Workers Rights Quotes

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Why Not You? Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you? Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you? Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you? Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you? Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you? Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you? Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you? Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you? Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you? Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you? Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you? Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you? Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you? Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you? Today is a new day! Many will seize this day. Many will live it to the fullest. Why not you?
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Their mothers were nobodies," Marian (Max's mom) said. "Donor eggs. Lab workers, techs, anyone we found. That was the point- that we could create a superrace out of anything. Out of trash." Well, you're right there," I said. "Because we are a superrace. And I did come from trash.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
Historical fact: People stopped being people in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line. At first, workers rebelled. They quit in droves, unable to accustom their bodies to the new pace of the age. Since then, however, the adaptation has been passed down: we've all inherited it to some degree, so that we plug right into joy-sticks and remotes, to repetitive motions of a hundred kinds.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
Pet the cat dude," says Sam. "She brought you a present. She wants you to tell her how badass she is." "You are a tiny tiny killing machine." Daneca coos. "What's she doing?" I ask. "Purring!" says Daneca. She sounds delighted. "Good kitty. Who's an amazing killing machine? That's right. You are! You are a brutal brutal tiny lion! Yes, you are.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
But now I wonder--what if everyone is pretty much the same and it's just a thousand small choices that add up to the person you are? No good or evil, no black and white, no inner demons or angels whispering the right answers in our ears like it's some cosmic SAT test. Just us, hour by hour, minute by minute, day by day,making the best choices we can. The thought is horrifying. If that's true, then there's no right choice. There's only choice.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.
Dorothy Day
We can't imagine how dreadful, how terrifying war is; and how normal it becomes. Can't understand, can't imagine. That's what every soldier, and every journalist and aid worker and independent observer who has put in time under fire, and had the luck to elude the death that struck down others nearby, stubbornly feels. And they are right.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
When you're working, some people relax and wait for the invisible right time, but when they see your fortune, they wake up and strategize an envious attack.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Losing your family….it puts fear in a different perspective,” he said. “Besides, I got by all right. I stayed on the fringe around Chicago, hoped around tent cities and Red Cross camps. Worked for some people who didn’t ask questions. Avoided case-workers and foster care. And thought about you.” “Me?” I huffed, completely unsettled. In awe at how vanilla my life seemed. In awe of what he’d endured, He turned then, meeting my eyes for the first time. When he spoke, his voice was gentle, and unashamed. “You. The only thing in my life that doesn’t change. When everything went to hell, you were all I had.
Kristen Simmons (Article 5 (Article 5, #1))
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
Martin Luther King Jr. (I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail)
People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness. God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes, and perfect strangers. When people want to know more about God, the son of God tells them to pay attention to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, to women kneading bread and workers lining up for their pay. Whoever wrote this stuff believed that people could learn as much about the ways of God from paying attention to the world as they could from paying attention to scripture. What is true is what happens, even if what happens is not always right. People can learn as much about the ways of God from business deals gone bad or sparrows falling to the ground as they can from reciting the books of the Bible in order. They can learn as much from a love affair or a wildflower as they can from knowing the Ten Commandments by heart.
Barbara Brown Taylor (An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith)
I like talking about people who don't have any power and it seems like some of the least powerful people in the United States are the migrant workers who come and do our work and don't have any rights as a result. And yet we still invite them to come here, and at the same time ask them to leave.
Stephen Colbert
Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to work to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Why We Can't Wait)
Don’t you know that slavery was outlawed?” “No,” the guard said, “you’re wrong. Slavery was outlawed with the exception of prisons. Slavery is legal in prisons.” I looked it up and sure enough, she was right. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Well, that explained a lot of things. That explained why jails and prisons all over the country are filled to the brim with Black and Third World people, why so many Black people can’t find a job on the streets and are forced to survive the best way they know how. Once you’re in prison, there are plenty of jobs, and, if you don’t want to work, they beat you up and throw you in a hole. If every state had to pay workers to do the jobs prisoners are forced to do, the salaries would amount to billions… Prisons are a profitable business. They are a way of legally perpetuating slavery. In every state more and more prisons are being built and even more are on the drawing board. Who are they for? They certainly aren’t planning to put white people in them. Prisons are part of this government’s genocidal war against Black and Third World people.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
I consider kissing her right there on the dirty couch, but self-preservation stops me. Once someone hurts you, it’s harder to relax around them, harder to think of them as safe to love. But it doesn’t stop you wanting them. Sometimes I actually think it makes the wanting worse
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
Hey! All you peoples draggin along here. Stop and come stick your ass on a Night of Joy stool," he started again. "Night of Joy got genuine color peoples workin below the minimal wage. Whoa! Guarantee plantation atmosphere, got cotton growin right on the stage right in front your eyeball, got a civil right worker gettin his ass beat up between show. Hey!
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
What we would like to do is change the world...by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world.
Dorothy Day
And Barron is probably right—we should give this up. Not for the reason he’s saying but for the one that’s implied. The one about it not being okay to lurk around outside buildings, spying on girls you like.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
We’ve been paying a fraction of what things really cost to make, but meanwhile the planet, and the workers who made the stuff, take the unpaid costs right in the teeth.
Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140)
What I need to do,” Wayne said, “is get the whole city drunk.” “Or, you know, advocate workers’ rights to bring down working hours, improve conditions, and meet a base minimum of pay.
Brandon Sanderson (Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5))
You have a skill. You can do something no one else can,” Barron says. “Seriously. You know what’s good about that? It’s valuable. As in you can trade it for goods or services. Or money. Remember when I said it was wasted on you? I was so right.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
JUST BECAUSE A BUNCH OF ATHEISTS ARE BETTER WRITERS THAN THE GUYS WHO WROTE THE BIBLE DOESN'T NECESSARILY MAKE THEM RIGHT!" [Owen Meany] said crossly. "LOOK AT THOSE WEIRDO TV MIRACLE-WORKERS--THEY'RE TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO BELIEVE IN MAGIC! BUT THE REAL MIRACLES AREN'T ANYTHING YOU CAN SEE--THEY'RE THINGS YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING. IF SOME PREACHER'S AN ASSHOLE, THAT'S NOT PROOF THAT GOD DOESN'T EXIST!
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
Both political parties have moved to the right during the neoliberal period. Today’s New Democrats are pretty much what used to be called “moderate Republicans.” The “political revolution” that Bernie Sanders called for, rightly, would not have greatly surprised Dwight Eisenhower. The fate of the minimum wage illustrates what has been happening. Through the periods of high and egalitarian growth in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the minimum wage—which sets a floor for other wages—tracked productivity. That ended with the onset of neoliberal doctrine. Since then, the minimum wage has stagnated (in real value). Had it continued as before, it would probably be close to $20 per hour. Today, it is considered a political revolution to raise it to $15.
Noam Chomsky
Even after centuries of human interacting, children still continue to rebel against their parents and siblings. Young marrieds look upon their in-laws and parents as obstacles to their independence and growth. Parents view their children as selfish ingrates. Husbands desert their wives and seek greener fields elsewhere. Wives form relationships with heroes of soap operas who vicariously bring excitement and romance into their empty lives. Workers often hate their bosses and co-workers and spend miserable hours with them, day after day. On a larger scale, management cannot relate with labour. Each accuses the other of unreasonable self-interests and narrow-mindedness. Religious groups often become entrapped, each in a provincial dogma resulting in hate and vindictiveness in the name of God. Nations battle blindly, under the shadow of the world annihilation, for the realization of their personal rights. Members of these groups blame rival groups for their continual sense of frustration, impotence, lack of progress and communication. We have obviously not learned much over the years. We have not paused long enough to consider the simple truth that we humans are not born with particular attitudinal sets regarding other persons, we are taught into them. We are the future generation's teachers. We are, therefore, the perpetrators of the confusion and alienation we abhor and which keeps us impotent in finding new alternatives. It is up to us to diligently discover new solutions and learn new patterns of relating, ways more conducive to growth, peace, hope and loving coexistence. Anything that is learned can be unlearned and relearned. In this process called change lies our real hope.
Leo F. Buscaglia (Loving Each Other)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
She's right, Kate's right, I'm right and you're wrong. If you drive her away from here it will be over my dead— chair, has it never occurred to you at on one occasion you might be consummately wrong?
William Gibson (The Miracle Worker)
It is right that you should read according to your temperament, occupations, hobbies, and vocations. But it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar, unwilling to explore the unfamiliar. In science, we respect the research worker. In literature, we should not always read the books blessed by the majority.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955)
Mom" I say "Oh honey" she says "The doctor wants to see you to make sure you don't have the same thing that killed your brother. " She turns to Ms.Logan who looks scandalized by the whole encounter. "These things can run in famalies" she confides. "Your afraid I'm going to come down with a bad case of getting two in the chest?" I say "cause you might be right about that running in families.
Holly Black (Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2))
And workers who needed to go to the bathroom weren't allowed to take a break. They were forced to pee right on the slaughterhouse floor, near meat that people would soon be eating.
Eric Schlosser (Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food)
...Maybe it's low-wage work in general that has the effect of making feel like a pariah. When I watch TV over my dinner at night, I see a world in which almost everyone makes $15 an hour or more, and I'm not just thinking of the anchor folks. The sitcoms and dramas are about fashion designers or schoolteachers or lawyers, so it's easy for a fast-food worker or nurse's aide to conclude that she is an anomaly — the only one, or almost the only one, who hasn't been invited to the party. And in a sense she would be right: the poor have disappeared from the culture at large, from its political rhetoric and intellectual endeavors as well as from its daily entertainment. Even religion seems to have little to say about the plight of the poor, if that tent revival was a fair sample. The moneylenders have finally gotten Jesus out of the temple.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America)
...I found myself pondering the specific Christian American obsession with abortion and gay rights. For million of Americans, these are the great societal "sins" of the day. It isn't bogus wars, systemic poverty, failing schools, child abuse, domestic violence, health care for profit, poorly paid social workers, under-funded hospitals, gun saturation, or global warming that riles or worries the conservative, Bible-believers of America." pg33
Phil Zuckerman (Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment)
I can’t quite shake this feeling that we live in a world gone wrong, that there are all these feelings you’re not supposed to have because there’s no reason to anymore. But still they’re there, stuck somewhere, a flaw that evolution hasn’t managed to eliminate yet. I want so badly to feel bad about getting pregnant. But I can’t, don’t dare to. Just like I didn’t dare tell Jack that I was falling in love with him, wanting to be a modern woman who’s supposed to be able to handle the casual nature of these kinds of relationships. I’m never supposed to say, to Jack or anyone else, ‘What makes you think I’m so rich that you can steal my heart and it won’t mean a thing?’ Sometimes I think that I was forced to withdraw into depression, because it was the only rightful protest I could throw in the face of a world that said it was all right for people to come and go as they please, that there were simply no real obligations left. Deceit and treachery in both romantic and political relationships is nothing new, but at one time, it was bad, callous, and cold to hurt somebody. Now it’s just the way things go, part of the growth process. Really nothing is surprising. After a while, meaning and implication detach themselves from everything. If one can be a father and assume no obligations, it follows that one can be a boyfriend and do nothing at all. Pretty soon you can add friend, acquaintance, co-worker, and just about anyone else to the long list of people who seem to be part of your life, though there is no code of conduct that they must adhere to. Pretty soon, it seems unreasonable to be bothered or outraged by much of anything because, well, what did you expect?
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
The most common English word spoken in the nail salon was sorry. It was the one refrain for what it meant to work in the service of beauty. Again and again, I watched as manicurists, bowed over a hand or foot of a client, some young as seven, say, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry," when they had nothing wrong. I have seen workers, you included, apologize dozens of times throughout a forty-five-minute manicure, hoping to gain warm traction that would lead to the ultimate goal, a tip--only to say sorry anyway when none was given. In the nail salon, sorry is a tool one uses to pander until the word itself becomes currency. It no longer merely apologizes, but insists, reminds: I'm here, right here, beneath you. It is the lowering of oneself so that the client feels right, superior, and charitable. In the nail salon, one's definition of sorry is deranged into a new word entirely, one that's charged and reused as both power and defacement at once. Being sorry pays, being sorry even, or especially, when one has no fault, is worth every self-deprecating syllable the mouth allows. Because the mouth must eat.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
No one 'just adopts'.
Jody Cantrell Dyer (The Eye of Adoption: The True Story of My Turbulent Wait for a Baby)
In the wake of the Neoliberal proclamation of the end of class struggle, the only social categories remaining are winner and loser. No more capitalists and workers; no more exploiters and exploited. Either you are strong and smart, or you deserve your misery. The establishment of capitalist absolutism is based on the mass adhesion...to the philosophy of natural selection. The mass murderer is someone who believes in the right of the fittest and the strongest to win in the social game, but he also knows or senses that he is not the fittest or the strongest. So he opts for the only possible act of retaliation and self assertion: to kill and be killed.
Franco "Bifo" Berardi (Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide)
Every machine has had the same history – a long record of sleepless nights and of poverty, of disillusions and of joys, of partial improvements discovered by several generations of nameless workers, who have added to the original invention these little nothings, without which the most fertile idea would remain fruitless. More than that: every new invention is a synthesis, the resultant of innumerable inventions which have preceded it in the vast field of mechanics and industry. Science and industry, knowledge and application, discovery and practical realization leading to new discoveries, cunning of brain and of hand, toil of mind and muscle – all work together. Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present. By what right then can anyone whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say – This is mine, not yours?
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread)
It is eminently possible to have a market-based economy that requires no such brutality and demands no such ideological purity. A free market in consumer products can coexist with free public health care, with public schools, with a large segment of the economy -- like a national oil company -- held in state hands. It's equally possible to require corporations to pay decent wages, to respect the right of workers to form unions, and for governments to tax and redistribute wealth so that the sharp inequalities that mark the corporatist state are reduced. Markets need not be fundamentalist.
Naomi Klein
Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visable in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.
Joseph Bernardin
There is a kind of bravery to our condition, I reckon: brought into being without an explanation, in a potentially infinite and apparently dead universe, and expected to just get on with it as though nothing strange is going on. Well it fucking is. And it's all right to have a meltdown about the whole affair from time to time, faced with the pressures of modern existence, trying to be a good human and a good worker and a good son/daughter/parent, trying to be a good citizen, trying to be wise without condescension but uninhibited without recklessness, trying to just muddle through without making any silly decisions, trying to align with the correct political opinions, trying to stay thin, trying to be attractive, trying to be smart, trying to find the ideal partner, trying to stay financially secure, trying to just find some modest corner of meaning and belonging and sanity to go and sit in, and all the while living on the edge of dying forever.
Exurb1a (The Prince of Milk)
There is a famous black-and-white photograph from the era of the Third Reich. It is a picture taken in Hamburg, Germany, in 1936, of shipyard workers, a hundred or more, facing the same direction in the light of the sun. They are heiling in unison, their right arms rigid in outstretched allegiance to the Führer. If you look closely, you can see a man in the upper right who is different from the others. His face is gentle but unyielding. Modern-day displays of the photograph will often add a helpful red circle around the man or an arrow pointing to him. He is surrounded by fellow citizens caught under the spell of the Nazis. He keeps his arms folded to his chest, as the stiff palms of the others hover just inches from him. He alone is refusing to salute. He is the one man standing against the tide. Looking back from our vantage point, he is the only person in the entire scene who is on the right side of history. Everyone around him is tragically, fatefully, categorically wrong. In that moment, only he could see it. His name is believed to have been August Landmesser. At the time, he could not have known the murderous path the hysteria around him would lead to. But he had already seen enough to reject it.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Feminists have accepted that choice is possible when it comes to a different, difficult subject: abortion. The feminist position (and I agree with it) is that women own their bodies and therefore each woman has the right to choose to get an abortion if she gets pregnant. This is called being "pro-choice". Feminists should be consistent on the subject of choice. If a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion, she should also have the right to choose to have sex for money. It's her body; it's her right.
Chester Brown (Paying for It)
With modern technology it is the easiest of tasks for a media, guided by a narrow group of political manipulators, to speak constantly of democracy and freedom while urging regime changes everywhere on earth but at home. A curious condition of a republic based roughly on the original Roman model is that it cannot allow true political parties to share in government. What then is a true political party: one that is based firmly in the interest of a class be it workers or fox hunters. Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism.
Gore Vidal
Reality is the manifestation of the inner workings, carried out by the supreme powers. Whatever you think and do right now, either positive or negative is working on your behalf because you are a co-worker of the divine.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are, rather, forced upon parliaments from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security. Just as the employers always try to nullify every concession they had made to labor as soon as opportunity offered, as soon as any signs of weakness were observable in the workers’ organizations, so governments also are always inclined to restrict or to abrogate completely rights and freedoms that have been achieved if they imagine that the people will put up no resistance. Even in those countries where such things as freedom of the press, right of assembly, right of combination, and the like have long existed, governments are constantly trying to restrict those rights or to reinterpret them by juridical hair-splitting. Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice)
Can you really cook meth in a hotel coffeepot?" - Cassel "Sure," Jones says, looking into his cup thoughtfully. Guess Mom was right about one thing.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
Work done off the paid job is looked down upon if not ignored. autonomous activity threatens the employment level, generates deviance, and detracts​ from the GNP...Work no longer means the creation of a value perceived by the worker but mainly a job, which is a social relationship. Unemployment means sad idleness, rather than the freedom to do things that are useful for oneself or for one's neighbour. An active woman who runs a house and brings up children and takes in those of others is distinguished from a woman who 'works,' no matter how useless or damaging the product of this work might be.
Ivan Illich (The Right to Useful Unemployment and Its Professional Enemies)
How does paying people more money make you more money? It works like this. The more you pay your workers, the more they spend. Remember, they're not just your workers- they're your consumers, too. The more they spend their extra cash on your products, the more your profits go up. Also, when employees have enough money that they don't have to live in constant fear of bankruptcy, they're able to focus more on their work- and be more productive. With fewer personal problems and less stress hanging over them, they'll lose less time at work, meaning more profits for you. Pay them enough to afford a late model car (i.e. one that works), and they'll rarely be late for work. And knowing that they'll be able to provide a better life for their children will not only give them a more positive attitude, it'll give them hope- and an incentive to do well for the company because the better the company does, the better they'll do. Of course, if you're like most corporations these days- announcing mass layoffs right after posting record profits- then you're already hemorrhaging the trust and confidence of your remaining workforce, and your employees are doing their jobs in a state of fear. Productivity will drop. That will hurt sales. You will suffer. Ask the people at Firestone: Ford has alleged that the tire company fired its longtime union employees, then brought in untrained scab workers who ended up making thousands of defective tires- and 203 dead customers later, Firestone is in the toilet.
Michael Moore (Stupid White Men)
clever Modern Liberals became academics and journalists, entertainers and psychologists, politicians and community organizers, “rights activists” and social workers, and other such things where words were the entirety of both their product and their effort.
