Friday, July 08, 2016

Spring Issue Editorial

As this issue goes to press we find our country and world caught up in a historic working class rebellion as people reject the corrupt politics of corporate dominance and failed neo-liberal economics.

Here in the US, both of the corporate political parties are facing division and disarray. The GOP, long the party of the most extreme anti-civil-rights, anti-woman, anti-labor, climate change denial and militarist xenophobia wrestles with the rise of the crude, racist know-nothing Donald Trump. He is an embarrassment and a danger.

The Democrats too are split. The insiders favor the corporate liberalism of the Clintons which represents failed and corrupt economics along with drone assassination, aggressive imperial foreign policy, fracking, oil drilling and toxic trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Many people, more than were counted in rigged primaries, prefer the authentic populism and people-first democracy represented by Bernie Sanders.

In England, the Brexit vote was a working class rejection of the undemocratic, trans-national economics of corporate greed and citizen austerity embodied by the European Union. Like the false populism of Trump, those pushing Brexit played on nationalism and anti-immigrant hostility, ignoring that many immigrants are refugees of the same corrupt economics and of wars perpetrated by the US and England. As with Trump's campaign, the result of misplaced anger could be disastrous for working people. Americans should take note of this.

We understand the pain that leads to this. The poems in this collection give voice to the frustration and hopelessness of being trapped in soul and body killing jobs, as well as the hardship of poverty resulting from low wages, and the anguish of destitution in their absence. Our rejection of the corrupt monstrosity of capitalism and our anger at the thieves who reap fortunes from our misery is, unlike the scapegoating by venal opportunists, on target.

We understand people's anger but we know better than to kick ourselves. History and the unfolding present repeatedly demonstrate that it is much easier to reject something than it is to replace it.

We still have political conventions ahead of us which promise to be tumultuous to say the least. People are rightly upset and the power brokers of this rotten system are doing everything in their power to hold on to their influence and protections.

No matter what happens in the coming months and what our actual ballot choices turn out to be, our movement has come together and will continue to fight on issues vital to our survival. We need to be moving toward the emergence of an organized populist bloc that will speak and move with power beyond the confines of the corrupt corporate politics which serve the elites.

This journal continues to be a voice for the voiceless and more importantly, of worker poets who understand that other victims of the same crimes which oppress us -- of exploitation and oppression -- are not to blame. They are not our enemies. We understand that it is this criminal system of greed which threatens us all and that only united can we replace it and save ourselves. We are not and will not be fooled by charlatans and shills.