This is proving to be a hard year. As we go to press the worst nuclear accident in history is in progress following the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In our own country an ongoing disaster of historic proportions continues as well. The primary difference is that our own disaster is strictly man-made. The economy continues to struggle like an engine that refuses to turn over leaving millions of us out of work. Those with jobs live in fear, because, as every worker knows, high unemployment creates an army of desperate people willing to work for less and don't the bosses know it too!
From Michigan to Wisconsin to Virginia to Florida and elsewhere working people are under vicious attack by corporatist reactionaries. Like the danger posed by the Japanese nuclear meltdowns, this too is a global phenomenon. As the Market System continues to melt down, those at the top of it resort to desperate measures foisting the "neo-liberal" policies of austerity, crushing of unions, rolling back of social programs and inevitably, civil liberties while padding their own pockets. The same policies we have forced on poorer countries are now being pushed in our own.
The positive side is that from Cairo to Athens to Bahrain to Madison people are rising up to fight back. We have no choice. We know that we've been had by a corrupt system of thievery and we know that a better world is possible. Our country and our planet may be broken but it isn't broke. We know where the money and resources are and we refuse to be tossed aside like trash or reduced to serfdom.
The poetry in this issue voices the pride we take in work -- too often as nostalgia. It voices the desperation we feel as even the basics of food and shelter many took for granted are pulled beyond our reach. It voices the anger we feel as conscious workers who can see through the lies and understand that our enemies are not teachers, the poor, immigrants, women, Gays, or labor unions.
It is always an uphill struggle with long odds when fighting an entrenched ruling class. They not only have armies of goons and weapons of mass destruction, they have a seemingly all-powerful media. With it they create false controversies to sow confusion. They create fake political fronts like the "Tea Party" and give it the false legitimacy of prime time coverage to cynically twist righteous working class anger against our own interests. They use the old tactics of scapegoating, victim blaming, racism and nationalism and play on real fear. They fully understand the power of culture in shaping attitudes and guiding behavior.
We, on the other hand mostly have each other. Some of us have the internet, monitored though it is, to communicate with each other nationally and globally in order to expose the system and to coordinate our fightback. We also have our political groups. But unless we address and counter the reactionary culture of militarism, vengeance and competitive commodity fetishism we will not have the critical masses necessary to overcome the corrupt monstrosity of capitalism which threatens our very survival.
Small though our journal is, that is our mission. Of course we cannot do it alone but we do have an impact. Each issue that goes out -- each individual copy has a life of its own. Many continue to circulate for years reaching people and opening eyes on a level only progressive culture can do. We depend on your support to continue our -- your work; to get the insights and inspiration of our class's best poets and writers out to as many as eyes as possible.
This is our annual fund raising issue. In it you will find an insert asking for contributions which are also tax deductible since we are a 501(c)3 not-for profit press. I know how tough these times are but that is all the more reason to give whatever you can because tough times make progressive consciousness even more vital. We must do everything in our power to inspire class solidarity and counter the nascent fascism being pushed by the corporatocracy. We thank you in advance for any support.
Editorial correction: The poem, 'The Rite to Work" on page 3 of this Winter issue is by Michael S Morris, as it is listed in the contents. The author was mistakenly mislabeled on the page.