Evan Sayet (KinderGarden Of Eden)
I used to think freedom was freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience. But freedom is the whole life of everyone. Here is what it amounts to: you have to have the right to sow what you wish to, to make shoes or coats, to bake into bread the flour ground from the grain you have sown, and to sell it or not sell it as you wish; for the lathe operator, the steelworker, and the artist it’s a matter of being able to live as you wish and work as you wish and not as they order you to. And in our country there is no freedom – not for those who write books nor for those who sow grain nor for those who make shoes.” (Grossman, p. 99) He noted that “In people’s day-to-day struggle to live, in the extreme efforts workers put forth to earn an extra ruble through moonlighting, in the collective farmers’ battle for bread and potatoes as the one and only fruit of their labor, he [Ivan Grigoryevich] could sense more than the desire to live better, to fill one’s children’s stomachs and to clothe them. In the battle for the right to make shoes, to knit sweaters, in the struggle to plant what one wished, was manifested the natural, indestructible striving toward freedom inherent in human nature. He had seen this very same struggle in the people in camp. Freedom, it seemed, was immortal on both sides of the barbed wire.” (Grossman, p. 110)
Vasily Grossman (Forever Flowing)
It feels like the whole world has turned upside down. There aren’t any more rules. “Hey,” I say to Sam, because if the world’s gone crazy, then I guess I can do whatever I want. “Guess what? I’m a worker.” He stares at me, openmouthed. Lila jerks to her feet. “You can’t tell him that,” she says. “Why not?” I ask, then turn to him. “I didn’t have any idea until yesterday. Wacky, right?” “What kind?” he manages to squeak out. “If you tell him that,” Lila says, “I’m going to kill you, but first I’m going to kill him.” “Consider the question retracted,” Sam says, holding his hands out in a peace offering.
Holly Black
During construction, when a worker died, his body was built right into the Wall itself. No one knew how many corpses lay within the stone and mortar, but some estimates ran as high as three million souls.
Gordon Korman (The Emperor's Code (The 39 Clues, #8))
To Jurgis the packers had been the equivalent to fate; Ostrinski showed him that they were the Beef Trust. They were a gigantic combination of capital, which had crushed all opposition, and overthrown the laws of the land, and was preying upon the people. Chapter 29, pg. 376
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
As a rule, white abolitionists either defended the industrial capitalists or expressed no conscious class loyalty at all. This unquestioning acceptance of the capitalist economic system was evident in the program of the women’s rights movement as well. If most abolitionists viewed slavery as a nasty blemish which needed to be eliminated, most women’s righters viewed male supremacy in a similar manner—as an immoral flaw in their otherwise acceptable society. The leaders of the women’s rights movement did not suspect that the enslavement of Black people in the South, the economic exploitation of Northern workers and the social oppression of women might be systematically related. Within
Angela Y. Davis (Women, Race, & Class)
The Palestinians were offered two options: 1) to accept life in an Israeli open prison and enjoy limited autonomy and the right to work as underpaid laborers in Israel, bereft of any workers’ rights, or 2) resist, even mildly, and risk living in a maximum-security prison, subjected to instruments of collective punishment, including house demolitions, arrests without trial, expulsions, and in severe cases, assassinations and murder.
Noam Chomsky (Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians)
We know very little about self-development. But we do know one thing: People in general, and knowledge workers in particular, grow according to the demands they make on themselves. They grow according to what they consider to be achievement and attainment. If they demand little of themselves, they will remain stunted. If they demand a good deal of themselves, they will grow to giant stature--without any more effort than is expended by the non-achievers.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done)
Dad always said there were three types of workers. The ones who stood there saying "Is there anything I can do " and did nothing. Most of our city guests were like that. The ones who said "Tell me what you want done and I'll do it" and did. Most of our workers over the years had been like that. And the ones who didn't say anything but were always a jump or two ahead of you. When you were changing a flat tyre and you took the old one off and turned to pick up the new one they'd already have it in their hands and they'd move in and put it on from your left while you were still turning round to the right. Dad reckoned one of those was worth two or the second type and five of the first type.
John Marsden (While I Live (The Ellie Chronicles, #1))
At least two important conservative thinkers, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, were unbelievers or nonbelievers and in any case contemptuous of Christianity. I have my own differences with both of these savants, but is the Republican Party really prepared to disown such modern intellectuals as it can claim, in favor of a shallow, demagogic and above all sectarian religiosity? Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is 'only a theory'? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself? If so, it will deserve the punishment for hubris that is already coming its way. (The punishment, in other words, that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson believed had struck America on Sept. 11, 2001. How can it be that such grotesque characters, calling down divine revenge on the workers in the World Trade Center, are allowed a respectful hearing, or a hearing at all, among patriotic Republicans?). [. . . And Why I'm Most Certainly Not! -- The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Column. May 5, 2005]
Christopher Hitchens
They's lots of work in this world that aint never paid for. But the accounts gets balanced anyway. In the long run. A man that contracts for work and then dont pay for it, the world will reckon with him fore it's out. With the worker too. You live long enough and you'll see it. They's a ledger kept that the pages dont never get old nor crumbly nor the ink dont never fade. If it dont balance then they aint no right in this world and if they aint then where did I hear of it at? Where did you? Only way it wont is you start retribution on you own. You start retribution on you own you'll be on you own. That man up there ain goin to help you. Aint no use even to ask.
Cormac McCarthy (The Stonemason)
People are like bees. They’re all workers who could be queens, with the right stuff, but once a queen-making has begun, it can’t be reversed. A bee that’s halfway a queen can’t turn back into a worker. She’d starve. She must keep growing and then she must leave.
Natasha Pulley (The Bedlam Stacks)
Virtually all ideologies are implicitly antifeminist in that women are sacrificed to higher goals: the higher goal of reproduction; the higher goal of pleasure; the higher goal of a freedom antipathetic to the freedom of women; the higher goal of better conditions for workers not women; the higher goal of a new order that keeps the sex exploitation of women essentially intact; the higher goal of an old order that considers the sex exploitation of women a sign of social stability (woman’s in her place, all’s right with the world).
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
No society has any right to forget its workers, because they are the real heroes of the society!
Mehmet Murat ildan
On payday near the entrances to the mines, lines of maimed and debilitated workers begged for handouts. Pennsylvania
Mary Cronk Farrell (Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman's Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights)
So men and women were born into workers Because ideas like Right and wrong Get outweighed by need Anytime you've got mouths to feed.
Shane L. Koyczan (Remembrance Year)
Rapid growth in wealth inequality results in the inevitable isolation of a very small, very rich, very privileged section of the community from the material experiences of everyone else. And when this out-of-touch minority group is enfranchised to make the decisions on behalf of people they don't know, can't see, have no wish to understand, and think of entirely in dehumanised, transactional, abstract terms, the results for the rest of us are devastating.
Sally McManus (On Fairness)
She didn't even notice right away that Evan was not at work. Same with Dawn. But as days passed, their absence overtook the mundane humdrum of office talk. Some thought Evan and Dawn had run off together. Diane was not comfortable enough with her co-workers to shame them for their gossiping.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale, #1))
When a worker is injured at an IBP plant in Texas, he or she is immediately presented with a waiver. Signing the waiver means forever surrendering the right to sue IBP on any grounds. Workers who sign the waiver may receive medical care under IBP's Workplace Injury Settlement Program. Or they may not. Once workers sign, IBP and its company-approved doctors have control over the job-related medical treatment - for life. Under the program's terms, seeking treatment from an independent physician can be grounds for losing all medical benefits. Workers who refuse to sign the IBP waiver not only risk getting no medical care from the company, but also risk being fired on the spot...Injured workers almost always sign the waiver. The pressure to do so is immense. An IBP medical case manager will literally bring the waiver to a hospital emergency room in order to obtain an injured worker's signature. When Lonita Leal's right hand was mangled by a hamburger grinder at the IBP plant in Amarillo, a case manager talked her into signing the waiver with her left hand as she waited in the hospital for surgery. When Duane Mullin had both hands crushed in a hammer mill at the same plant, an IBP representative persuaded him to sign the waiver with a pen held in his mouth.
Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
We are training not isolated men but a living group of men, - nay, a group within a group. And the final product of our training must be neither a psychologist nor a brickmason, but a man. And to make men, we must have ideals, broad, pure, and inspiring ends of living, - not sordid money-getting, not apples of gold. The worker must work for the lory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame. And all this is gained only by human strife and longing; by ceaseless training and education; by founding Right on righteousness and Truth on the unhampered search for Truth...and weaving thus a system, not a distortion, and bringing a birth, not an abortion.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Every type of political power presupposes some particular form of human slavery, for the maintenance of which it is called into being. Just as outwardly, that is, in relation to other states the state has to create certain artificial antagonisms in order to justify its existence, so also internally the cleavage of society into castes, ranks and classes is an essential condition of its continuance. The development of the Bolshevist bureaucracy in Russia under the alleged dictatorship of the proletariat (which has never been anything but the dictatorship of a small clique over the proletariat and the whole Russian people) is merely a new instance of an old historical experience which has repeated itself countless times. This new ruling class, which to-day is rapidly growing into a new aristocracy, is set apart from the great masses of the Russian peasants and workers just as clearly as are the privileged castes and classes in other countries from the mass of the people. And this situation becomes still more unbearable when a despotic state denies to the lower classes the right to complain of existing conditions, so that any protest is made at the risk of their lives. But even a far greater degree of economic equality than that which exists in Russia would be no guarantee against political and social oppression. Economic equality alone is not social liberation. It is precisely this which all the schools of authoritarian Socialism have never understood. In the prison, in the cloister, or in the barracks one finds a fairly high degree of economic equality, as all the inmates are provided with the same dwelling, the same food, the same uniform, and the same tasks. The ancient Inca state in Peru and the Jesuit state in Paraguay had brought equal economic provision for every inhabitant to a fixed system, but in spite of this the vilest despotism prevailed there, and the human being was merely the automaton of a higher will on whose decisions he had not the slightest influence. It was not without reason that Proudhon saw in a "Socialism" without freedom the worst form of slavery. The urge for social justice can only develop properly and be effective when it grows out of man's sense of freedom and responsibility, and is based upon it. In other words, Socialism will be free or it will not be at all. In its recognition of this fact lies the genuine and profound justification of Anarchism.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism)
A sex worker who is living precariously or in poverty, who is at risk of criminalization or police violence, or who is being exploited by a manager or lacks negotiating power is not likely to be particularly 'sex positive' at work. These factors are structural, not a function of the worker's state of enlightenment.
Molly Smith (Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights)
Gay rights aren't predicated on being born gay or having the right gene. Gay rights are predicated on having choice and consent. If you're a man and you can find another man that consents to have sex with you, it's the consent that gives you the right to have sex with him. Genetics are irrelevant when it comes to sexual rights. Just as gay rights are based on choice and consent, so are prostitution rights. All sexual rights are based on choice and consent.
Chester Brown (Paying for It)
To the RKO motion picture camera at her 100th birthday party: “I pray for the day when working men and women are able to earn a fair share of the wealth they produce in a capitalist system, a day when all Americans are able to enjoy the freedom, rights and opportunities guaranteed them by the Constitution of the United States of America.” — Mother Jones
Jerry Ash (Hellraiser—Mother Jones: An Historical Novel)
At the end of the day, we supported globalization because we wanted to be able to buy cheaper computers, cheaper vehicles, cheaper clothes and cheaper furniture. Wal-Mart parking lots were jammed with North American workers buying bargain-basement-priced goods made in China even if in the process they were shopping themselves right out of their own jobs.
Jeff Rubin (Why Your World Is about to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization)
You know there are some people, like Matthew and Mrs. Allen, that you can love right off without any trouble. And there are others, like Mrs. Lynde, that you have to try very hard to love. You know you ought to love them because they know so much and are such active workers in the church, but you have to keep reminding yourself of it all the time or else you forget.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
Be patient. Changes that alter the structure of power and widen opportunity require years of hard work, as those who toiled for the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, or have been working for the rights of the disabled and gays, would tell you. It took thirty years of continuous fulmination for women to get the right to vote; fifty years of agitation before employers were required to bargain with unionized workers. Those who benefit from the prevailing allocation of power and wealth don’t give up their privileged positions without a fight, and they usually have more resources at their disposal than the insurgents. Take satisfaction from small victories, but don’t be discouraged or fall into cynicism. And don’t allow yourself to burn out. I
Robert B. Reich (Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix them)
During the cold war, the anticommunist ideological framework could transform any data about existing communist societies into hostile evidence. If the Soviets refused to negotiate a point, they were intransigent and belligerent; if they appeared willing to make concessions, this was but a skillful ploy to put us off our guard. By opposing arms limitations, they would have demonstrated their aggressive intent; but when in fact they supported most armament treaties, it was because they were mendacious and manipulative. If the churches in the USSR were empty, this demonstrated that religion was suppressed; but if the churches were full, this meant the people were rejecting the regime's atheistic ideology. If the workers went on strike (as happened on infrequent occasions), this was evidence of their alienation from the collectivist system; if they didn't go on strike, this was because they were intimidated and lacked freedom. A scarcity of consumer goods demonstrated the failure of the economic system; an improvement in consumer supplies meant only that the leaders were attempting to placate a restive population and so maintain a firmer hold over them. If communists in the United States played an important role struggling for the rights of workers, the poor, African-Americans, women, and others, this was only their guileful way of gathering support among disfranchised groups and gaining power for themselves. How one gained power by fighting for the rights of powerless groups was never explained. What we are dealing with is a nonfalsifiable orthodoxy, so assiduously marketed by the ruling interests that it affected people across the entire political spectrum.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
Someone asked why do you want a homestead? To be independent, get out of the rat race, support local businesses, buy only American made. Stop buying stuff I don't need to impress people I don't like. Right now I am working in a big warehouse, for a major online supplier. The stuff is crap all made somewhere else in the world where they don't have child labor laws, where the workers labor fourteen- to sixteen-hour days without meals or bathroom breaks. There is one million square feet in this warehouse packed with stuff that won't last a month. It is all going to a landfill. This company has hundreds of warehouses. Our economy is built on the backs of slaves we keep in other countries, like China, India, Mexico, any third world country with a cheap labor force where we don't have to seem them but where we can enjoy the fruits of their labor. This American Corp. is probably the biggest slave owner in the world.
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
The more ardently I see humanity as a glorious abstract that must conform to my ideal of how the world should be, the harder it is for me to love the person on the other side of the picket line who is holding up progress. I can love the downtrodden in the abstract, but as I shivered under the bridge that night with Jorge, I realized that it's harder to love the illegal immigrant with the bottle-slashed face and the body unwashed for weeks, the workers gathering to eat day-old bread and chicken and rice out of foam containers, the crowd of thousands clamoring for bread and fish and healing, the unclean woman hoping to touch the hem of the Savior's robe.
Alisa Harris (Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics)
(one study found that 88 percent of the loss of US manufacturing jobs between 2006 and 2013 was due to automation and related factors),69 it is easy to blame trade with other countries for hollowing out industrial towns and throwing workers onto the unemployment line.
Max Boot (The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right)
In a fusion coalition, our most directly affected members would always speak to the issue closest to their own hearts. But they would never speak alone. When workers spoke up for the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining, the civil rights community would be there with them. And when civil rights leaders petitioned for the expansion of voting rights for people of color, white workers would stand with them. Again,
William J. Barber II (The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement)
Women don't always want the right things in a man. And men don't have even an idea of what they want," she said. "Why, one minute their bodies tell them they want a wild woman that makes their blood rush. The next minute their good sense reminds them that they need a hard worker who is sturdy enough to help plow the field and birth the babies. They want a woman who'll mind their word and not be giving no jawing. But they also want a gal they can complain to when they are scared and unsure and who's smart enough to talk clear about the things goin' on." "So the wife has to be all those things?" "No, the wife is none of them," the old woman answered. "The wife is a wife and no further definition is necessary." Granny leaned forward in her chair to look more closely at Meggie. "Roe Farley married you and you were his wife. Nothing further even need to be said." Her face flushing with embarrassment, she glanced away. "But he doesn't... he didn't love me." "And did you think he would?" Momentarily Meggie was taken aback. "Well, yes." "Lord Almighty, child," Granny said. "Love ain't something that heaven hands out like good teeth or keen eyesight. Love is something two people make together." Shaking her head, the old woman leaned back in her chair once more and tapped on her pipe. "Love, oh, my, it starts out simple and scary with all that heavy breathing and in the bed sharing," she said. "You a-trembling when he runs his hands acrost your skin, him screaming out your name when he gets in the short rows. That's the easy part, Meggie. Every day thereafter it gets harder. The more you know him, the more he knows you, the longer you are a part of each other, the stronger the love is and the tougher it is to have it.
Pamela Morsi (Marrying Stone (Tales from Marrying Stone, #1))
I am noticing a big difference in the way the hospital workers are looking at me as I approach Jess’s room. The look of sincere sympathy that used to be on their faces when they made eye contact with me is gone. It has been replaced by shear helplessness as they quickly walk past me with their heads tilted down and to the right. I feel like Bud Fox walking into his office with the Securities and Exchange Commission awaiting him.
JohnA Passaro (6 Minutes Wrestling With Life (Every Breath Is Gold #1))
It's all very well to rail against human rights violations or the absence of democracy, but when there's a need to vaccinate children, supply drinkable water, care for the wounded, you'd better step up. No matter what the host government is like. We're aid workers. Not politicians. We serve human beings, not legal or political causes. If we can make a contribution to a cause, so be it, but not at the expense of our primary mission.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
MY BOSS SENDS me home because of all the dried blood on my pants, and I am overjoyed. The hole punched through my cheek doesn’t ever heal. I’m going to work, and my punched-out eye sockets are two swollen-up black bagels around the little piss holes I have left to see through. Until today, it really pissed me off that I’d become this totally centered Zen Master and nobody had noticed. Still, I’m doing the little FAX thing. I write little HAIKU things and FAX them around to everyone. When I pass people in the hall at work, I get totally ZEN right in everyone’s hostile little FACE. Worker bees can leave Even drones can fly away The queen is their slave You give up all your worldly possessions and your car and go live in a rented house in the toxic waste part of town where late at night, you can hear Marla and Tyler in his room, calling each other hum; butt wipe. Take it, human butt wipe. Do it, butt wipe. Choke it down. Keep it down, baby. Just by contrast, this makes me the calm little center of the world. Me, with my punched-out eyes and dried blood in big black crusty stains on my pants, I’m saying HELLO to everybody at work. HELLO! Look at me. HELLO! I am so ZEN. This is BLOOD. This is NOTHING. Hello. Everything is nothing, and it’s so cool to be ENLIGHTENED. Like me. Sigh. Look. Outside the window. A bird. My boss asked if the blood was my blood. The bird flies downwind. I’m writing a little haiku in my head. Without just one nest A bird can call the world home Life is your career I’m counting on my fingers: five, seven, five. The blood, is it mine? Yeah, I say. Some of it. This is a wrong answer.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
You could choose to live in either America or Denmark. In high-tax Denmark, your disposable income after taxes and transfers would be around $15,000 lower than in the States. But in return for your higher tax bill, you would get universal health care (one with better outcomes than in the US), free education right up through the best graduate schools, worker retraining programs on which the state spends seventeen times more as a percentage of GDP than what is spent in America, as well as high-quality infrastructure, mass transit, and many beautiful public parks and other spaces. Danes also enjoy some 550 more hours of leisure time a year than Americans do. If the choice were put this way—you can take the extra $15,000 but have to work longer hours, take fewer vacation days, and fend for yourself on health care, education, retraining, and transport—I think most Americans would choose the Danish model.
Fareed Zakaria (Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World)
Capitalism is a bad idea. Imagine if we start a society on an uninhabited tropical island, and I propose that the people who do all the work will be paid as little as possible while the people who don’t do anything but own stocks will have more money than they could possibly spend in their lifetimes. You would all be looking at each other and shaking your heads. “Wait, wait, hear me out,” I might say. “We’ll also treat air, water, plants, minerals, and other animals as objects to be exploited even more ruthlessly than workers!” Now you’d slowly back away because there’s obviously something not right with me, even as I continue on: “Wait, don’t go! We can maintain peace by creating massively destructive weapons and violent prisons. Why is everybody leaving?
