The poems in this collection speak of the endless frustration, drudgery and inanity of the workplace. They speak of pride and of skill. They illuminate on the job racism and the added fear and exploitation immigrants face for the benefit of profiteers. They voice the fear of job loss and the desperation of unemployment. They are rich with class sympathy and the solidarity that gives us unrealized power.
Working class literature is not limited to the workplace. In these pages are poems of the daily struggle of living on less. There are poems of war and of resistance, of police brutality and the tortured nightmare of imprisonment. Most important are the poems of political awakening and the active struggle for a better world.
We often feel powerless, intimidated by the tyranny of bosses and landlords, fearing the bill collector on the phone, banging our heads against the scam want ads taunting us with false and inadequate possibilities. We can feel utterly depressed and beaten by the idiocy of people around us who are taken in by the right-wing corporate media machine. But giving in to hopelessness is as self defeating as the idiocy spouted by the Fox addicted Teabaggers.
We are not powerless. If there is one thing I hope this journal does, it is to let you know that you aren't alone. That there are many progressive, class conscious workers out here and that like you we are mad as hell and we know where to direct our wrath. Though most of us feel helpless on our own, we increase our power exponentially when we work together. This is not just idle theory. The actual paper journal you can hold in your hand is proof.
Though we are still operating on a very tight budget, we would not have been able to even publish this issue had it not been for the generous support of our readers and subscribers over the course of our recent annual fund drive. We are grateful to be able to continue the labor of putting out this unique journal publishing the strongest writers of and for our working class.
In the larger struggle, the evidence of our united strength continues as we struggle for minority rights and against the worst abuses of corporate power. Efforts continue to rule corporate personhood unconstitutional, to fight militarism and the growing police state, to stop the XL Pipeline and destructive "fracking" and to stop the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement which will further gut labor law and worker protection.
All of these issues are inseparable from the abusive economic system of debt slavery, international sweatshop exploitation, corporate deregulation, worker disempowerment and massive impoverishment that have resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth in history to the very few, leaving an increasing number of us discarded to destitution and the streets.
Thomas Piketty, in his popular book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" focuses on the increasing disparity of wealth that is built into the capitalist system. He blames the difference on the greater rate of return on investments than of the growth rate of wages and production as the reason for the pooling of wealth to the top 1%. Working people know that capitalism, by its nature and internal rules, has a corrupting influence on government and is blindly destructive in its drive for maximum profits. We have a better formula: The power of a conscious, united working class is greater than than that of all the armies and governments that money can buy. Working class culture sustains and fuels us as we build that unity.