For many this is a time of disillusionment as a new administration which arrived with great promise morphs into the grim reality of what we voted against, issue after issue. Some of us, though disheartened, are not surprised. "Change" for the common good cannot come from a corporate oligarchy which will not act against its own narrow class interests without the enormous public pressure that would threaten its hold on power.
From illness to institutionalization, from the insecurity of economic decline, to racism and war; from jobs to their increasing absence the poetry in this issue covers a great range of our working class experience. Present throughout is the theme of Community on which we must depend when all else fails.
In this Post Hope period, it is becoming more obvious to the worried and wearied workers, the permanently unemployed, and the old who've seen it all that this system has nothing left to offer us but further exploitation, destruction and death. All that remains for us is each other: we who actually build the houses banks and factories, who create and run the machines, who sew the clothes, grow the food, assemble the myriad commodities and fight their wars. We are the hands and brains that keep this society functioning day and night. Beyond disillusionment lies the possibility of our awakening to other real possibilities than the corrupt system we've been sold. What we know and can do will save us. Through the individual voices presented in these pages we see the commonality of our experience, our class values and our hopes. We still have a dream but it is not of conquest or superiority. It is a dream of our common sufficiency that grows from the security of real community. From the sharing of food to the offer of a palette on the floor; from the listening and exchanging of stories to the unity formed in our struggle for the common good are the unbreakable bonds of solidarity built that can shake loose the fear that enslaves us to this murderous and dying system. There and only there does authentic Hope reside.