Danny Katch (Socialism . . . Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation)
As a pregnant urologist,… I was often asked by hospital workers and physicians if I was going to circumcise the baby. I always answered a simple “no” immediately, without adding the unnecessary caveat that I already knew I was carrying a girl. Knowing that in some parts of the world circumcising girls (female genital mutilation) is as common a practice as circumcising boys, I wanted to use this to spark rethinking every chance I had. When the questioner would find out I knew I was having a girl and tried to use that to explain my choice to not circumcise, I told them, “I wouldn’t circumcise if the child were a boy, either.
Adrienne Carmack (Reclaiming My Birth Rights)
Lauren's eyes widened.An entire page had been devoted to the Children's Hospital Benefit Ball.In the center was a color picture of her-with Nick. They were dancing, and he was grinning down at her. Lauren's face was in profile, tilted up to his. The caption read, "Detroit industrialist J. Nicholas Sinclair and companion." "It does look like me, doesn't it?" she hedged, glancing at the excited, avidly curious faces surrounding her desk. "Isn't that an amazing coincidence?" She didn't want her relationship with Nick to be public knowledge until the time was right, and she certainly didn't want her co-workers to treat her any differently. "You mean it isn't you?" one of the women said disappointedly. None of them noticed the sudden lull, the silence sweeping over the office as people stopped talking and typewriters went perfectly still... "Good morning, ladies," Nick's deep voice said behind Lauren. Six stunned women snapped to attention, staring in fascinated awe as Nick leaned over Lauren from behind and braced his hands on her desk. "Hi," he said, his lips so near her ear that Lauren was afraid to turn her head for fear he would kiss her in front of everyone. He glanced at the newspaper spread out on her desk. "You look beautiful, but who's that ugly guy you're dancing with?" Without waiting for an answer, he straightened, affectionately rumpled the hair on the top of her head and strolled into Jim's office, closing the door behind him. Lauren felt like sinking throught the floor in embarrassment. Susan Brook raised her brows. "What an amazing coincidence," she teased.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Those who speak of harmony and consensus should beware of what one might call the industrial chaplain view of reality. The idea, roughly speaking, is that there are greedy bosses on one side and belligerent workers on the other, while in the middle, as the very incarnation of reason, equity and moderation, stands the decent, soft-spoken, liberal-minded chaplain who tries selflessly to bring the two warring parties together. But why should the middle always be the most sensible place to stand? Why do we tend to see ourselves as in the middle and other people as on the extremes? After all, one person’s moderation is another’s extremism. People don’t go around calling themselves a fanatic, any more than they go around calling themselves Pimply. Would one also seek to reconcile slaves and slave masters, or persuade native peoples to complain only moderately about those who are plotting their extermination? What is the middle ground between racism and anti-racism?
Terry Eagleton (Why Marx Was Right)
him. The government of the United States, he said, was willing to send armed forces halfway around the world for a cause which was incomprehensible, but it was unwilling to send marshals into Mississippi, though asked again and again, to protect civil rights workers from inevitable violence. And now three of them were dead.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
Let nobody give you the impression that the problem of racial injustice will work itself out. Let nobody give you the impression that only time will solve the problem. That is a myth, and it is a myth because time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively. And I’m absolutely convinced that the people of ill will in our nation—the extreme rightists—the forces committed to negative ends—have used time much more effectively than the people of good will. It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic works and violent actions of the bad people who bomb a church in Birmingham, Alabama, or shoot down a civil rights worker in Selma, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.” Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals. Without this hard work, time becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right.
Jim Wallis (America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America)
Many workers in the petrochemical plants were conservative Republicans and avid hunters and fishers and felt caught in a terrible bind. They loved their magnificent wilderness. They remembered it as children. They knew it and respect it as sportsmen. But their jobs were in industries that polluted--often legally--this same wilderness.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
The black mother perceives destruction at every door, ruination at each window, and even she herself is not beyond her own suspicion. She questions whether she loves her children enough- or more terribly, does she love them too much? Do her looks cause embarrassment- or even terrifying, is she so attractive her sons begin to desire her and her daughters begin to hate her. If she is unmarried, the challenges are increased. Her singleness indicates she has rejected or has been rejected by her mate. Yet she is raising children who will become mates. Beyond her door, all authority is in the hands of people who do not look or think or act like her children. Teachers, doctors, sales, clerks, policemen, welfare workers who are white and exert control over her family’s moods, conditions and personality, yet within the home, she must display a right to rule which at any moment, by a knock at the door, or a ring in the telephone, can be exposed as false. In the face of this contradictions she must provide a blanket of stability, which warms but does not suffocate, and she must tell her children the truth about the power of white power without suggesting that it cannot be challenged.
Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)
We do not want to rob any one of his coat, but we wish to give to the workers all those things the lack of which makes them fall an easy prey to the exploiter, and we will do our utmost that none shall lack aught, that not a single man shall be forced to sell the strength of his right arm to obtain a bare subsistence for himself and his babes.
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread)
Deprived of his trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike, the German worker in the Third Reich became an industrial serf, bound to his master, the employer, much as medieval peasants had been bound to the lord of the manor. The so-called Labor Front, which in theory replaced the old trade unions, did not represent the worker.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
Kim Jong Il, incidentally, has been made head of the party and of the army, but the office of the presidency is still 'eternally' held by his adored and departed dad, who died on July 8, 1994, at 82. (The Kim is dead. Long live the Kim.) This makes North Korea the only state in the world with a dead president. What would be the right term for this? A necrocracy? A thanatocracy? A mortocracy? A mausolocracy? Anyway, grimly appropriate for a morbid system so many of whose children have died with grass in their mouths.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Imagine the case of someone supervising an exceptional team of workers, all of them striving towards a collectively held goal; imagine them hardworking, brilliant, creative and unified. But the person supervising is also responsible for someone troubled, who is performing poorly, elsewhere. In a fit of inspiration, the well-meaning manager moves that problematic person into the midst of his stellar team, hoping to improve him by example. What happens?—and the psychological literature is clear on this point.64 Does the errant interloper immediately straighten up and fly right? No. Instead, the entire team degenerates. The newcomer remains cynical, arrogant and neurotic. He complains. He shirks. He misses important meetings. His low-quality work causes delays, and must be redone by others. He still gets paid, however, just like his teammates. The hard workers who surround him start to feel betrayed. “Why am I breaking myself into pieces striving to finish this project,” each thinks, “when my new team member never breaks a sweat?” The same thing happens when well-meaning counsellors place a delinquent teen among comparatively civilized peers. The delinquency spreads, not the stability.65 Down is a lot easier than up.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Bah! Do you think the poor people of the barrio pay for the upkeep of the Church? No! Wealth flows from wealth! And sources of wealth need stability to exist! And the Church provides stability! We teach the poor how to bear their burden; they are promised the kingdom of heaven, which is far more important than the little gains your strike would make …
Rudolfo Anaya (Heart of Aztlan)
There are people whom a lowered position degrades morally, to whom loss of connection costs loss of self-respect: are not these justified in placing the highest value on that station and association which is their safeguard from debasement? If a man feels that he would become contemptible in his own eyes were it generally known that his ancestry were simple and not gentle, poor and not rich, workers and not capitalists, would it be right severely to blame him for keeping these fatal facts out of sight--for starting, trembling, quailing at the chance which threatens exposure? The longer we live, the more our experience widens; the less prone are we to judge our neighbor's conduct, to question the world's wisdom: wherever an accumulation of small defences is found, whether surrounding the prude's virtue or the man of the world's respectability, there, be sure, it is needed.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
was a female Palestinian suicide bomber clutching a rifle in one hand and her little son in the other. This, it seemed, was the state’s only vision of gender equality. Ahmadinejad instituted separate elevators for men and women in government buildings, and he fired swaths of municipal workers who were not religious or devoted enough to his ideology. Tehran
Shirin Ebadi (Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran)
Full citizenship rights are the bare minimum one should expect from the government. Yet, for two-thirds of our history, full citizenship was denied to those who built this country from theory to life. African slaves and Chinese workers and Native American environmentalists and Latino gauchos and Irish farmers—and half the population: women. Over the course of our history, these men and women, these patriots and defenders of liberty, have been denied the most profound currency of citizenship: power. Because, let’s be honest, that is the core of this fight. The right to be seen, the right to be heard, the right to direct the course of history are markers of power. In the United States, democracy makes politics one of the key levers to exercising power. So, it should shock none of us that the struggle for dominion over our nation’s future and who will participate is simply a battle for American power.
Stacey Abrams (Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America)
Some years ago, after the disappearance of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwirner in Mississippi, some friends of mine were dragging the rivers for their bodies. This one wasn’t Schwirner. This one wasn’t Goodman. This one wasn’t Chaney. Then, as Dave Dennis tells it, “It suddenly struck us—what difference did it make that it wasn’t them? What are these bodies doing in the river?” That was nineteen years ago. The questions has not been answered, and I dare you to go digging in the bayou. —James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1985
Christopher Hitchens (No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton)
Next day Tarrou set to work and enrolled a first team of workers, soon to be followed by many others. However, it is not the narrator's intention to ascribe to these sanitary groups more importance than their due. Doubtless today many of our fellow citizens are apt to yield to the temptation of exaggerating the services they rendered. But the narrator is inclined to think that by attributing overimportance to praiseworthy actions one may, by implication, be paying indirect but potent homage to the worse side of human nature. For this attitude implies that such actions shine out as rare exceptions, while callousness and apathy are the general rule. The narrator does not share that view. The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.
Albert Camus (The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays)
And so, because business leadership is still so dominated by men, modern workplaces are riddled with these kind of gaps, from doors that are too heavy for the average woman to open with ease, to glass stairs and lobby floors that mean anyone below can see up your skirt, to paving that’s exactly the right size to catch your heels. Small, niggling issues that aren’t the end of the world, granted, but that nevertheless irritate. Then there’s the standard office temperature. The formula to determine standard office temperature was developed in the 1960s around the metabolic resting rate of the average forty-year-old, 70 kg man.1 But a recent study found that ‘the metabolic rate of young adult females performing light office work is significantly lower’ than the standard values for men doing the same type of activity. In fact, the formula may overestimate female metabolic rate by as much as 35%, meaning that current offices are on average five degrees too cold for women. Which leads to the odd sight of female office workers wrapped up in blankets in the New York summer while their male colleagues wander around in summer clothes.2
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
A shrew, a wife, a whore. Those seemed to be my choices. I ask any man reading this, how could you decide whether to be a villain, a worker, or a plaything? A man would refuse to choose; a man would have that right. But I had only three words to choose from, and which of them was happiness? All I wanted was love. A simple thing, a timeless thing. When men want love they sing for it, or smile for it, or pay for it. And what do women do? They choose. And their lives are struck like bronze medallions. So tell me, gentlemen, tell me the time and place where it was easy to be a woman?
Andrew Sean Greer (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells)
Prostitution isn't illegal to protect women. Prostitutes would be much safer if it was legal. It's illegal to protect men. Men are addicted to sex. Sex is like heroin to men. If all women were allowed to charge admission to their pussy, they would have total control over men and it would cause a giant wealth transfer. Men would go broke and women would end up with all the money and power.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
Welcome to the real-life experience of “knowledge work,” and a profound operational principle: you have to think about your stuff more than you realize but not as much as you’re afraid you might. As Peter Drucker wrote: “In knowledge work . . . the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results from this work?’ is . . . the key question in making knowledge workers productive. And it is a question that demands risky decisions. There is usually no right answer; there are choices instead. And results have to be clearly specified, if productivity is to be achieved.”*
David Allen (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity)
Terry took the silence as acquiescence, “The other way to make money is to exploit people, oh, no sorry, that’s the ‘only’ way to make money, exploit other people, that’s how the billionaires have acquired all their money by exploiting others… So how did they achieve it? You’re going to love this… they changed all the rules to accommodate what they wanted to do. How I hear you ask… easy, they own the politicians, they own the banks, they own industry and they own everything. They made it easier for themselves to invest in so called emerging markets. What once would’ve been considered treasonous was now considered virtuous. Instead of building up the nation state and its resources, all of its resources, including its people, they concentrated on building up their profits. That’s all they did. They invested in parts of the world where children could be worked for 12 hours a day 7 days a week, where grown men and women could be treated like slaves and all for a pittance and they did this because we here in the west had made it illegal to work children, because we’d abolished slavery, because we had fought for workers’ rights, for a minimum wage, for a 40 hr week, for pensions, for the right to retire, for a free NHS, for free education, all of these things were getting in the way of them making a quick and easy profit and worse …had been making us feel we were worth something.
Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
It's fun to think that one day our great, great grandchildren may get that much closer to understanding what the hell creation is doing here in the first place, and glimpsing the underlying structure and nature of matter itself. Hopefully they won't live with the same existential horrors we all quietly face today in our own lives.    There is a kind of bravery to our condition, I reckon: brought into being without an explanation, in a potentially infinite and apparently dead universe, and expected to just get on with it as though nothing strange is going on. Well it fucking is. And it's all right to have a meltdown about the whole affair from time to time, faced with the pressures of modern existence, trying to be a good human and a good worker and a good son/daughter/parent, trying to be a good citizen, trying to be wise without condescension but uninhibited without recklessness, trying to just muddle through without making any silly decisions, trying to align with the correct political opinions, trying to stay thin, trying to be attractive, trying to be smart, trying to find the ideal partner, trying to stay financially secure, trying to just find some modest corner of meaning and belonging and sanity to go and sit in, and all the while living on the edge of dying forever.    We're all in the same strange boat, grappling with the same strange condition. But it isn't quite so scary if we all do it together. So let's do it together.
Exurb1a (The Prince of Milk)
Did you ever think much about jobs? I mean, some of the jobs people land in? You see a guy giving haircuts to dogs, or maybe going along the curb with a shovel, scooping up horse manure. And you think, now why is the silly bastard doing that? He looks fairly bright, about as bright as anyone else. Why the hell does he do that for living? You kind grin and look down your nose at him. You think he’s nuts, know what I mean, or he doesn’t have any ambition. And then you take a good look at yourself, and you stop wondering about the other guy… You’ve got all your hands and feet. Your health is okay, and you make a nice appearance, and ambition-man! You’ve got it. You’re young, I guess: you’d call thirty young, and you’re strong. You don’t have much education, but you’ve got more than plenty of other people who go to the top. And yet with all that, with all you’ve had to do with this is as far you’ve got And something tellys you, you’re not going much farther if any. And there is nothing to be done about it now, of course, but you can’t stop hoping. You can’t stop wondering… …Maybe you had too much ambition. Maybe that was the trouble. You couldn’t see yourself spending forty years moving from office boy to president. So you signed on with a circulation crew; you worked the magazines from one coast to another. And then you ran across a little brush deal-it sounded nice, anyway. And you worked that until you found something better, something that looked better. And you moved from that something to another something. Coffee-and-tea premiums, dinnerware, penny-a-day insurance, photo coupons, cemetery lots, hosiery, extract, and God knows what all. You begged for the charities, You bought the old gold. You went back to the magazines and the brushes and the coffee and tea. You made good money, a couple of hundred a week sometimes. But when you averaged it up, the good weeks with the bad, it wasn’t so good. Fifty or sixty a week, maybe seventy. More than you could make, probably, behind agas pump or a soda fountain. But you had to knock yourself out to do it, and you were standing stil. You were still there at the starting place. And you weren’t a kid any more. So you come to this town, and you see this ad. Man for outside sales and collections. Good deal for hard worker. And you think maybe this is it. This sounds like a right town. So you take the job, and you settle down in the town. And, of course, neither one of ‘em is right, they’re just like all the others. The job stinks. The town stinks. You stink. And there’s not a goddamned thing you can do about it. All you can do is go on like this other guys go on. The guy giving haircuts to dogs, and the guy sweeping up horse manute Hating it. Hating yourself. And hoping.
Jim Thompson (A Hell of a Woman)
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
Guy goes to the doc, and he says, ‘Doc, you gotta help me. I got this terrible headache. It feels like somebody is pounding a nail through my forehead. Like I got a big pair of pliers squeezing behind my ears. It’s tension from my job. I can’t stop working right now, but the headache’s killing me. You gotta help.’ So the doc says, ‘You know, I do have a cure. Exactly the same thing happened to me—I was working too much, and I got exactly the same headache. Then one night I was performing oral sex on my wife, and her legs were squeezing my head really tight, really hard, and the pressure must have done something, because the headache was a lot better. So I did this every night for two weeks, and at the end of two weeks, the headache was gone.’ And the guy says, ‘I’m desperate, Doc, I’ll try anything.’ The doc said, ‘Well, then, I’ll see you in two weeks.’ So the guy goes away, and two weeks later he comes back for his appointment and he’s the most cheerful guy in the world. And he says, ‘Doc, you’re a miracle worker. I did just what you told me, and the headache’s gone. Vanished. I feel great. I think it’s got to be the pressure, and—by the way, you’ve got a beautiful home.
John Sandford (Easy Prey (Lucas Davenport, #11))
According to Wal-Mart expert Bob Ortega, Sam Walton got the idea for the cheer on a 1975 trip to Japan, “where he was deeply impressed by factory workers doing group calisthenics and company cheers.” Ortega describes Walton conducting a cheer: “‘Gimme a W!’ he’d shout. ‘W!’ the workers would shout back, and on through the Wal-Mart name. At the hyphen, Walton would shout ‘Gimme a squiggly!’ and squat and twist his hips at the same time; the workers would squiggle right back
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America)
[Free trade agreements] are trade agreements that don't stick to trade…they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce. That is exactly the reverse of how democratic societies have progressed, because over the decades they've progressed by subordinating the profiteering priorities of companies to, say, higher environmental health standards; abolition of child labor; the right of workers to have fair worker standards…and it's this subordination of these three major categories that affect people's lives, labor, environment, the consumer, to the supremacy and domination of trade; where instead of trade getting on its knees and showing that it doesn't harm consumers - it doesn't deprive the important pharmaceuticals because of drug company monopolies, it doesn't damage the air and water and soil and food (environmentally), and it doesn't lacerate the rights of workers - no, it's just the opposite: it's workers and consumers and environments that have to kneel before this giant pedestal of commercial trade and prove that they are not, in a whole variety of ways, impeding international commerce…so this is the road to dictatorial devolution of democratic societies: because these trade agreements have the force of law, they've got enforcement teeth, and they bypass national courts, national regulatory agencies, in ways that really reflect a massive, silent, mega-corporate coup d'etat…that was pulled off in the mid-1990's.
Ralph Nader
American capitalism is derided for its superficial banality, yet it has unleashed profound, convulsive social change. Condemned as mindless materialism, it has burst loose a flood tide of spiritual yearning. The civil rights movement and the sexual revolution, environmentalism and feminism, the fitness and health-care boom and the opening of the gay closet, the withering of censorship and the rise of a “creative class” of “knowledge workers” – all are the progeny of widespread prosperity.
