining Town Ruins

 One of the most enjoyable things we do in the southwest is search for petroglyphs and pictographs, the rock art made by the native peoples. Sometimes we come upon them as we hike in canyons and at the base of cliffs. Sometimes we find information about them in books or online, and then we go […]

The State of the Unions

The State of the Unions

 The AFL-CIO and most member unions went all-out for Obama, doing their usual get-out-the-vote phone banking, canvassing, and radio advertising. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) put 100,000 volunteers in the field the last few days of the campaign. Labor’s message spread fear of Romney’s overt anti-union, anti-worker views and praised Obama’s supposed pro-union, pro-worker […]

Fruita, Orderville . . . Mitt Romney

Fruita, Orderville . . . Mitt Romney

The orchards in Capitol Reef National Park in south central Utah are located in what used to be the tiny village of Fruita. The setting is extraordinary. High rock cliffs, formed when the earth erupted and folded back on itself millions of years ago, surround a small, lush valley of green, fed by the waters […]

"Killing People in Apollo": An Update

"Killing People in Apollo": An Update

Last May I reported on the plight of people in the western Pennsylvania town of Apollo. As a result of gross corporate negligence, many residents have suffered serious illnesses from the uranium fuel plants located in and close to the village. The last owner of the facilities was the global conglomerate, Babcock & Wilcox. Left […]

The Year of the Strike

The Year of the Strike

 [Note: This story is from my book,  In and Out of the Working Class. Counterpunch was kind enough to post it recently.]  With a slight shrug of his shoulders, he began to move toward the line.  He took four steps, the last one ending in a slide, and as he did so he swung the […]

Us Versus Them: Laboring in the Academic Factory

Us Versus Them: Laboring in the Academic Factory

 [Note: This was first published in Monthly Review in January 2000. It was based upon a talk I gave to teachers at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York. Noted scholar of education, Henry Giroux, told me that he had recently re-read this and thought it prescient. So, here is an abridged and edited version […]