As May Day rolls around in the year 2014, there is little reason to celebrate.
May Day, historically a holiday for workers, today finds workers under siege like seldom seen before. Under the reign of the corporatist media, the very word “union” has become a curse word.
Unemployment; underemployment; poor wages; and an uncertain political struggle for even a modest, minimalist increase in the so-called minimum wage.
In big cities, the heartland of unions, pay cuts and give-backs are the order of the day; even pensions aren’t safe, as bankruptcies bloom like flowers in spring — and retired workers find their benefits slashed.
This is the narrow canal of life under capitalism; less and less for the poor and working class; more and more to the 1%. When we consider the fate of working women, the picture is grimmer still — for they who do the most thankless jobs, get the lowest pay — and less respect.
Marxist activist and writer, Selma James, way back in the ’70s, advanced the argument that housework–the taking care of the family and shelter–should be waged–for it is this act that not only sustains the working class– it, literally, creates it! Such a step would transform society, and pay for that which is primary; the sustenance of life itself.
The political class is the obedient servants of the 1%, and only their interests are represented in the halls of government. This means that popular movements must fight for a better way out of the globalist cave of capitalism.
That said, in our age Crony Capitalism abounds– in offices, in boardrooms, in gated communities, and on golf courses.
Meanwhile, schools close; recreation centers are shuttered; prices rise, and subsidies are cut to nothingness, even as food lines swell all across the land.
May Day 2014 is not a time of celebration — unless and until the working people make it so.