Brink Lindsey (The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture)
A man opposite me shifted his feet, accidentally brushing his foot against mine. It was a gentle touch, barely noticeable, but the man immediately reached out to touch my knee and then his own chest with the fingertips of his right hand, in the Indian gesture of apology for an unintended offence. In the carriage and the corridor beyond, the other passengers were similarly respectful, sharing, and solicitous with one another. At first, on that first journey out of the city into India, I found such sudden politeness infuriating after the violent scramble to board the train. It seemed hypocritical for them to show such deferential concern over a nudge with a foot when, minutes before, they'd all but pushed one another out of the windows. Now, long years and many journeys after that first ride on a crowded rural train, I know that the scrambled fighting and courteous deference were both expressions of the one philosophy: the doctrine of necessity. The amount of force and violence necessary to board the train, for example, was no less and no more than the amount of politeness and consideration necessary to ensure that the cramped journey was as pleasant as possible afterwards. What is necessary! That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accommodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangladesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its own. The real hypocrisy, I came to realise, was in the eyes and minds and criticisms of those who came from lands of plenty, where none had to fight for a seat on a train. Even on that first train ride, I knew in my heart that Didier had been right when he'd compared India and its billion souls to France. I had an intuition, echoing his thought, that if there were a billion Frenchmen or Australians or Americans living in such a small space, the fighting to board the train would be much more, and the courtesy afterwards much less. And in truth, the politeness and consideration shown by the peasant farmers, travelling salesmen, itinerant workers, and returning sons and fathers and husbands did make for an agreeable journey, despite the cramped conditions and relentlessly increasing heat. Every available centimetre of seating space was occupied, even to the sturdy metal luggage racks over our heads. The men in the corridor took turns to sit or squat on a section of floor that had been set aside and cleaned for the purpose. Every man felt the press of at least two other bodies against his own. Yet there wasn't a single display of grouchiness or bad temper
Gregory David Roberts
So, Mr. Shane, you felt you had the right to come down here and bespoil my crime scene because …” He raised his eyebrows, waiting for an answer. “I thought he might need assistance,” Shane lied. “And the untoward angle of his neck did not tell you that he was beyond any earthly assistance you might render?” “I’m not a doctor, sir,” Shane said. “Neither are you a miracle worker, son,” Xavier said. “Should you find any other bodies in my jurisdiction, you will refrain from attempting to raise them from the dead.
Jennifer Crusie (Agnes and the Hitman)
The next time you drive into a Walmart parking lot, pause for a second to note that this Walmart—like the more than five thousand other Walmarts across the country—costs taxpayers about $1 million in direct subsidies to the employees who don’t earn enough money to pay for an apartment, buy food, or get even the most basic health care for their children. In total, Walmart benefits from more than $7 billion in subsidies each year from taxpayers like you. Those “low, low prices” are made possible by low, low wages—and by the taxes you pay to keep those workers alive on their low, low pay. As I said earlier, I don’t think that anyone who works full-time should live in poverty. I also don’t think that bazillion-dollar companies like Walmart ought to funnel profits to shareholders while paying such low wages that taxpayers must pick up the ticket for their employees’ food, shelter, and medical care. I listen to right-wing loudmouths sound off about what an outrage welfare is and I think, “Yeah, it stinks that Walmart has been sucking up so much government assistance for so long.” But somehow I suspect that these guys aren’t talking about Walmart the Welfare Queen. Walmart isn’t alone. Every year, employers like retailers and fast-food outlets pay wages that are so low that the rest of America ponies up a collective $153 billion to subsidize their workers. That’s $153 billion every year. Anyone want to guess what we could do with that mountain of money? We could make every public college tuition-free and pay for preschool for every child—and still have tens of billions left over. We could almost double the amount we spend on services for veterans, such as disability, long-term care, and ending homelessness. We could double all federal research and development—everything: medical, scientific, engineering, climate science, behavioral health, chemistry, brain mapping, drug addiction, even defense research. Or we could more than double federal spending on transportation and water infrastructure—roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, dams and levees, water treatment plants, safe new water pipes. Yeah, the point I’m making is blindingly obvious. America could do a lot with the money taxpayers spend to keep afloat people who are working full-time but whose employers don’t pay a living wage. Of course, giant corporations know they have a sweet deal—and they plan to keep it, thank you very much. They have deployed armies of lobbyists and lawyers to fight off any efforts to give workers a chance to organize or fight for a higher wage. Giant corporations have used their mouthpiece, the national Chamber of Commerce, to oppose any increase in the minimum wage, calling it a “distraction” and a “cynical effort” to increase union membership. Lobbyists grow rich making sure that people like Gina don’t get paid more. The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
Studying history aims to loosen the grip of the past. It enables us to turn our head this way and that, and begin to notice possibilities that our ancestors could not imagine, or didn’t want us to imagine. By observing the accidental chain of events that led us here, we realise how our very thoughts and dreams took shape – and we can begin to think and dream differently. Studying history will not tell us what to choose, but at least it gives us more options. Movements seeking to change the world often begin by rewriting history, thereby enabling people to reimagine the future. Whether you want workers to go on a general strike, women to take possession of their bodies, or oppressed minorities to demand political rights – the first step is to retell their history. The new history will explain that ‘our present situation is neither natural nor eternal. Things were different once. Only a string of chance events created the unjust world we know today. If we act wisely, we can change that world, and create a much better one.’ This is why Marxists recount the history of capitalism; why feminists study the formation of patriarchal societies; and why African Americans commemorate the horrors of the slave trade. They aim not to perpetuate the past, but rather to be liberated from it.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Another blatant case of regress as part of the capitalist progress is the enormous rise of precarious work. Precarious work deprives workers of a whole series of rights that, till recently, were taken as self-evident in any country which perceived itself as a welfare state: precarious workers have to take care themselves of their health insurance and retirement options; there is no paid leave; the future becomes much more uncertain. Precarious work also generates an antagonism within the working class, between permanently employed and precarious workers (trade unions tend to privilege permanent workers; it is very difficult for precarious workers even to organize themselves into a union or to establish other forms of collective self-organization). One would have expected that this increasing exploitation would also strengthen workers’ resistance, but it renders resistance even more difficult, and the main reason for this is ideological: precarious work is presented (and up to a point even effectively experienced) as a new form of freedom – I am no longer just a cog in a complex enterprise but an entrepreneur-of-the-self, I am a boss of myself who freely manages my employment, free to choose new options, to explore different aspects of my creative potential, to choose my priorities
Slavoj Žižek (The Courage of Hopelessness: Chronicles of a Year of Acting Dangerously)
Using your wealth to purchase other people’s loyalty is a game as old as humanity itself. Rich men use their wealth to attract women, unscrupulous employers use material incentives and disincentives to manipulate their workers, and wealthy countries like the USA use their national wealth to keep their citizens loyal to the cause of aggressive and genocidal Imperialism. But historical longevity and common practice don’t make the manipulation or exploitation morally or ethically right. Organized religions are inherently POLITICAL organizations. There is a fundamental difference between the financial enterprise and political machinations of an organized religion versus a mass of independent unaffiliated believers, philosophers, and mystics who do not support any organized religion. Christianity and Islam are known as proselytizing religions because they make an organized and systemic effort to gain converts, and they often provide services, products, or employment to attract converts. Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism show far less zeal about gaining converts, which is why you almost never hear about Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist missionaries. Modern medical and nursing schools usually teach their students the moral principle that the provision of medical services should never be used as a means to proselytize or promote a religion, but that does not deter many Christian health care providers from doing exactly that. Most of the medical and charitable organizations based in Christian countries are fronts for Christian proselytizing activities.
Gregory F. Fegel
And out in the rural, when Mrs. Laura McGhee--who if she thought it necessary, sat on the porch with her Winchester rifle--permitted movement workers to use her farm outside Greenwood for a rally, the sheriff came to warn her against holding it. She told him that *he* was on *her* property, that *he* was trespassing and hadn't ever offered any protection from the terrorists who kept threatening to shoot up her farms, and that he therefore had nothing to offer her now and had better leave, get off her land. And the sheriff left.
Charles E. Cobb Jr. (This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible)
So many problems we will get to the bottom of later, but whose spatial aspect we must grasp right away. If the space of the industrial economy dominates the social space in which the Parisian worker or intellectual develops, to what extent could residential space, cultural space, or political space be planned without it being necessary to first intervene in economic structures?...In short...: to what extent can we freely build the framework for a social life in which we might be guided by our aspirations and not by our instincts?
Tom McDonough (The Situationists and the City: A Reader)
The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash. I spent two years traveling the country to write a book on the Christian Right called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I visited former manufacturing towns where for many the end of the world is no longer an abstraction. They have lost hope. Fear and instability have plunged the working classes into profound personal and economic despair, and, not surprisingly, into the arms of the demagogues and charlatans of the radical Christian Right who offer a belief in magic, miracles, and the fiction of a utopian Christian nation. And unless we rapidly re-enfranchise our dispossessed workers into the economy, unless we give them hope, our democracy is doomed.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
I looked it up and sure enough, she was right. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Well, that explained a lot of things. That explained why jails and prisons all over the country are filled to the brim with Black and Third World people, why so many Black people can’t find a job on the streets and are forced to survive the best way they know how. Once you’re in prison, there are plenty of jobs, and, if you don’t want to work, they beat you up and throw you in the hole. If every state had to pay workers to do the jobs prisoners are forced to do, the salaries would amount to billions. License plates alone would amount to millions.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
The only one of the early investigators who carried the exploration of hysteria to its logical conclusion was Breuer's patient Anna O. After Breuer abandoned her, she apparently remained ill for several years. And then she recovered. The mute hysteric who had invented the "talking cure" found her voice and her sanity, in the women's liberation movement. Under a pseudonym, Paul Berthold, she translated into German the classic treatise by Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, and authored a play, Women's Rights. Under her own name, Bertha Papenheim became a prominent feminist social worker, intellectual, and organizer. In the course of a long and fruitful career she directed an orphanage for girls, founded a feminist organization for Jewish women and traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East to campaign against the sexual exploitation of women and children. Her dedication, energy and commitment were legendary. In the words of a colleague, 'A volcano lived in this woman... Her fight against the abuse of women and children was almost a physically felt pain for her.' At her death, the philosopher Martin Buber commemorated her: 'I not only admired her but loved her, and will love her until the day I die. There are people of spirit and there are people of passion, both less common than one might think. Rarer still are the people of spirit and passion. But rarest of all is a passionate spirit. Bertha Pappenheim was a woman with just such a spirit.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
We worked so hard,” [Joan Blondell] said, “and hardly ever had a day off . . . Saturday was a working day and we usually worked right into Sunday morning.” Joan’s good nature may have worked against her in the long run. While fellow Warner Brothers workers Bette Davis, James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland and Humphrey Bogart fought like lions for better roles and more creative input, Joan took things in stride, at least through the early 1930s. “I just sailed through things, took the scripts I was given, did what I was told. I couldn’t afford to go on suspension—my family needed what I could make.
Eve Golden (Bride of Golden Images)
I worked in construction management and I don’t think construction workers are always honoured in the way they deserve. Barring natural disasters, a house or a 50-storey building is going to remain standing until it’s demolished, and that’s irrespective of the quality of craftsmanship. But the aesthetic qualities of good bricks will never be appreciated unless the workmanship is of the highest standard. Whether it’s writing, cooking or bricklaying, quality of workmanship will always be the determining factor as to whether or not the finished product turns out mediocre or really exceptional. The choice of brick - just like the choice of words or spices - may well have a large bearing on the aesthetics of a new build, be it a large housing estate or just an ordinary garden wall but put the trowel in the right hands and poor-quality bricks can be made to look much better than they really are.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
Notably, Tennessee is known as a “Right to Work” state, which, despite having the ring of a guaranteed job, is a phrase that refers to laws that ensure workers are not required to pay union fees as a condition of their employment. The “Right to Work” movement was initiated in Southern states as a way of weakening union control and, in doing so, luring factory jobs from the Rust Belt. Studies have shown that workers in “Right to Work” states tend to have lower wages, inferior health insurance, and inferior pension programs when compared to workers in states that do not have “Right to Work” laws.75
Marc Lamont Hill (Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond)
The split has widened because the right has moved right, not because the left has moved left. Republican presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford all supported the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1960, the GOP platform embraced "free collective bargaining" between management and labor. REpublicans boasted of "extending the minimum wage to several million more workers" and "strengthening the unemployment insurance system and extension of its benefits." Under Dwight Eisenhower, top earners were taxed at 91 percent; in 2015, it was 40 percent. Planned Parenthood has come under serious attack from nearly all Republican presidential candidates running in 2016. Yet a founder of the organization was Peggy Goldwater, wife of the 1968 conservative Republican candidate for president Barry Goldwater. General Eisenhower called for massive invenstment in infrastructure, and now nearly all congressional Republicans see such a thing as frightening government overreach. Ronald Reagan raised the national debt and favored gun control, and now the Republican state legislature of Texas authorizes citizens to "open carry" loaded guns into churches and banks. Conservatives of yesterday seem moderate or liberal today.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
These liberals were prey, typically made vulnerable by their misplaced trust in the far left. They mistakenly saw American Communists as their friends and as simply another group of citizens practicing civil liberties in a democratic society based on First Amendment freedoms. Most liberals, obviously, were not themselves Communists, but in sharing the left portion of the ideological spectrum, they shared with the Communists many key sympathies: workers’ rights, the redistribution of wealth, an expansive federal government, a favoring of the public sector over the private sector, class-based rhetoric (often demagoguery)
Paul Kengor (Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century)
One of my greatest fears is family decline.There’s an old Chinese saying that “prosperity can never last for three generations.” I’ll bet that if someone with empirical skills conducted a longitudinal survey about intergenerational performance, they’d find a remarkably common pattern among Chinese immigrants fortunate enough to have come to the United States as graduate students or skilled workers over the last fifty years. The pattern would go something like this: • The immigrant generation (like my parents) is the hardest-working. Many will have started off in the United States almost penniless, but they will work nonstop until they become successful engineers, scientists, doctors, academics, or businesspeople. As parents, they will be extremely strict and rabidly thrifty. (“Don’t throw out those leftovers! Why are you using so much dishwasher liquid?You don’t need a beauty salon—I can cut your hair even nicer.”) They will invest in real estate. They will not drink much. Everything they do and earn will go toward their children’s education and future. • The next generation (mine), the first to be born in America, will typically be high-achieving. They will usually play the piano and/or violin.They will attend an Ivy League or Top Ten university. They will tend to be professionals—lawyers, doctors, bankers, television anchors—and surpass their parents in income, but that’s partly because they started off with more money and because their parents invested so much in them. They will be less frugal than their parents. They will enjoy cocktails. If they are female, they will often marry a white person. Whether male or female, they will not be as strict with their children as their parents were with them. • The next generation (Sophia and Lulu’s) is the one I spend nights lying awake worrying about. Because of the hard work of their parents and grandparents, this generation will be born into the great comforts of the upper middle class. Even as children they will own many hardcover books (an almost criminal luxury from the point of view of immigrant parents). They will have wealthy friends who get paid for B-pluses.They may or may not attend private schools, but in either case they will expect expensive, brand-name clothes. Finally and most problematically, they will feel that they have individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and therefore be much more likely to disobey their parents and ignore career advice. In short, all factors point to this generation
Amy Chua (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother)
Trade-unionism, the economic arena of the modern gladiator, owes its existence to direct action. It is but recently that law and government have attempted to crush the trade-union movement, and condemned the exponents of man's right to organize to prison as conspirators. Had they sought to assert their cause through begging, pleading, and compromise, trade-unionism would today be a negligible quantity. In France, in Spain, in Italy, in Russia, nay even in England (witness the growing rebellion of English labor unions) direct, revolutionary, economic action has become so strong a force in the battle for industrial liberty as to make the world realize the tremendous importance of labor's power. The General Strike, the supreme expression of the economic consciousness of the workers, was ridiculed in America but a short time ago. Today every great strike, in order to win, must realize the importance of the solidaric general protest.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and other essays (Illustrated))
Well," he said, "this isn't too bad. My left leg is broken, but at least I'm right-legged. That's pretty fortunate." "Gee," one of the other employees murmured. "I thought he'd say something more along the lines of 'Aaaaah! My leg! My leg!'" "If someone could just help me get to my foot," Phil said, "I'm sure that I can get back to work." "Don't be ridiculous," Violet said. "You need to go to a hospital." "Yes, Phil," another worker said. "We have those coupons from last month, fifty percent off a cast at the Ahab Memorial Hospital. Two of us will chip in and get your leg all fixed up. I'll call for an ambulance right away.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
The way to overcome oligarchy is for the rest of us to join together and win America back. This will require a multiracial, multiethnic coalition of working-class, poor, and middle-class Americans fighting for democracy and against concentrated power and privilege, determined to rid politics of big money, end corporate welfare and crony capitalism, bust up monopolies, stop voter suppression, and strengthen the countervailing power of labor unions, employee-owned corporations, worker cooperatives, state and local banks, and grassroots politics. This agenda is neither right nor left. It is the bedrock for everything else America must do.
Robert B. Reich (The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It)
The Social Security system is a $75 trillion problem. Again, just to give you a sense of scale: Let’s say you started a business the day Jesus Christ was born. Let’s say you weren’t exactly a good businessman, and your business lost a million dollars every day—right through yesterday. How much longer would it take before your losses added up to $1 trillion? About 718 more years should do it, give or take a few months. And that’s just one trillion. Multiply that by seventy-five, and you have the size of the Social Security problem. That’s the amount it would take to fully fund Social Security for all current workers and retirees. To realize the magnitude of the problem we’re facing, consider the fact that the total of all wealth in America is about $60 trillion. We could confiscate every item of value from every American household, including cash and investments, and apply the value to the problem—and still not have enough money to fund Social Security fully.
Neal Boortz (FairTax: The Truth: Answering the Critics)
The real reason for withholding taxes is the unwillingness of workers to share their incomes with the government and the consequent difficulties of collection. To overcome this handicap, the government has simply impressed employers into its service as involuntary and unpaid tax collectors. It is a form of conscription. Disregarding the right of privacy, which is an essential of liberty, the government’s agents may, under the law, invade the employer’s office, demand his accounts, and punish him for any infraction which they believe he has committed; they can impound his property and inflict a penalty for not having collected taxes for the government.
Frank Chodorov (The Income Tax: Root of All Evil)
In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1824, came the first known strike of women factory workers; 202 women joined men in protesting a wage cut and longer hours, but they met separately. Four years later, women in Dover, New Hampshire, struck alone. And in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1834, when a young woman was fired from her job, other girls left their looms, one of them then climbing the town pump and making, according to a newspaper report, “a flaming Mary Wollstonecraft speech on the rights of women and the iniquities of the ‘moneyed aristocracy’ which produced a powerful effect on her auditors and they determined to have their own way, if they died for it.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
I must confess, my friends, that the road ahead will not always be smooth. There will still be rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. There will be inevitable setbacks here and there. And there will be those moments when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. Our dreams will sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted. We may again, with tear-drenched eyes, have to stand before the bier of some courageous civil rights worker whose life will be snuffed out by the dastardly acts of bloodthirsty mobs. But difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Communist agitators have done everything in their power to fan the flame of artificial class-consciousness in the minds of the workers, but the basic struggle between labor and capital has not been to overthrow capitalism but to get the workers a more equitable share of the fruits of capitalism. For example, during the past twenty years labor has attained a higher status in the United States than ever before. The Communists tried to seize leadership in this reform trend, but the more the workers earned the more independent they became—not only by asserting their rights in relation to their employers but also in discharging the Communist agitators from labor union leadership.
