Monday, September 21, 2009

Summer Editorial

Hard times naturally breed anger and radicalism. From townhall meetings to angry rallies orchestrated by big business front organizations, we are seeing how the most reactionary sectors of the corporate elite manipulate that anger with anti-rational, fear-laden misinformation, turning working people against each other and against our own best interests. There is nothing wrong with anger and working class radicalism. In fact, it is the engine of progress yet it can also be cynically manipulated leading the uninformed to the barbarity of Fascism. We must guard ourselves against being misled: by knowing what our class interests are, by looking at where information originates, and most importantly, by having a consciousness based in solidarity and real working working class values.

This journal exists to support and present the voices of that conscious working class and to promote our progressive culture and values. These are the voices that emerge from our real class experience, not those manufactured in corporate think-tanks to support an agenda that enslaves us. We are not backed by "Freedomworks" or any other corporate front. This journal exists solely by the support of its readers and is authentically a working class product.

In this collection, the fear, anger and frustrations of our reality are voiced. Our summer issue has the inseparable sub-themes of environment and war and this issue is no exception. Revealed are both the arrogant squandering of life by imperialist wars and by the ongoing economic war declared on workers by those who live off our labor. In national and imperialist wars, working people are sacrificed for the goals of the wealthy. By contrast, in the class struggle, we fight for our very survival and to build a better world based on the common good. As the story, "The Monument Creamery Strike" recounts, that struggle is long a and difficult one with many casualties which must continue as long as workers are oppressed.

In the summer issue we are also proud to announce the winners of our annual Working People's Poetry Contest. This years winner is Luke Salazar for his powerful poem "Black Friday." Luke wins $100.00, a subscription and a one year online publication on our website. As ever, it was a tough decision and there is a runner up. That honor goes to Andrew Rihn for his gorgeously crafted poem, "The Canaries Go On Living." Andrew wins a one year subscription and online posting. Both of those poems appear in this issue as do others that were entered. We are especially grateful to frequent flyers and loyal supporters for participating and we look forward to more entrants next year.

As we complete our twelfth year of publishing this journal, it seems a more important effort than ever. Only a progressive working class social movement can counter the growth of fascism and get us through these extraordinarily difficult times by fighting for our own real needs -- the right not to sleep under overpasses, the right to clean food, doctors, schools which are not like jails and damned fewer jails. That movement requires an inclusive culture that inspires. We look forward to your participation, support and feedback in the continuing struggle.