Troubling Solidarity

by C.M. Lewis. Solidarity has a new life. Few speeches at a union convention go without some mention of solidarity; it is part of the lingua franca of the labor movement. But now that the rise of the Occupy movement and the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, among other forces, have popularized left-wing rhetoric for a broader audience, it’s worth examining: when we say “solidarity,” what do we mean?

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Monsters of the University

by Kyle Kern. In his regular bi-monthly opinion column in the Washington Post, president of Purdue University and former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels defended his decision to re-open the university’s campus this fall, stating that failing to do so “would be not only anti-scientific but also an unacceptable breach of duty.” Daniels, a former executive with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (perhaps best known for their 1.4 billion dollar settlement with the federal government for falsely marketing a drug as antipsychotic without FDA approval) and director of the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush, made note of record-breaking tuition deposits from the incoming freshman class while insisting that young adults are at “near-zero risk” of death.

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Why Charlottesville?

by Shane Burley. White polos, pressed khakis, tiki torches, and chants of “you will not replace us” serve as shorthand for a trauma now seared into our memories. The largest openly neo-Nazi gathering in years, the Unite the Right rally that marred Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, 2017, is now a defining symbol of the escalating threat posed by newly emboldened white nationalists.

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Endemic to Alienation

by David. A Banks. In The Best of Both Worlds the two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that spans the third and fourth seasons, Captain Picard is kidnapped by the Borg and transformed into Locutus, a spokesperson for their collective to communicate with what they call our “individualistic society.” Picard’s assimilation into the Borg’s cybernetic hive-mind also means they know all his tactics and how his crew thinks.

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Alienation For My Peers

by Tongo Eisen-Martin Karl Marx warned that the ideological opiate of (theoretically) state-protected rights make our alienation of labor (and identity) acceptable, seamless, and at times euphoric; always institutional. Marx writes: “This crystallization of social activity, this consolidation of what we ourselves produce in an objective power above us, growing out of our control, thwarting…

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The Pest As Form

by Maru Pabón. As the maintenance of any given state of affairs depends largely on the ability to keep pests under control, animals are pulled into the category in relation to the processes of labor they disturb; the leaves they munch on, the shit they spread. If locusts troubled agrarian societies, it was because they devastated the production of goods around which the economy was centered.

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Scenes From a Failed State

by Caleb Brennan. “Tough guy, huh?” asks the officer. “You having fun?” goads his partner.  As his knee crushes the windpipe of his victim, his body language is stern and unfeeling, as if taking the position is some sort of burden. “He’s not responsive right now, bro!” one pedestrian says. “Check for a pulse,” says another. A cop with nothing to say turns away, expressing his indifference with his posture.

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