W. Cleon Skousen (The Naked Communist (The Naked Series Book 1))
As it turned out, Sharpe was right. Cooperation succumbed to market forces, but even more to the war waged on it by the business classes. By 1887 the latter were determined to destroy the Knights, with their incessant boycotts, their strikes (sometimes involving hundreds of thousands), their revolutionary agitation, and their labor parties organized across the country. In the two years after the infamous Haymarket bombing in Chicago and the Great Upheaval of 1886, in which 200,000 trade unionists across the country went on a four-day-long strike for the eight-hour day but in most cases failed—partly because Terence Powderly, the leader of the Knights, who had always disliked strikes, refused to endorse the action and encouraged the Knights not to participate—capitalist repression swept the nation. Joseph Rayback summarizes: The first of the Knights’ ventures to feel the full effect of the post-Haymarket reaction were their cooperative enterprises. In part the very nature of such enterprises worked against them. The successful ventures became joint-stock corporations, the wage-earning shareholders and managers hiring labor like any other industrial unit. In part the cooperatives were destroyed by inefficient managers, squabbles among shareholders, lack of capital, and injudicious borrowing of money at high rates of interest. Just as important was the attitude of competitors. Railroads delayed the building of tracks, refused to furnish cars, or refused to haul them. Manufacturers of machinery and producers of raw materials, pressed by private business, refused to sell their products to the cooperative workshops and paralyzed operations. By 1888 none of the Order’s cooperatives were in existence.170
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
At the end of World War II, we had wage and price controls. Under wartime inflationary conditions, many employers found it difficult to recruit employees. To get around the limitations of wage control, many began to offer health care as a fringe benefit to attract workers. As a new benefit, it took some years for the Internal Revenue Service to get around to requiring the cost of the medical care to be included in the reported taxable income of the employees. By the time it did, workers had come to regard nontaxable medical care provided by the employer as a right—or should I say entitlement? They raised such a big political fuss that Congress legislated nontaxable status for employer-provided medical care.
Milton Friedman (Why Government Is the Problem (Essays in Public Policy))
I use “anticapitalist” because conservative defenders of capitalism regularly say their liberal and socialist opponents are against capitalism. They say efforts to provide a safety net for all people are “anticapitalist.” They say attempts to prevent monopolies are “anticapitalist.” They say efforts that strengthen weak unions and weaken exploitative owners are “anticapitalist.” They say plans to normalize worker ownership and regulations protecting consumers, workers, and environments from big business are “anticapitalist.” They say laws taxing the richest more than the middle class, redistributing pilfered wealth, and guaranteeing basic incomes are “anticapitalist.” They say wars to end poverty are “anticapitalist.” They say campaigns to remove the profit motive from essential life sectors like education, healthcare, utilities, mass media, and incarceration are “anticapitalist.” In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer. The history of capitalism—of world warring, classing, slave trading, enslaving, colonizing, depressing wages, and dispossessing land and labor and resources and rights—bears out the conservative definition of capitalism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Fire, fire! The branches crackle and the night wind of late autumn blows the flame of the bonfire back and forth. The compound is dark; I am alone at the bonfire, and I can bring it still some more carpenters' shavings. The compound here is a privileged one, so privileged that it is almost as if I were out in freedom -- this is an island of paradise; this is the Marfino "sharashka" -- a scientific institute staffed with prisoners -- in its most privileged period. No one is overseeing me, calling me to a cell, chasing me away from the bonfire, and even then it is chilly in the penetrating wind. But she -- who has already been standing in the wind for hours, her arms straight down, her head drooping, weeping, then growing numb and still. And then again she begs piteously "Citizen Chief! Please forgive me! I won't do it again." The wind carries her moan to me, just as if she were moaning next to my ear. The citizen chief at the gatehouse fires up his stove and does not answer. This was the gatehouse of the camp next door to us, from which workers came into our compound to lay water pipes and to repair the old ramshackle seminary building. Across from me, beyond the artfully intertwined, many-stranded barbed-wire barricade and two steps away from the gatehouse, beneath a bright lantern, stood the punished girl, head hanging, the wind tugging at her grey work skirt, her feet growing numb from the cold, a thin scarf over her head. It had been warm during the day, when they had been digging a ditch on our territory. And another girl, slipping down into a ravine, had crawled her way to the Vladykino Highway and escaped. The guard had bungled. And Moscow city buses ran right along the highway. When they caught on, it was too late to catch her. They raised the alarm. A mean, dark major arrived and shouted that if they failed to catch the girl, the entire camp would be deprived of visits and parcels for whole month, because of her escape. And the women brigadiers went into a rage, and they were all shouting, one of them in particular, who kept viciously rolling her eyes: "Oh, I hope they catch her, the bitch! I hope they take scissors and -- clip, clip, clip -- take off all her hair in front of the line-up!" But the girl who was now standing outside the gatehouse in the cold had sighed and said instead: "At least she can have a good time out in freedom for all of us!" The jailer had overheard what she said, and now she was being punished; everyone else had been taken off to the camp, but she had been set outside there to stand "at attention" in front of the gatehouse. This had been at 6 PM, and it was now 11 PM. She tried to shift from one foot to another, but the guard stuck out his head and shouted: "Stand at attention, whore, or else it will be worse for you!" And now she was not moving, only weeping: "Forgive me, Citizen Chief! Let me into the camp, I won't do it any more!" But even in the camp no one was about to say to her: "All right, idiot! Come on it!" The reason they were keeping her out there so long was that the next day was Sunday, and she would not be needed for work. Such a straw-blond, naive, uneducated slip of a girl! She had been imprisoned for some spool of thread. What a dangerous thought you expressed there, little sister! They want to teach you a lesson for the rest of your life! Fire, fire! We fought the war -- and we looked into the bonfires to see what kind of victory it would be. The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
So understood, anarchism is the inheritor of the classical liberal ideas that emerged from the Enlightenment. It is part of a broader range of libertarian socialist thought and action that ranges from the left anti-Bolshevik Marxism of Anton Pannekoek, Karl Korsch, Paul Mattick, and others, to the anarcho-syndicalism that crucially includes the practical achievements of revolutionary Spain in 1936, reaching further to worker-owned enterprises spreading today in the Rust Belt of the United States, in northern Mexico, in Egypt, and in many other countries, most extensively in the Basque country in Spain, also encompassing the many cooperative movements around the world and a good part of feminist and civil and human rights initiatives.
Noam Chomsky (What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia Themes in Philosophy))
Asia is rising against me. I haven't got a chinaman's chance. I'd better consider my national resources. My national resources cousist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles an hour and twentyfive-thousand mental institutions. I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underprivileged who live in my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns. I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go. My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic. America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood? I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they're all different sexes. America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe America free Tom Mooney America save the Spanish Loyalists America Sacco & V anzetti must not die America I am the Scottsboro boys. America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have been a spy. America you don't really want to go to war. America it's them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians. The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages. Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Readers' Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations. That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help. America this is quite serious. America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set. America is this correct? I'd better get right down to the job. It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl: And Other Poems)
You are, after all, Armand’s inamorata of the moment.” I gave up on the titles. “I’m his what?” “Inamorata. It means lover.” “I know what it means.” She took in my face and slanted a smile. “Dear me. Have I offended you?” “Only by your ignorance. I’m not his lover. I’m not-anyone’s anything.” “But you could be, if you wished it. If you looked at him the way he looks at you..” “You’re imagining things.” “I’m not. Everyone’s noticed.” “What does it matter to you?” I flashed. Sophia’s smile faded; she gazed at me thoughtfully. “It matters to Chloe. Isn’t that enough?” I glanced around the room. Lillian and Stella were watching us from a table by a window, worry etched along their mouths. Mittie and Caroline stood taut nearby. What was their queen bee doing talking to the worker drone? I smiled back at Sophia, pleased to etch their worry a shade deeper. “You’re right. It’s enough.” “I like you, Eleanore,” she said, straightening. “Believe me, I’m just as astonished by that as you are.” She took a couple of steps toward the others, then paused, sending me a pale-blue look from over her shoulder. “But my head is not tiny.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
The very same bourgeois mentality which extols the manufacturing division of labour, the life-long annexation of the worker to a partial operation, and the unconditional subordination of the detail worker to capital, extols them as an organisation of labour which increases productivity - denounces just as loudly every kind of deliberate social control and regulation of the social process of production, denounces it as an invasion of the inviolable property rights, liberty and self-determining genius of the individual capitalist. It is characteristic that the inspired apologists of the factory system can find nothing worse to say of any proposal for the general organisation of social labour, than that it would transform the whole of society into a factory.
Karl Marx (Das Kapital)
As I learned the house, and began to read, and began to see more of the Quality, I saw that just as the fields and its workers were the engine of everything, the house itself would have been lost without those who tasked within it. My father, like all the masters, built an entire apparatus to disguise this weakness, to hide how prostrate they truly were. The tunnel, where I first entered the house, was the only entrance that the Tasked were allowed to use, and this was not only for the masters’ exaltation but to hide us, for the tunnel was but one of the many engineering marvels built into Lockless so as to make it appear powered by some imperceptible energy. There were dumbwaiters that made the sumptuous supper appear from nothing, levers that seemed to magically retrieve the right bottle of wine hidden deep in the manor’s bowels, cots in the sleeping quarters, drawn under the canopy bed, because those charged with emptying the chamber-pot must be hidden even more than the chamber-pot itself. The magic wall that slid away from me that first day and opened the gleaming world of the house hid back stairways that led down into the Warrens, the engine-room of Lockless, where no guest would ever visit. And when we did appear in the polite areas of the house, as we did during the soirées, we were made to appear in such appealing dress and grooming so that one could imagine that we were not slaves at all but mystical ornaments, a portion of the manor’s charm. But I now knew the truth—that Maynard’s folly, though more profane, was unoriginal. The masters could not bring water to boil, harness a horse, nor strap their own drawers without us. We were better than them—we had to be. Sloth was literal death for us, while for them it was the whole ambition of their lives. It occurred to me then that even my own intelligence was unexceptional, for you could not set eyes anywhere on Lockless and not see the genius in its makers—genius in the hands that carved out the columns of the portico, genius in the songs that evoked, even in the whites, the deepest of joys and sorrows, genius in the men who made the fiddle strings whine and trill at their dances, genius in the bouquet of flavors served up from the kitchen, genius in all our lost, genius in Big John. Genius in my mother.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
The law of manifestation operates like a triangle: First, know what you want and visualize it as if you already had it; Second, see it behind the illusion of reality, practice it in your decisions, choose the people you hang out with, etc; Third, believe, have faith and work on your emotions to be at the right frequency. This triangle of manifestation is one of the secrets of many religions: Christianity, Scientology, and Freemasonry. In Masonry is seen as "heart, mind and desire"; in Scientology is perceived as "reality, communication and affinity"; in Christianity is understood as "Father, son and holy ghost"; basically, "actions, learnings and emotions". In Christianity, the Father equals reality or the Creator of the illusion, the son is the way, the path, he road of our decisions and actions, and the holy ghost is our heart, instincts and desires manifested in that same path. In word words, through Jesus, and with the power of the holy ghost, you reach God. This is an allegory that not many Christians can understand. Jesus represent behavior - right and wrong, the holy ghost is our faith, your heart and emotions reflecting back at you what you attract, it's the energy that connects you to your dreams, and God represents the Architect of Reality. So, through moral behavior and positive emotions, your understand God and life, and then you receive "paradise". This paradise is whatever you dream for yourself. Furthermore, if someone has shown you this way, he has been as an angel to you, a messenger of God; if someone stopped you from reaching it, he has been as a demon, a worker for Satan, the enemy, if you failed in seeing this path, you have redirected yourself towards hell. And if you hate your life, you are already in hell. If you want to get out of hell, you must accept the truth, and this truth is that you must know God, for He is the truth. He and the truth are one and the same.
Robin Sacredfire
I consider myself a “social ecologist,” concerned with man’s man-made environment the way the natural ecologist studies the biological environment.....the discipline itself boasts an old and distinguished lineage. Its greatest document is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But no one is as close to me in temperament, concepts, and approach as the mid-Victorian Englishman Walter Bagehot. Living (as I have) in an age of great social change, Bagehot first saw the emergence of new institutions: civil service and cabinet government, as cores of a functioning democracy, and banking as the center of a functioning economy. A hundred years after Bagehot, I was first to identify management as the new social institution of the emerging society of organizations and, a little later, to spot the emergence of knowledge as the new central resource, and knowledge workers as the new ruling class of a society that is not only “postindustrial” but postsocialist and, increasingly, post-capitalist. As it had been for Bagehot, for me too the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation and change was central to society and civilization.
Peter F. Drucker (The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done)
The process of industrialization is necessarily painful. It must involve the erosion of traditional patterns of life. But it was carried through with exceptional violence in Britain. It was unrelieved by any sense of national participation in communal effort, such as is found in countries undergoing a national revolution. Its ideology was that of the masters alone. Its messianic prophet was Dr Andrew Ure, who saw the factory system as ‘the great minister of civilization to the terraqueous globe’, diffusing ‘the life-blood of science and religion to myriads… still lying “in the region and shadow of death”.’ But those who served it did not feel this to be so, any more than those ‘myriads’ who were served. The experience of immiseration came upon them in a hundred different forms; for the field labourer, the loss of his common rights and the vestiges of village democracy; for the artisan, the loss of his craftsman’s status; for the weaver, the loss of livelihood and of independence; for the child, the loss of work and play in the home; for many groups of workers whose real earnings improved, the loss of security, leisure and the deterioration of the urban environment.
E.P. Thompson (The Making of the English Working Class)
There is no doubt that creative work is itself done under a compulsion often indistinguishable from a purely clinical obsession. In this sense, what we call a creative gift is merely the social license to be obsessed. And what we call “cultural routine” is a similar license: the proletariat demands the obsession of work in order to keep from going crazy. I used to wonder how people could stand the really demonic activity of working behind those hellish ranges in hotel kitchens, the frantic whirl of waiting on a dozen tables at one time, the madness of the travel agent’s office at the height of the tourist season, or the torture of working with a jack-hammer all day on a hot summer street. The answer is so simple that it eludes us: the craziness of these activities is exactly that of the human condition. They are “right” for us because the alternative is natural desperation. The daily madness of these jobs is a repeated vaccination against the madness of the asylum. Look at the joy and eagerness with which workers return from vacation to their compulsive routines. They plunge into their work with equanimity and lightheartedness because it drowns out something more ominous.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Where conflicts arise between workers and bosses, between the rights of one class and the interests of the other, the machinery of the law is typically used as a weapon against the workers. Even where the law is contrary to the demands of powerful corporations, the police often act not from principle or legal obligation, but according to the needs of the ruling class. This tendency shouldn’t surprise us, if we remember the lengths to which the cops have gone in the defense of White supremacy, even as laws and policies have changed. With class, as with race, it is the status quo that the police act to preserve and the interests of the powerful that they seek to defend, not the rule of law or public safety. The law, in fact, has been a rather weak guide for those who are meant to enforce it.
Kristian Williams (Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America)
Someone stepped through the garage doorway. I squinted against the light. Mad Rogan. He wore a dark suit. It fit him like a glove, from the broad shoulders and powerful chest to the flat stomach and long legs. Well. A visit from the dragon. Never good. He started toward me. The track vehicle on his left slid out of his way, as if pushed aside by an invisible hand. The Humvee on his right slid across the floor. I raised my eyebrows. He kept coming, his blue eyes clear and fixed on me. I stepped back on pure instinct. My back bumped into the wall. The multiton hover tank hovered off to the wall. So that was the secret to making it work. You just needed Mad Rogan to move it around. Rogan closed in and stopped barely two inches from me. Anticipation squirmed through me, turning into a giddy excitement spiced with alarm. “Hi,” I said. “Are you planning on putting all of this back together the way you found it?” His eyes were so blue. I could look into them forever. He offered me his hand. “Time to go.” “To go where?” “Wherever you want. Pick a spot on the planet.” Wow. “No.” He leaned forward slightly. We were almost touching. “I gave you a week with your family. Now it’s time to go with me. Don’t be stubborn, Nevada. That kiss told me everything I needed to know. You and I both understand how this ends.” I shook my head. “How did this encounter go in your head? Did you plan on walking in here, picking me up, and carrying me away like you’re an officer and I’m a factory worker in an old movie?” He grinned. He was almost unbearably handsome now. “Would you like to be carried away?
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
High-quality and affordable childcare and eldercare • Paid family and medical leave for women and men • A right to request part-time or flexible work • Investment in early education comparable to our investment in elementary and secondary education • Comprehensive job protection for pregnant workers • Higher wages and training for paid caregivers • Community support structures to allow elders to live at home longer • Legal protections against discrimination for part-time workers and flexible workers • Better enforcement of existing laws against age discrimination • Financial and social support for single parents • Reform of elementary and secondary school schedules to meet the needs of a digital rather than an agricultural economy and to take advantage of what we now know about how children learn
Anne-Marie Slaughter (Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
From the perspective of sixties radicals, who regularly watched antiwar demonstrations attacked by nationalist teamsters and construction workers, the reactionary implications of corporatism appeared self-evident. The corporate suits and the well-paid, Archie Bunker elements of the industrial proletariat were clearly on the same side. Unsurprising then that the left-wing critique of bureaucracy at the time focused on the ways that social democracy had more in common with fascism than its proponents cared to admit. Unsurprising, too, that this critique seems utterly irrelevant today.* What began to happen in the seventies, and paved the way for what we see today, was a kind of strategic pivot of the upper echelons of U.S. corporate bureaucracy—away from the workers, and towards shareholders, and eventually, towards the financial structure as a whole. __________ *Though it is notable that it is precisely this sixties radical equation of communism, fascism, and the bureaucratic welfare state that has been taken up by right-wing populists in America today. The internet is rife with such rhetoric. One need only consider the way that 'Obamacare' is continually equated with socialism and Nazism, often both at the same time.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
The Unknown Citizen by W. H. Auden (To JS/07 M 378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State) He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be One against whom there was no official complaint, And all the reports on his conduct agree That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint, For in everything he did he served the Greater Community. Except for the War till the day he retired He worked in a factory and never got fired, But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views, For his Union reports that he paid his dues, (Our report on his Union shows it was sound) And our Social Psychology workers found That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink. The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way. Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured, And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured. Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan And had everything necessary to the Modern Man, A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire. Our researchers into Public Opinion are content That he held the proper opinions for the time of year; When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went. He was married and added five children to the population, Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation. And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd: Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
W.H. Auden
The same ingenious application of slogans, coined by others and tried out before, was apparent in the Nazis' treatment of other relevant issues. When public attention was equally focused on nationalism on the one hand and socialism on the other, when the two were thought to be incompatible and actually constituted the ideological watershed between the Right and the Left, the "National Socialist German Workers' Party" (Nazi) offered a synthesis supposed to lead to national unity, a semantic solution whose double trademark of "German" and "Worker" connected the nationalism of the Right with the internationalism of the Left. The very name of the Nazi movement stole the political contents of all other parties and pretended implicitly to incorporate them all. Combinations of supposedly antagonistic political doctrines (national-socialist, christian-social, etc.) had been tried, and successfully, before; but the Nazis realized their own combination in such a way that the whole struggle in Parliament between the socialists and the nationalists, between those who pretended to be workers first of all and those who were Germans first, appeared as a sham designed to hide ulterior sinister motives—for was not a member of the Nazi movement all these things at once?
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
And that brings me to one last point. I've got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who have either worked without pay, or who have been forced off the job without pay for these last few weeks. Including most of my own staff. Thank you. Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters. You defend our country overseas, you deliver benefits to our troops who earned them when they come home, you guard our borders, you protect our civil rights, you help businesses grow and gain footholds in overseas markets. You protect the air we breathe, and the water our children drink, and you push the boundaries of science and space, and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. Thank you. What you do is important, and don't let anybody else tell you different.
Barack Obama
The Misunderstood Social Butterfly   Like manipulative mothers, scheming co-workers act nice toward their intended target and present themselves as a victim. These schemers make themselves seem misunderstood and victimized to gain their target’s trust. The unwitting target then makes it his or her job to cover for the “victim,” making sure that the “victim” is protected from others.   This forms an exclusive bond between the two parties, with the manipulator effectively cutting off the target’s contact with other employees by painting them in a bad light. The target then becomes the manipulator’s personal pep squad, leaving the employee emotionally and mentally drained.   Typically, the person being manipulated in this type of relationship at work is someone who is hard working, trusting, and unfortunately, often times easy prey to a manipulator. The manipulator sees the victim as the person who is always working late and the person who always “tries to do the right thing”. The manipulator, conversely, often times is the one leaving early, skating by day-to-day, but occasionally has enough “golden opportunities” with the boss to make themselves the “favored employees”. Nearly always a gregarious and outgoing person, these manipulative people can be true terrors to those whom they manipulate.
Sarah Goldberg (How To Deal With Manipulative People: Learn to Overcome Manipulation Techniques and Manipulation)
We were to write a short essay on one of the works we read in the course and relate it to our lives. I chose the "Allegory of the Cave" in Plato's Republic. I compared my childhood of growing up in a family of migrant workers with the prisoners who were in a dark cave chained to the floor and facing a blank wall. I wrote that, like the captives, my family and other migrant workers were shackled to the fields day after day, seven days a week, week after week, being paid very little and living in tents or old garages that had dirt floors, no indoor plumbing, no electricity. I described how the daily struggle to simply put food on our tables kept us from breaking the shackles, from turning our lives around. I explained that faith and hope for a better life kept us going. I identified with the prisoner who managed to escape and with his sense of obligation to return to the cave and help others break free.
Francisco Jiménez
The message: I am a Black woman, so I must be poor and in need of help. ... The message: I am different, exotic. Anyone should have the right to my body in exchange for a compliment. ... The message: I am responsible for the feelings of white people, and my boss will not defend me from these accusations. ... The message: My tone will be interpreted as angry, even if I'm just feeling hurt or misunderstood. My actual feelings are irrelevant and could be used as reason to fire me. ... The message: My body is being scrutinized in ways that others are not subjected to, and the worst is being assumed of me. ... The message: I am here to educate my white co-workers when they are confused about a racial issue in their lives. ... The message: My body, my person is not distinct; I am interchangeable with all other Black women. ... The message: I need white approval and interpretation before my idea will be considered good.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
This, to be sure, is not the entire truth. For there were individuals in Germany who from the very beginning of the regime and without ever wavering were opposed to Hitler; no one knows how many there were of them—perhaps a hundred thousand, perhaps many more, perhaps many fewer—for their voices were never heard. They could be found everywhere, in all strata of society, among the simple people as well as among the educated, in all parties, perhaps even in the ranks of the N.S.D.A.P. Very few of them were known publicly, as were the aforementioned Reck-Malleczewen or the philosopher Karl Jaspers. Some of them were truly and deeply pious, like an artisan of whom I know, who preferred having his independent existence destroyed and becoming a simple worker in a factory to taking upon himself the “little formality” of entering the Nazi Party. A few still took an oath seriously and preferred, for example, to renounce an academic career rather than swear by Hitler’s name. A more numerous group were the workers, especially in Berlin, and Socialist intellectuals who tried to aid the Jews they knew. There were finally, the two peasant boys whose story is related in Günther Weisenborn’s Der lautlose Aufstand (1953), who were drafted into the S.S. at the end of the war and refused to sign; they were sentenced to death, and on the day of their execution they wrote in their last letter to their families: “We two would rather die than burden our conscience with such terrible things. We know what the S.S. must carry out.” The position of these people, who, practically speaking, did nothing, was altogether different from that of the conspirators. Their ability to tell right from wrong had remained intact, and they never suffered a “crisis of conscience.” There may also have been such persons among the members of the resistance, but they were hardly more numerous in the ranks of the conspirators than among the people at large. They were neither heroes nor saints, and they remained completely silent. Only on one occasion, in a single desperate gesture, did this wholly isolated and mute element manifest itself publicly: this was when the Scholls, two students at Munich University, brother and sister, under the influence of their teacher Kurt Huber distributed the famous leaflets in which Hitler was finally called what he was—a “mass murderer.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations. The stretch of Hudson Street where I live is each day the scene of an intricate sidewalk ballet. I make my own first entrance into it a little after eight when I put out my garbage gcan, surely a prosaic occupation, but I enjoy my part, my little clang, as the junior droves of junior high school students walk by the center of the stage dropping candy wrapper. (How do they eat so much candy so early in the morning?) While I sweep up the wrappers I watch the other rituals of the morning: Mr Halpert unlocking the laundry's handcart from its mooring to a cellar door, Joe Cornacchia's son-in-law stacking out the empty crates from the delicatessen, the barber bringing out his sidewalk folding chair, Mr. Goldstein arranging the coils of wire which proclaim the hardware store is open, the wife of the tenement's super intendent depositing her chunky three-year-old with a toy mandolin on the stoop, the vantage point from which he is learning English his mother cannot speak. Now the primary childrren, heading for St. Luke's, dribble through the south; the children from St. Veronica\s cross, heading to the west, and the children from P.S 41, heading toward the east. Two new entrances are made from the wings: well-dressed and even elegant women and men with brief cases emerge from doorways and side streets. Most of these are heading for the bus and subways, but some hover on the curbs, stopping taxis which have miraculously appeared at the right moment, for the taxis are part of a wider morning ritual: having dropped passengers from midtown in the downtown financial district, they are now bringing downtowners up tow midtown. Simultaneously, numbers of women in housedresses have emerged and as they crisscross with one another they pause for quick conversations that sound with laughter or joint indignation, never, it seems, anything in between. It is time for me to hurry to work too, and I exchange my ritual farewell with Mr. Lofaro, the short, thick bodied, white-aproned fruit man who stands outside his doorway a little up the street, his arms folded, his feet planted, looking solid as the earth itself. We nod; we each glance quickly up and down the street, then look back at eachother and smile. We have done this many a morning for more than ten years, and we both know what it means: all is well. The heart of the day ballet I seldom see, because part off the nature of it is that working people who live there, like me, are mostly gone, filling the roles of strangers on other sidewalks. But from days off, I know enough to know that it becomes more and more intricate. Longshoremen who are not working that day gather at the White Horse or the Ideal or the International for beer and conversation. The executives and business lunchers from the industries just to the west throng the Dorgene restaurant and the Lion's Head coffee house; meat market workers and communication scientists fill the bakery lunchroom.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
It is not for us to know who does and does not manage to accept forgiveness, but if the love really never stops, if God really does long for every lost soul, then in principle God regards as forgivable a whole load of stuff we really don’t want forgiven, thank you. People who use airliners to murder thousands of office workers, people who strut about Norwegian summer camps stealing the lives of teenagers with careful shots to the head, people who drive over their gay neighbor in their pick-up truck and then reverse and do it again, people who torture children for sexual pleasure: God is apparently ready to rush right in there and give them all a hug, the bastard. We don’t want that. We want justice, dammit, if not in this world then in the next. We want God’s extra-niceness confined to deserving cases such as, for example, us, and a reliable process of judgment put in place which will ensure that the child-murderers are ripped apart with red-hot tongs.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
What remains of the labours of the ‘new philosophers’ who have been enlightening us – or, in other words, deadening our minds – for 30 years now? What really remains of the great ideological machinery of freedom, human rights, the West and its values? It all comes down to a simple negative statement that is as bald as it is flat and as naked as the day it was born: socialisms, which were the communist Idea’s only concrete forms, failed completely in the twentieth century. Even they have had to revert to capitalism and non-egalitarian dogma. That failure of the Idea leaves us with no choice, given the complex of the capitalist organization of production and the state parliamentary system. Like it or not, we have to consent to it for lack of choice. And that is why we now have to save the banks rather than confiscate them, hand out billions to the rich and give nothing to the poor, set nationals against workers of foreign origin whenever possible, and, in a word, keep tight controls on all forms of poverty in order to ensure the survival of the powerful. No choice, I tell you! As our ideologues admit, it is not as though relying on the greed of a few crooks and unbridled private property to run the state and the economy was the absolute Good. But it is the only possible way forward. In his anarchist vision, Stirner described man, or the personal agent of History, as ‘the Ego and his own’. Nowadays, it is ‘Property as ego’. Which
Alain Badiou (The Communist Hypothesis)
I’m tired of these sophistries. I’m tired of these right-wing fuckers. They wouldn’t lift a finger themselves. They work contentedly in offices and banks. Yet now they sit pontificating in parliament, in papers, impugning our motives, questioning our judgements. And why? Because they themselves need to feel better by putting down everyone whose work is so much harder than theirs. You only have to say the words ‘social worker’…’probation officer’ … ‘counsellor’ … for everyone in this country to sneer. Do you know what social workers do? Every day? They try and clear out society’s drains. They clear out the rubbish. They do what no one else is doing, what no one else is willing to do. And for that, oh Christ, do we thank them? No, we take our own rotten consciences, wipe them all over the social worker’s face, and say ‘if…’ FUCK! ‘if I did the job, then of course if I did it…oh no, excuse me, I wouldn’t do it like that…’ Well I say: ‘OK, then, fucking do it, journalist. Politician, talk to the addicts. Hold families together. Stop the kids from stealing in the streets. Deal with couples who beat each other up. You fucking try it, why not? Since you’re so full of advice. Sure, come and join us. This work is one big casino. By all means. Anyone can play. But there’s only one rule. You can’t play for nothing. You have to buy some chips to sit at the table. And if you won’t pay with your own time…with your own effort…then I’m sorry. Fuck off!
David Hare (Skylight)
Most days what I felt was this: the minute you put a first name and a last name together, you've got a pair of tusks coming right at you (i.e., Watch out, buddy). but on days when I didn't disapprove of everything on principle--days when the whole cologned, cuff-shooting ruck of my co-workers didn't repulse me from the moment they disembarked from the sixth-floor elevator and began squidging their way along the carpeted track that led to the office--my thinking stabbed more along these lines: a name belittles that which is named. Give a person a name and he'll sink right into it, right into the hollows and the dips of the letters that spelled out the whole insultingly reductive contraption, so that you have to pull him up and dance him out of it, take his attendance, and fuck some life into him if you expect to get any work out of him. Multiply him by twenty-two and you will have some idea of what the office was like, except that a good third of my colleagues were female.
Gary Lutz
National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
During our recent Human Rights Defenders Forum at The Carter Center, it was reported that between two hundred and three hundred children are sold in Atlanta alone each month! Our city is considered to be one of the preeminent human trafficking centers in the United States, perhaps because we have the busiest airport in the world and because, until recently, the penalty for someone convicted of selling another human being was only a $50 fine. A much heavier penalty of up to twenty years’ imprisonment can be imposed by the federal government, but only if there is proof that the trafficking took place across state lines. An analysis by Atlanta social workers found that 42 percent of the sexual exchanges they investigated were in brothels and hotel rooms in the most affluent areas of the city, while only 9 percent were in the poorer neighborhoods in the vicinity of the airport. Like Kara, they too conclude that the primary culprits are the men who buy sexual favors and the male pimps and brothel owners who control the women and garner most of the financial gains.
Jimmy Carter (A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power)
Ignorance of the character structure of masses of people invariably leads to fruitless questioning. The Communists, for example, said that it was the misdirected policies of the Social Democrats that made it possible for the fascists to seize power. Actually this explanation did not explain anything, for it was precisely the Social Democrats who made a point of spreading illusions. In short, it did not result in a new mode of action. That political reaction in the form of fascism had 'befogged,' 'corrupted,' and 'hypnotized' the masses is an explanation that is as sterile as the others. This is and will continue to be the function of fascism as long as it exists. Such explanations are sterile because they fail to offer a way out. Experience teaches us that such disclosures, no matter how often they are repeated, do not convince the masses; that, in other words, social economic inquiry by itself is not enough. Wouldn't it be closer to the mark to ask, what was going on in the masses that they could not and would not recognize the function of fascism? To say that, 'The workers have to realize...' or 'We didn't understand...' does not serve any purpose. Why didn't the workers realize, and why didn't they understand? The questions that formed the basis of the discussion between the Right and the Left in the workers' movements are also to be regarded as sterile. The Right contended that the workers were not predisposed to fight; the Left, on the other hand, refuted this and asserted that the workers were revolutionary and that the Right's statement was a betrayal of revolutionary thinking. Both assertions, because they failed to see the complexities of the issue, were rigidly mechanistic. A realistic appraisal would have had to point out that the average worker bears a contradiction in himself; that he, in other words, is neither a clear-cut revolutionary nor a clear-cut conservative, but stands divided. His psychic structure derives on the one hand from the social situation (which prepares the ground for revolutionary attitudes) and on the other hand from the entire atmosphere of authoritarian society—the two being at odds with one another.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
When assigning responsibilities to employees in a startup, you could start by treating it as a simple optimization problem to efficiently match talents with tasks. But even if you could somehow get this perfectly right, any given solution would quickly break down. Partly that’s because startups have to move fast, so individual roles can’t remain static for long. But it’s also because job assignments aren’t just about the relationships between workers and tasks; they’re also about relationships between employees. The best thing I did as a manager at PayPal was to make every person in the company responsible for doing just one thing. Every employee’s one thing was unique, and everyone knew I would evaluate him only on that one thing. I had started doing this just to simplify the task of managing people. But then I noticed a deeper result: defining roles reduced conflict. Most fights inside a company happen when colleagues compete for the same responsibilities. Startups face an especially high risk of this since job roles are fluid at the early stages. Eliminating competition makes it easier for everyone to build the kinds of long-term relationships that transcend mere professionalism. More than that, internal peace is what enables a startup to survive at all. When a startup fails, we often imagine it succumbing to predatory rivals in a competitive ecosystem. But every company is also its own ecosystem, and factional strife makes it vulnerable to outside threats. Internal conflict is like an autoimmune disease: the technical cause of death may be pneumonia, but the real cause remains hidden from plain view.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
So, who are they really, these hundred thousand white supremacists? They're every white guy who believed that this land was his land, made for you and me. They're every down-on-his-luck guy who just wanted to live a decent life but got stepped on, every character in a Bruce Springsteen or Merle Haggard song, every cop, soldier, auto mechanic, steelworker, and construction worker in America's small towns who can't make ends meet and wonders why everyone else is getting a break except him. But instead of becoming Tom Joad, a left-leaning populist, they take a hard right turn, ultimately supporting the very people who have dispossessed them. They're America's Everymen, whose pain at downward mobility and whose anger at what they see as an indifferent government have become twisted by a hate that tells them they are better than others, disfigured by a resentment so deep that there are no more bridges to be built, no more ladders of upward mobility to be climbed, a howl of pain mangled into the scream of a warrior. Their rage is as sad as it is frightening, as impotent as it is shrill.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
There were massive protests in debtor nations such as Greece, and Obama indirectly lectured Merkel that austerity policies might destroy the fragile recovery. Some nations agreed with him, such as France, which went “all in” by electing an outright socialist, François Hollande, as President and giving him a socialist Parliament. Hollande imposed the predictable economic solutions of punishing the successful, including a controversial 75 percent millionaire’s tax. These measures caused capital to flee from France and even led French film icon Gerard Depardieu to give up his French passport and move to Belgium and be granted citizenship by Russia, which charges him a 6 percent income tax rate. (I hear that in exchange, he must appear in every movie made in Russia, the way he did in France.) Panicking at the public revolt, Hollande promised to enact some market-based reforms, such as cutting spending to reduce the deficit, enacting some pro-growth policies, and capping government worker salaries. But it was too little too late. The voters took a sharp right turn in the next election. Sound familiar?
Mike Huckabee (God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy)
February 4 The Overmastering Majesty of Personal Power For the love of Christ constraineth us. 2 Corinthians 5:14 Paul says he is overruled, overmastered, held as in a vice, by the love of Christ. Very few of us know what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God; we are held by the constraint of our experience only. The one thing that held Paul, until there was nothing else on his horizon, was the love of God. “The love of Christ constraineth us”—when you hear that note in a man or woman, you can never mistake it. You know that the Spirit of God is getting unhindered way in that life. When we are born again of the Spirit of God, the note of testimony is on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But the baptism of the Holy Ghost obliterates that for ever, and we begin to realise what Jesus meant when He said—“Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do—that is an elementary witness—but “witnesses unto Me.” We will take everything that happens as happening to Him, whether it be praise or blame, persecution or commendation. No one can stand like that for Jesus Christ who is not constrained by the majesty of His personal power. It is the only thing that matters, and the strange thing is that it is the last thing realised by the Christian worker. Paul says he is gripped by the love of Christ; that is why he acts as he does. Men may call him mad or sober, but he does not care; there is only one thing he is living for, and that is to persuade men of the judgement seat of God, and of the love of Christ. This abandon to the love of Christ is the one thing that bears fruit in the life, and it will always leave the impression of the holiness and of the power of God, never of our personal holiness.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
A long-time associate, Beth, who likes to refer to herself as the 'Grill Bitch', excelled at putting loudmouths and fools into their proper place. She refused to behave any differently than her male co-workers: she'd change in the same locker area, dropping her pants right alongside them. She was as sexually aggressive, and as vocal about it, as her fellow cooks, but unlikely to suffer behavior she found demeaning. One sorry Moroccan cook who pinched her ass found himself suddenly bent over a cutting board with Beth dry-humping him from behind, saying, 'How do you like it, bitch?' The guy almost died of shame — and never repeated that mistake again. Another female line cook I had the pleasure of working with arrived at work one morning to find that an Ecuadorian pasta cook had decorated her station with some particularly ugly hard-core pornography of pimply-assed women getting penetrated in every orifice by pot-bellied guys with prison tattoos and back hair. She didn't react at all, but a little later, while passing through the pasta man's station, casually remarked. 'Jose, I see you brought in some photos of the family. Mom looks good for her age.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Measuring the strength of a workplace can be simplified to twelve questions. These twelve questions don’t capture everything you may want to know about your workplace, but they do capture the most information and the most important information. They measure the core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees. Here they are: Do I know what is expected of me at work? Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work? Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? Is there someone at work who encourages my development? At work, do my opinions seem to count? Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important? Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? Do I have a best friend at work? In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress? This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow? These twelve questions are the simplest and most accurate way to measure the strength of a workplace.
Marcus Buckingham (First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently)
The same thing, notes Brynjolfsson, happened 120 years ago, in the Second Industrial Revolution, when electrification—the supernova of its day—was introduced. Old factories did not just have to be electrified to achieve the productivity boosts; they had to be redesigned, along with all business processes. It took thirty years for one generation of managers and workers to retire and for a new generation to emerge to get the full productivity benefits of that new power source. A December 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute on American industry found a “considerable gap between the most digitized sectors and the rest of the economy over time and [found] that despite a massive rush of adoption, most sectors have barely closed that gap over the past decade … Because the less digitized sectors are some of the largest in terms of GDP contribution and employment, we [found] that the US economy as a whole is only reaching 18 percent of its digital potential … The United States will need to adapt its institutions and training pathways to help workers acquire relevant skills and navigate this period of transition and churn.” The supernova is a new power source, and it will take some time for society to reconfigure itself to absorb its full potential. As that happens, I believe that Brynjolfsson will be proved right and we will start to see the benefits—a broad range of new discoveries around health, learning, urban planning, transportation, innovation, and commerce—that will drive growth. That debate is for economists, though, and beyond the scope of this book, but I will be eager to see how it plays out. What is absolutely clear right now is that while the supernova may not have made our economies measurably more productive yet, it is clearly making all forms of technology, and therefore individuals, companies, ideas, machines, and groups, more powerful—more able to shape the world around them in unprecedented ways with less effort than ever before. If you want to be a maker, a starter-upper, an inventor, or an innovator, this is your time. By leveraging the supernova you can do so much more now with so little. As Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media, observed in a March 3, 2015, essay on TechCrunch.com: “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
The relationship between the Sophotechs and the men as depicted in that tale made no sense. How could they be hostile to each other?” Diomedes said, “Aren’t men right to fear machines which can perform all tasks men can do, artistic, intellectual, technical, a thousand or a million times better than they can do? Men become redundant.” Phaethon shook his head, a look of distant distaste on his features, as if he were once again confronted with a falsehood that would not die no matter how often it was denounced. In a voice of painstaking patience, he said: “Efficiency does not harm the inefficient. Quite the opposite. That is simply not the way it works. Take me, for example. Look around: I employed partials to do the thought-box junction spotting when I built this ship. My employees were not as skilled as I was in junction spotting. It took them three hours to do the robopsychology checks and hierarchy links I could have done in one hour. But they were in no danger of competition from me. My time is too valuable. In that same hour it would have taken me to spot their thought-box junction, I can earn far more than their three-hour wages by writing supervision architecture thought flows. And it’s the same with me and the Sophotechs. “Any midlevel Sophotech could have written in one second the architecture it takes me, even with my implants, an hour to compose. But if, in that same one second of time, that Sophotech can produce something more valuable—exploring the depth of abstract mathematics, or inventing a new scientific miracle, anything at all (provided that it will earn more in that second than I earn in an hour)—then the competition is not making me redundant. The Sophotech still needs me and receives the benefit of my labor. Since I am going to get the benefit of every new invention and new miracle put out on the market, I want to free up as many of those seconds of Sophotech time as my humble labor can do. “And I get the lion’s share of the benefit from the swap. I only save him a second of time; he creates wonder upon wonder for me. No matter what my fear of or distaste for Sophotechs, the forces in the marketplace, our need for each other, draw us together. “So you see why I say that not a thing the Silent One said about Sophotechs made sense. I do not understand how they could have afforded to hate each other. Machines don’t make us redundant; they increase our efficiency in every way. And the bids of workers eager to compete for Sophotech time creates a market for merely human work, which it would not be efficient for Sophotechs to underbid.
John C. Wright (The Golden Transcendence (Golden Age, #3))
Our democracy cannot survive its current downward drift into tribalism, extremism, and seething resentment. Today it’s “us versus them” in America. Politics is little more than blood sport. As a result, our willingness to believe the worst about everyone outside our own bubble is growing, and our ability to solve problems and seize opportunities is shrinking. We have to do better. We have honest differences. We need vigorous debates. Healthy skepticism is good. It saves us from being too naive or too cynical. But it is impossible to preserve democracy when the well of trust runs completely dry. The freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the checks and balances in our Constitution were designed to prevent the self-inflicted wounds we face today. But as our long history reveals, those written words must be applied by people charged with giving life to them in each new era. That’s how African Americans moved from being slaves to being equal under the law and how they set off on the long journey to be equal in fact, a journey we know is not over. The same story can be told of women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, the rights of the disabled, the struggle to define and protect religious liberty, and to guarantee equality to people without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Bill Clinton (The President Is Missing)
I mean, if you accept the framework that says totalitarian command economies have the right to make these decisions, and if the wage levels and working conditions are fixed facts, then we have to make choices within those assumptions. Then you can make an argument that poor people here ought to lose their jobs to even poorer people somewhere else... because that increases the economic pie, and it's the usual story. Why make those assumptions? There are other ways of dealing with the problem. Take, for example rich people here. Take those like me who are in the top few percent of the income ladder. We could cut back our luxurious lifestyles, pay proper taxes, there are all sorts of things. I'm not even talking about Bill Gates, but people who are reasonably privileged. Instead of imposing the burden on poor people here and saying "well, you poor people have to give up your jobs because even poorer people need them over there," we could say "okay, we rich people will give up some small part of our ludicrous luxury and use it to raise living standards and working conditions elsewhere, and to let them have enough capital to develop their own economy, their own means." Then the issue will not arise. But it's much more convenient to say that poor people here ought to pay the burden under the framework of command economies—totalitarianism. But, if you think it through, it makes sense and almost every social issue you think about—real ones, live ones, ones right on the table—has these properties. We don't have to accept and shouldn't accept the framework of domination of thought and attitude that only allows certain choices to be made... and those choices almost invariably come down to how to put the burden on the poor. That's class warfare. Even by real nice people like us who think it's good to help poor workers, but within a framework of class warfare that maintains privilege and transfers the burden to the poor. It's a matter of raising consciousness among very decent people.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
December 8, 1986 Hello John: Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place. You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.” And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does. As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did? Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?” They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds. Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned: “I put in 35 years…” “It ain’t right…” “I don’t know what to do…” They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait? I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system. I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!” One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life. So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die. To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself. Your boy, Hank
Charles Bukowski
Take one famous example: arguments about property destruction after Seattle. Most of these, I think, were really arguments about capitalism. Those who decried window-breaking did so mainly because they wished to appeal to middle-class consumers to move towards global exchange-style green consumerism, and to ally with labor bureaucracies and social democrats abroad. This was not a path designed to provoke a direct confrontation with capitalism, and most of those who urged us to take this route were at least skeptical about the possibility that capitalism could ever really be defeated. Many were in fact in favor of capitalism, if in a significantly humanized form. Those who did break windows, on the other hand, didn't care if they offended suburban homeowners, because they did not figure that suburban homeowners were likely to ever become a significant element in any future revolutionary anticapitalist coalition. They were trying, in effect, to hijack the media to send a message that the system was vulnerable -- hoping to inspire similar insurrectionary acts on the part of those who might be considering entering a genuinely revolutionary alliance; alienated teenagers, oppressed people of color, undocumented workers, rank-and-file laborers impatient with union bureaucrats, the homeless, the unemployed, the criminalized, the radically discontent. If a militant anticapitalist movement was to begin, in America, it would have to start with people like these: people who don't need to be convinced that the system is rotten, only, that there's something they can do about it. And at any rate, even if it were possible to have an anticapitalist revolution without gun-battles in the streets -- which most of us are hoping it is, since let's face it, if we come up against the US army, we will lose -- there's no possible way we could have an anticapitalist revolution while at the same time scrupulously respecting property rights. Yes, that will probably mean the suburban middle class will be the last to come on board. But they would probably be the last to come on board anyway.
David Graeber (Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination)
When, then, the Social Democrat worker found himself in the economic crisis which degraded him to the status of a coolie, the development of his revolutionary sentiments was severely retarded by the conservative structuralization that had been taking shape in him for decades. Either he remained in the camp of the Social Democrats, notwithstanding his criticism and rejection of their policies, or he went over to the NSDAP [Nazi party] in search of a better replacement. Irresolute and indecisive, owing to the deep contradiction between revolutionary and conservative sentiments, disappointed by his own leadership, he followed the line of least resistance. Whether he would give up his conservative tendencies and arrive at a complete consciousness of his actual responsibility in the production process, i.e., at a revolutionary consciousness, depended solely on the correct or incorrect leadership of the revolutionary party. Thus the communist assertion that it was the Social Democrat policies that put fascism in the saddle was correct from a psychological viewpoint. Disappointment in Social Democracy, accompanied by the contradiction between wretchedness and conservative thinking, must lead to fascism if there are no revolutionary organizations. For example, following the fiasco of the Labor party's policies in England, in 1930–31, fascism began to infiltrate the workers who, then, in the election of 1931, cut away to the Right, instead of going over to communism.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
On the labour front in 1919 there was an unprecedented number of strikes involving many millions of workers. One of the lager strikes was mounted by the AF of L against the United States Steel Corporation. At that time workers in the steel industry put in an average sixty-eight-hour week for bare subsistence wages. The strike spread to other plants, resulting in considerable violence -- the death of eighteen striking workers, the calling out of troops to disperse picket lines, and so forth. By branding the strikers Bolsheviks and thereby separating them from their public support, the Corporation broke the strike. In Boston, the Police Department went on strike and governor Calvin Coolidge replaced them. In Seattle there was a general strike which precipitated a nationwide 'red scare'. this was the first red scare. Sixteen bombs were found in the New York Post Office just before May Day. The bombs were addressed to men prominent in American life, including John D. Rockefeller and Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. It is not clear today who was responsible for those bombs -- Red terrorists, Black anarchists, or their enemies -- but the effect was the same. Other bombs pooped off all spring, damaging property, killing and maiming innocent people, and the nation responded with an alarm against Reds. It was feared that at in Russia, they were about to take over the country and shove large cocks into everyone's mother. Strike that. The Press exacerbated public feeling. May Day parades in the big cities were attacked by policemen, and soldiers and sailors. The American Legion, just founded, raided IWW headquarters in the State of Washington. Laws against seditious speech were passed in State Legislatures across the country and thousands of people were jailed, including a Socialist Congressman from Milwaukee who was sentenced to twenty years in prison. To say nothing of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917 which took care of thousands more. To say nothing of Eugene V. Debs. On the evening of 2 January 1920, Attorney General Palmer, who had his eye on the White House, organized a Federal raid on Communist Party offices throughout the nation. With his right-hand assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, at his right hand, Palmer effected the arrest of over six thousand people, some Communist aliens, some just aliens, some just Communists, and some neither Communists nor aliens but persons visiting those who had been arrested. Property was confiscated, people chained together, handcuffed, and paraded through the streets (in Boston), or kept in corridors of Federal buildings for eight days without food or proper sanitation (in Detroit). Many historians have noted this phenomenon. The raids made an undoubted contribution to the wave of vigilantism winch broke over the country. The Ku Klux Klan blossomed throughout the South and West. There were night raidings, floggings, public hangings, and burnings. Over seventy Negroes were lynched in 1919, not a few of them war veterans. There were speeches against 'foreign ideologies' and much talk about 'one hundred per cent Americanism'. The teaching of evolution in the schools of Tennessee was outlawed. Elsewhere textbooks were repudiated that were not sufficiently patriotic. New immigration laws made racial distinctions and set stringent quotas. Jews were charged with international conspiracy and Catholics with trying to bring the Pope to America. The country would soon go dry, thus creating large-scale, organized crime in the US. The White Sox threw the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. And the stage was set for the trial of two Italian-born anarchists, N. Sacco and B. Vanzetti, for the alleged murder of a paymaster in South Braintree, Mass. The story of the trial is well known and often noted by historians and need not be recounted here. To nothing of World War II--
E.L. Doctorow (The Book of Daniel)
Here’s a simple definition of ideology: “A set of beliefs about the proper order of society and how it can be achieved.”8 And here’s the most basic of all ideological questions: Preserve the present order, or change it? At the French Assembly of 1789, the delegates who favored preservation sat on the right side of the chamber, while those who favored change sat on the left. The terms right and left have stood for conservatism and liberalism ever since. Political theorists since Marx had long assumed that people chose ideologies to further their self-interest. The rich and powerful want to preserve and conserve; the peasants and workers want to change things (or at least they would if their consciousness could be raised and they could see their self-interest properly, said the Marxists). But even though social class may once have been a good predictor of ideology, that link has been largely broken in modern times, when the rich go both ways (industrialists mostly right, tech billionaires mostly left) and so do the poor (rural poor mostly right, urban poor mostly left). And when political scientists looked into it, they found that self-interest does a remarkably poor job of predicting political attitudes.9 So for most of the late twentieth century, political scientists embraced blank-slate theories in which people soaked up the ideology of their parents or the TV programs they watched.10 Some political scientists even said that most people were so confused about political issues that they had no real ideology at all.11 But then came the studies of twins. In the 1980s, when scientists began analyzing large databases that allowed them to compare identical twins (who share all of their genes, plus, usually, their prenatal and childhood environments) to same-sex fraternal twins (who share half of their genes, plus their prenatal and childhood environments), they found that the identical twins were more similar on just about everything.12 And what’s more, identical twins reared in separate households (because of adoption) usually turn out to be very similar, whereas unrelated children reared together (because of adoption) rarely turn out similar to each other, or to their adoptive parents; they tend to be more similar to their genetic parents. Genes contribute, somehow, to just about every aspect of our personalities.13 We’re not just talking about IQ, mental illness, and basic personality traits such as shyness. We’re talking about the degree to which you like jazz, spicy foods, and abstract art; your likelihood of getting a divorce or dying in a car crash; your degree of religiosity, and your political orientation as an adult. Whether you end up on the right or the left of the political spectrum turns out to be just as heritable as most other traits: genetics explains between a third and a half of the variability among people on their political attitudes.14 Being raised in a liberal or conservative household accounts for much less. How can that be? How can there be a genetic basis for attitudes about nuclear power, progressive taxation, and foreign aid when these issues only emerged in the last century or two? And how can there be a genetic basis for ideology when people sometimes change their political parties as adults? To answer these questions it helps to return to the definition of innate that I gave in chapter 7. Innate does not mean unmalleable; it means organized in advance of experience. The genes guide the construction of the brain in the uterus, but that’s only the first draft, so to speak. The draft gets revised by childhood experiences. To understand the origins of ideology you have to take a developmental perspective, starting with the genes and ending with an adult voting for a particular candidate or joining a political protest. There are three major steps in the process. Step
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Groupies and hangers-on somehow fancy themselves entitled to the narcissist’s favour and largesse, his time, attention, and other resources. They convince themselves that they are exempt from the narcissist’s rage and wrath and immune to his vagaries andabuse . This self-imputed and self-conferred status irritates the narcissist no end as it challenges and encroaches on his standing as the only source of preferential treatment and the sole decision-maker when it comes to the allocation of his precious and cosmically significant wherewithal. The narcissist is the guru at the centre of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his flock: his spouse, his offspring, other family  members, friends, and colleagues. He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his followers. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline, adherence to his teachings, and common goals. The less accomplished he is in reality – the more stringent his mastery and the more pervasive the brainwashing. Cult leaders are narcissists who failed in their mission to "be someone", to become famous, and to impress the world with their uniqueness, talents, traits, and skills. Such disgruntled narcissists withdraw into a "zone of comfort" (known as the "Pathological Narcissistic Space") that assumes the hallmarks of a cult. The – often involuntary – members of the narcissist's mini-cult inhabit a twilight zone of his own construction. He imposes on them an exclusionary or inclusionary shared psychosis, replete with persecutory delusions, "enemies", mythical-grandiose narratives, and apocalyptic scenarios if he is flouted. Exclusionary shared psychosis involves the physical and emotional isolation of the narcissist and his “flock” (spouse, children, fans, friends) from the outside world in order to better shield them from imminent threats and hostile intentions. Inclusionary shared psychosis revolves around attempts to spread the narcissist’s message in a missionary fashion among friends, colleagues, co-workers, fans, churchgoers, and anyone else who comes across the mini-cult. The narcissist's control is based on ambiguity, unpredictability, fuzziness, and ambientabuse . His ever-shifting whims exclusively define right versus wrong, desirable and unwanted, what is to be pursued and what to be avoided. He alone determines the rights and obligations of his disciples and alters them at will.
Sam Vaknin
This is the apotheosis of capitalism, the divine sanction of the free market, of unhindered profit and the most rapacious cruelties of globalization. Corporations, rapidly turning America into an oligarchy, have little interest in Christian ethics, or anybody’s ethics. They know what they have to do, as the titans of the industry remind us, for their stockholders. They are content to increase profit at the expense of those who demand fair wages, health benefits, safe working conditions and pensions. This new oligarchic class is creating a global marketplace where all workers, to compete, will have to become like workers in dictatorships such as China: denied rights, their wages dictated to them by the state, and forbidden from organizing or striking. America once attempted to pull workers abroad up to American levels, to foster the building of foreign labor unions, to challenge the abuse of workers in factories that flood the American market with cheap goods. But this new class seeks to reduce the American working class to the levels of this global serfdom. After all, anything that drains corporate coffers is a loss of freedom—the God-given American freedom to exploit other human beings to make money. The marriage of this gospel of prosperity with raw, global capitalism, and the flaunting of the wealth and privilege it brings, are supposedly blessed and championed by Jesus Christ. Compassion is relegated to private, individual acts of charity or left to churches. The callousness of the ideology, the notion that it in any way reflects the message of the gospels, which were preoccupied with the poor and the outcasts, illustrates how the new class has twisted Christian scripture to serve America’s god of capitalism and discredited the Enlightenment values we once prized. The
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America)
Here’s a crash course in the economy,” said Hunter. “Americans get up each morning and go to factories and farms and fire stations and work their whole lives, creating actual products you can hold in your hands. Or some service that benefits. I mean, what the fuck’s that about?” “Work isn’t good?” “It’s the damn workers who crashed the economy.” “I thought it was you,” said Serge. “Don’t be a comedian.” Hunter started counting off on his fingers. “They lost their retirement accounts, their mortgages, their homes, even their jobs. Can’t these assholes do anything right?” “You on the other hand?” “We ended up with all the cash. And then the people turned to the government and went, ‘Holy shit! What happened to all our goddamn money? Do something!’ So the government takes even more money from the workers and—this part is absolutely priceless—they give it all to us again! Now you tell me who’s the success story.” “But what’s so hard about accepting free money?” “That’s exactly what I was thinking when half the country screamed, ‘I’ll kick your fucking ass if you give me health care!’ ” “Sounds too good for words,” said Serge. “It’s good enough for one word,” said Hunter. “Socialism.” Serge pounded the bar with his fist. “Fuck socialism.” “Don’t say that!” Hunter took a swig. “I love socialism.” “You do?” Hunter nodded hard. “Finest word in the English language. Just mention socialism, and everyone gets blinded by rage, takes their eyes off us and prints up T-shirts that insult the president.” Bleadoph raised his hands toward the ceiling in exultation. “Thank God he was elected!” “Forgive my ignorance,” said Serge, “but weren’t the bailouts socialism?” Hunter shook his head. “It’s only socialism if the money goes down, not up.” “A toast,” said Serge. “To socialism!” “To socialism!
Tim Dorsey (Electric Barracuda (Serge Storms #13))
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.' Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)
George Romney’s private-sector experience typified the business world of his time. His executive career took place within a single company, American Motors Corporation, where his success rested on the dogged (and prescient) pursuit of more fuel-efficient cars.41 Rooted in a particular locale, the industrial Midwest, AMC was built on a philosophy of civic engagement. Romney dismissed the “rugged individualism” touted by conservatives as “nothing but a political banner to cover up greed.”42 Nor was this dismissal just cheap talk: He once returned a substantial bonus that he regarded as excessive.43 Prosperity was not an individual product, in Romney’s view; it was generated through bargaining and compromises among stakeholders (managers, workers, public officials, and the local community) as well as through individual initiative. When George Romney turned to politics, he carried this understanding with him. Romney exemplified the moderate perspective characteristic of many high-profile Republicans of his day. He stressed the importance of private initiative and decentralized governance, and worried about the power of unions. Yet he also believed that government had a vital role to play in securing prosperity for all. He once famously called UAW head Walter Reuther “the most dangerous man in Detroit,” but then, characteristically, developed a good working relationship with him.44 Elected governor in 1962 after working to update Michigan’s constitution, he broke with conservatives in his own party and worked across party lines to raise the minimum wage, enact an income tax, double state education expenditures during his first five years in office, and introduce more generous programs for the poor and unemployed.45 He signed into law a bill giving teachers collective bargaining rights.46 At a time when conservatives were turning to the antigovernment individualism of Barry Goldwater, Romney called on the GOP to make the insurance of equal opportunity a top priority. As
Jacob S. Hacker (American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper)
So, absent the chance to make every job applicant work as hard as a college applicant, is there some quick, clever, cheap way of weeding out bad employees before they are hired? Zappos has come up with one such trick. You will recall from the last chapter that Zappos, the online shoe store, has a variety of unorthodox ideas about how a business can be run. You may also recall that its customer-service reps are central to the firm’s success. So even though the job might pay only $11 an hour, Zappos wants to know that each new employee is fully committed to the company’s ethos. That’s where “The Offer” comes in. When new employees are in the onboarding period—they’ve already been screened, offered a job, and completed a few weeks of training—Zappos offers them a chance to quit. Even better, quitters will be paid for their training time and also get a bonus representing their first month’s salary—roughly $2,000—just for quitting! All they have to do is go through an exit interview and surrender their eligibility to be rehired at Zappos. Doesn’t that sound nuts? What kind of company would offer a new employee $2,000 to not work? A clever company. “It’s really putting the employee in the position of ‘Do you care more about money or do you care more about this culture and the company?’ ” says Tony Hsieh, the company’s CEO. “And if they care more about the easy money, then we probably aren’t the right fit for them.” Hsieh figured that any worker who would take the easy $2,000 was the kind of worker who would end up costing Zappos a lot more in the long run. By one industry estimate, it costs an average of roughly $4,000 to replace a single employee, and one recent survey of 2,500 companies found that a single bad hire can cost more than $25,000 in lost productivity, lower morale, and the like. So Zappos decided to pay a measly $2,000 up front and let the bad hires weed themselves out before they took root. As of this writing, fewer than 1 percent of new hires at Zappos accept “The Offer.
Steven D. Levitt (Think Like a Freak)
We ought to recognize the darkness of the culture of death when it shows up in our own voices. I am startled when I hear those who claim the name of Christ, and who loudly profess to be pro-life, speaking of immigrants with disdain as “those people” who are “draining our health care and welfare resources.” Can we not see the same dehumanizing strategies at work in the abortion-rights activism that speaks of the “product of conception” and the angry nativism that calls the child of an immigrant mother an “anchor baby”? At root, this is a failure to see who we are. We are united to a Christ who was himself a sojourner, fleeing political oppression (Matt. 2:13–23), and our ancestors in Israel were themselves a migrant people (Exod. 1:1–14; 1 Chron. 16:19; Acts. 7:6). Moreover, our God sees the plight of the fatherless and the blood of the innocent, but he also tells us that because he loves the sojourner and cares for him so should we, “for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:18–19). We might disagree on the basis of prudence about what specific policies should be in place to balance border security with compassion for the immigrants among us, but a pro-life people have no option to respond with loathing or disgust at persons made in the image of God. We might or might not be natural-born Americans, but we are, all of us, immigrants to the kingdom of God (Eph. 2:12–14). Whatever our disagreements on immigration as policy, we must not disagree on whether immigrants are persons. No matter how important the United States of America is, there will come a day when the United States will no longer exist. But the sons and daughters of God will be revealed. Some of them are undocumented farm-workers and elementary-school janitors now. They will be kings and queens then. They are our brothers and sisters forever. We need to stand up against bigotry and harassment and exploitation, even when such could be politically profitable to those who stand with us on other issues. The image of God cannot be bartered away, at the abortion clinic counter or anywhere else.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
I do not believe that one can maintain a situation in which a man toils and works a whole year, only to get a ludicrous salary, and another just sits down in a leather seat and gets enormous sums for it. This is a condition unworthy of man. [-] After all, there are two worlds which confront each other. And they are right when they say: “We can never reconcile ourselves to the National Socialist world.” For how could a narrow-minded capitalist possibly declare his agreement with my principles? It would be easier for the devil to go to church and take holy water. [-] This is the first state in our German history which, as a matter of principle, eliminated all social prejudice in the assignment of social positions, and this not only in civilian life. I myself am the best proof of that. I am not even an advocate; just think of what this means! And still I am your Fuhrer! [-] What was it that I asked of the outside world Nothing but the right of Germans to unite, and second, that what was taken away from them be restored. I asked for nothing which might have implied a loss for another people. How often have I offered my hand to them Immediately after my rise to power. For what does armament mean? It gobbles up so much manpower. And especially I who regard work as the decisive factor, I had wished to employ German manpower for other plans. And, my Volksgenossen, I believe it became common knowledge that I have plans of some substance, beautiful and great plans for my Volk. I have the ambition to make the German Volk rich, the German lands beautiful. I wish the standard of living of the individual to increase. I wish us to develop the most beautiful and best culture. I wish theater to be an enjoyment affordable for the entire Volk and not only for the upper ten thousand as in England. Beyond this, I wish the entirety of German culture to benefit the Volk. These were enormous plans which we possessed, and for their realization I needed manpower. Armament just takes men away. I made proposals to restrict armament. But all they did was laugh at me. [-] For it was quite clear: what was I before the World War? An unknown, nameless man. What was I during the War? A small, common soldier. I bore no responsibility for the World War. But who are the folk who lead England once again today The very same people who were already agitating before the World War. It is the same Churchill, who was already the vilest warmonger in the World War, and the late Chamberlain who agitated just as much then. And the whole audience (Korona) that belongs there, and naturally that people which always believes that with the trumpets of Jericho it can destroy the peoples: these are the old specters which have arisen once more! Adolf Hitler – speech to the workers of a Berlin December 10, 1940
Adolf Hitler
He swore sharply, David Jones’s still-so-familiar voice coming out of that stranger’s body. “Do you have any idea how unbelievably hard it’s been to get you alone?” Had she finally started hallucinating? But he took off his glasses, and she could see his eyes more clearly and . . . “It’s you,” she breathed, tears welling. “It’s really you.” She reached for him, but he stepped back. Sisters Helen and Grace were hurrying across the compound, coming to see what the ruckus was, shading their eyes and peering so they could see in through the screens. “You can’t let on that you know me,” Jones told Molly quickly, his voice low, rough. “You can’t tell anyone—not even your friend the priest during confession, do you understand?” “Are you in some kind of danger?” she asked him. Dear God, he was so thin. And was the cane necessary or just a prop? “Stand still, will you, so I can—” “No. Don’t. We can’t . . .” He backed away again. “If you say anything, Mol, I swear, I’ll vanish, and I will not come back. Unless . . . if you don’t want me here—and I don’t blame you if you don’t—” “No!” was all she managed to say before Sister Helen opened the door and looked from the mess on the floor to Molly’s stricken expression. “Oh, dear.” “I’m afraid it’s my fault,” Jones said in a British accent, in a voice that was completely different from his own, as Helen rushed to Molly’s side. “My fault entirely. I brought Miss Anderson some bad news. I didn’t realize just how devastating it would be.” Molly started crying. It was more than just a good way to hide her laughter at that accent—those were real tears streaming down her face and she couldn’t stop them. Helen led her to one of the tables, helped her sit down. “Oh, my dear,” the nun said, kneeling in front of her, concern on her round face, holding her hand. “What happened?” “We have a mutual friend,” Jones answered for her. “Bill Bolten. He found out I was heading to Kenya, and he thought if I happened to run into Miss Anderson that she would want to know that a friend of theirs recently . . . well, passed. Cat’s out of the bag, right? Fellow name of Grady Morant, who went by the alias of Jones.” “Oh, dear,” Helen said again, hand to her mouth in genuine sympathy. Jones leaned closer to the nun, his voice low, but not low enough for Molly to miss hearing. “His plane went down—burned—gas tank exploded . . . Ghastly mess. Not a prayer that he survived.” Molly buried her face in her hands, hardly able to think. “Bill was worried that she might’ve heard it first from someone else,” he said. “But apparently she hadn’t.” Molly shook her head, no. News did travel fast via the grapevine. Relief workers tended to know other relief workers and . . . She could well have heard about Jones’s death without him standing right in front of her. Wouldn’t that have been awful?
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
Motor-scooter riders with big beards and girl friends who bounce on the back of the scooters and wear their hair long in front of their faces as well as behind, drunks who follow the advice of the Hat Council and are always turned out in hats, but not hats the Council would approve. Mr. Lacey, the locksmith,, shups up his shop for a while and goes to exchange time of day with Mr. Slube at the cigar store. Mr. Koochagian, the tailor, waters luxuriant jungle of plants in his window, gives them a critical look from the outside, accepts compliments on them from two passers-by, fingers the leaves on the plane tree in front of our house with a thoughtful gardener's appraisal, and crosses the street for a bite at the Ideal where he can keep an eye on customers and wigwag across the message that he is coming. The baby carriages come out, and clusters of everyone from toddlers with dolls to teenagers with homework gather at the stoops. When I get home from work, the ballet is reaching its cresendo. This is the time roller skates and stilts and tricycles and games in the lee of the stoop with bottletops and plastic cowboys, this is the time of bundles and packages, zigzagging from the drug store to the fruit stand and back over to the butcher's; this is the time when teenagers, all dressed up, are pausing to ask if their slips shows or their collars look right; this is the time when beautiful girls get out of MG's; this is the time when the fire engines go through; this is the time when anybody you know on Hudson street will go by. As the darkness thickens and Mr. Halpert moors the laundry cart to the cellar door again, the ballet goes under lights, eddying back nad forth but intensifying at the bright spotlight pools of Joe's sidewalk pizza, the bars, the delicatessen, the restaurant and the drug store. The night workers stop now at the delicatessen, to pick up salami and a container of milk. Things have settled down for the evening but the street and its ballet have not come to a stop. I know the deep night ballet and its seasons best from waking long after midnight to tend a baby and, sitting in the dark, seeing the shadows and hearing sounds of the sidewalk. Mostly it is a sound like infinitely patterning snatches of party conversation, and, about three in the morning, singing, very good singing. Sometimes their is a sharpness and anger or sad, sad weeping, or a flurry of search for a string of beads broken. One night a young man came roaring along, bellowing terrible language at two girls whom he had apparently picked up and who were disappointing him. Doors opened, a wary semicircle formed around him, not too close, until police came. Out came the heads, too, along the Hudsons street, offering opinion, "Drunk...Crazy...A wild kid from the suburbs" Deep in the night, I am almost unaware of how many people are on the street unless someone calls the together. Like the bagpipe. Who the piper is and why he favored our street I have no idea.
Jane Jacobs
Many models are constructed to account for regularly observed phenomena. By design, their direct implications are consistent with reality. But others are built up from first principles, using the profession’s preferred building blocks. They may be mathematically elegant and match up well with the prevailing modeling conventions of the day. However, this does not make them necessarily more useful, especially when their conclusions have a tenuous relationship with reality. Macroeconomists have been particularly prone to this problem. In recent decades they have put considerable effort into developing macro models that require sophisticated mathematical tools, populated by fully rational, infinitely lived individuals solving complicated dynamic optimization problems under uncertainty. These are models that are “microfounded,” in the profession’s parlance: The macro-level implications are derived from the behavior of individuals, rather than simply postulated. This is a good thing, in principle. For example, aggregate saving behavior derives from the optimization problem in which a representative consumer maximizes his consumption while adhering to a lifetime (intertemporal) budget constraint.† Keynesian models, by contrast, take a shortcut, assuming a fixed relationship between saving and national income. However, these models shed limited light on the classical questions of macroeconomics: Why are there economic booms and recessions? What generates unemployment? What roles can fiscal and monetary policy play in stabilizing the economy? In trying to render their models tractable, economists neglected many important aspects of the real world. In particular, they assumed away imperfections and frictions in markets for labor, capital, and goods. The ups and downs of the economy were ascribed to exogenous and vague “shocks” to technology and consumer preferences. The unemployed weren’t looking for jobs they couldn’t find; they represented a worker’s optimal trade-off between leisure and labor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these models were poor forecasters of major macroeconomic variables such as inflation and growth.8 As long as the economy hummed along at a steady clip and unemployment was low, these shortcomings were not particularly evident. But their failures become more apparent and costly in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–9. These newfangled models simply could not explain the magnitude and duration of the recession that followed. They needed, at the very least, to incorporate more realism about financial-market imperfections. Traditional Keynesian models, despite their lack of microfoundations, could explain how economies can get stuck with high unemployment and seemed more relevant than ever. Yet the advocates of the new models were reluctant to give up on them—not because these models did a better job of tracking reality, but because they were what models were supposed to look like. Their modeling strategy trumped the realism of conclusions. Economists’ attachment to particular modeling conventions—rational, forward-looking individuals, well-functioning markets, and so on—often leads them to overlook obvious conflicts with the world around them.
Dani Rodrik (Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science)
Grabbing my hair and pulling it to the point my skull throbs, I rock back and forth while insanity threatens to destroy my mind completely. Father finally did what Lachlan started. Destroyed my spirit. The angel is gone. The monster has come and killed her. Lachlan Sipping his whiskey, Shon gazes with a bored expression at the one-way mirror as Arson lights the match, grazing the skin of his victim with it as the man convulses in fear. “Show off,” he mutters, and on instinct, I slap the back of his head. He rubs it, spilling the drink. “The fuck? We are wasting time, Lachlan. Tell him to speed up. You know if you let him, he can play for hours.” All in good time, we don’t need just a name. He is saving him for a different kind of information that we write down as Sociopath types furiously on his computer, searching for the location and everything else using FBI databases. “Bingo!” Sociopath mutters, picking up the laptop and showing the screen to me. “It’s seven hours away from New York, in a deserted location in the woods. The land belongs to some guy who is presumed dead and the man accrued the right to build shelters for abused women. They actually live there as a place of new hope or something.” Indeed, the center is advertised as such and has a bunch of stupid reviews about it. Even the approval of a social worker, but then it doesn’t surprise me. Pastor knows how to be convincing. “Kids,” I mutter, fisting my hands. “Most of them probably have kids. He continues to do his fucked-up shit.” And all these years, he has been under my radar. I throw the chair and it bounces off the wall, but no one says anything as they feel the same. “Shon, order a plane. Jaxon—” “Yeah, my brothers will be there with us. But listen, the FBI—” he starts, and I nod. He takes a beat and quickly sends a message to someone on his phone while I bark into the microphone. “Arson, enough with the bullshit. Kill him already.” He is of no use to us anyway. Arson looks at the wall and shrugs. Then pours gas on his victim and lights up the match simultaneously, stepping aside as the man screams and thrashes on the chair, and the smell of burning flesh can be sensed even here. Arson jogs to a hose, splashing water over him. The room is designed security wise for this kind of torture, since fire is one of the first things I taught. After all, I’d learned the hard way how to fight with it. “On the plane, we can adjust the plan. Let’s get moving.” They spring into action as I go to my room to get a specific folder to give to Levi before I go, when Sociopath’s hand stops me, bumping my shoulder. “Is this a suicide mission for you?” he asks, and I smile, although it lacks any humor. My friend knows everything. Instead of answering his question, I grip his shoulder tight, and confide, “Valencia is entrusted to you.” We both know that if I want to destroy Pastor, I have to die with him. This revenge has been twenty-three years in the making, and I never envisioned a different future. This path always leads to death one way or another, and the only reason I valued my life was because I had to kill him. Valencia will be forever free from the evils that destroyed her life. I’ll make sure of it. Once upon a time, there was an angel. Who made the monster’s heart bleed.
V.F. Mason (Lachlan's Protégé)
We end up at an outdoor paintball course in Jersey. A woodsy, rural kind of place that’s probably brimming with mosquitos and Lyme disease. When I find out Logan has never played paintball before, I sign us both up. There’s really no other option. And our timing is perfect—they’re just about to start a new battle. The worker gathers all the players in a field and divides us into two teams, handing out thin blue and yellow vests to distinguish friend from foe. Since Logan and I are the oldest players, we both become the team captains. The wide-eyed little faces of Logan’s squad follow him as he marches back and forth in front of them, lecturing like a hot, modern-day Winston Churchill. “We’ll fight them from the hills, we’ll fight them in the trees. We’ll hunker down in the river and take them out, sniper-style. Save your ammo—fire only when you see the whites of their eyes. Use your heads.” I turn to my own ragtag crew. “Use your hearts. We’ll give them everything we’ve got—leave it all on the field. You know what wins battles? Desire! Guts! Today, we’ll all be frigging Rudy!” A blond boy whispers to his friend, “Who’s Rudy?” The kid shrugs. And another raises his hand. “Can we start now? It’s my birthday and I really want to have cake.” “It’s my birthday too.” I give him a high-five. “Twinning!” I raise my gun. “And yes, birthday cake will be our spoils of war! Here’s how it’s gonna go.” I point to the giant on the other side of the field. “You see him, the big guy? We converge on him first. Work together to take him down. Cut off the head,” I slice my finger across my neck like I’m beheading myself, “and the old dog dies.” A skinny kid in glasses makes a grossed-out face. “Why would you kill a dog? Why would you cut its head off?” And a little girl in braids squeaks, “Mommy! Mommy, I don’t want to play anymore.” “No,” I try, “that’s not what I—” But she’s already running into her mom’s arms. The woman picks her up—glaring at me like I’m a demon—and carries her away. “Darn.” Then a soft voice whispers right against my ear. “They’re already going AWOL on you, lass? You’re fucked.” I turn to face the bold, tough Wessconian . . . and he’s so close, I can feel the heat from his hard body, see the small sprigs of stubble on that perfect, gorgeous jaw. My brain stutters, but I find the resolve to tease him. “Dear God, Logan, are you smiling? Careful—you might pull a muscle in your face.” And then Logan does something that melts my insides and turns my knees to quivery goo. He laughs. And it’s beautiful. It’s a crime he doesn’t do it more often. Or maybe a blessing. Because Logan St. James is a sexy, stunning man on any given day. But when he laughs? He’s heart-stopping. He swaggers confidently back to his side and I sneer at his retreating form. The uniformed paintball worker blows a whistle and explains the rules. We get seven minutes to hide first. I cock my paintball shotgun with one hand—like Charlize Theron in Fury fucking Road—and lead my team into the wilderness. “Come on, children. Let’s go be heroes.” It was a massacre. We never stood a chance. In the end, we tried to rush them—overpower them—but we just ended up running into a hail of balls, getting our hearts and guts splattered with blue paint. But we tried—I think Rudy and Charlize would be proud
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))