The Future of Work looks a lot like the Past and Present of Work

By Joseph H.

The creation of the proletariat, the wage-laboring working class, is the definitive characteristic of Capitalism.  As capital is accumulated, the working class grows, a mutually reinforcing process that powers the dynamo of Capitalism.  The number of people exploited in this manner, and the extent of the exploitation, grows in proportion with the growth of the wealth of the capitalist class.  This is the definition of Capitalism, and the ways in which this dynamic manifests are numerous.

One particular expression of this relationship of exploitation has been in the rise of Gig Work.  Particularly associated with “App-Based” work, and coming into prominence with the rise of Uber and its cadre of  “on-demand” companies, this work is characterized by its unpredictable nature, lack of company benefits, and piece-work pay.  In addition, it has characteristics that make it particularly corrosive to the worker solidarity that is supposed to accompany collective exploitation.  Gig Workers don’t ever see each other in the ordinary course of their work, and they are subject to “Algorithmic Management”; hired, fired and disciplined by a computer that reaches them through their phones.  The pitch for workers is flexibility and independence, but that’s really only true

Failed Techno-Utopias

By Cara H.

Living in the Bay Area means constantly being promised a better world by tech CEOs and venture capitalists, while simultaneously being constantly confronted by the failings of capitalism via astronomical rents, massive homelessness, and the failure of public institutions. If this better world is coming, heralded by historic advancements in technology, then why has it failed to materialize? If work-focused technologies like Zoom and Slack have increased productivity, then why are we still working 40 hours a week - or more - for essentially the same wages - or less?

Where did the money go?

Venture capitalists and tech boosters like to claim that, under capitalism, the global standard of living has increased dramatically. The lion’s share of that growth in the last 20 years has, however, been driven by China under the banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics — hardly an endorsement of a capitalist world order. And in the rest of the world, this growth has come at a tremendous cost and left a trail of destruction in its wake, with institutions broken by colonialism, conflict exacerbated by nationalism, environmental collapse, and all of society reoriented to the whims of the Market. But technology, and

Burning Questions in a Burning World

Making the Most of the Revolutionary Situation That Isn’t

By Eugene Violet

We must not turn away from the truth: we do not yet possess the capacity for revolution, otherwise we would have seen a unified mass movement come out of the remarkable revolutionary energy of the past decade. And yet, we have very little time to get there. This is the contradiction and the duty of our generation: decolonization or extinction.
The Red Deal (39).

I once worked closely with a communist who criticized me for using Climate Change in organizing conversations. They felt that the path to socialism is blazed through right ideas leading to right action, and that invoking the specter of Climate Change was “cheating.” They later became a COVID-denialist and anti-vax fanatic, and just like that, one of the most principled, committed organizers I ever worked alongside banished themselves to abject crankery. Revolution is not the product of correct ideas or even right actions: revolution occurs when those with good ideas and the courage to leap into the unknown recognize revolutionary conditions and make the most of them, using any and all tools at their disposal to help radicalize and redirect the masses towards

Announcing Zenith, a Journal from Red Star

Red Star is excited to announce that a project we've been working on for several months is nearing completion. Late last year, Red Star decided to solicit pieces from our membership to compile into a journal. Today, we are excited to announce Zenith, an occasional journal from Red Star. While there are still some finishing touches we have to put on it, we feel the writing we have put together provides crucial analysis and ideas for DSA members who share our revolutionary political horizon. To that end, we are releasing the first batch of pieces from the first issue of Zenith today.

This journal is the product of a number of discussions Red Star had over the course of 2021, where we took stock of our political project and refined our understanding of its objectives. These discussions resulted in new analyses and ideas that we worked to refine and eventually incorporated into our caucus points of unity. These theories are pertinent to the political challenges that we believe are widely felt in some form or another across DSA, and thus we felt it would be useful to share them. We decided to try to explain and apply our theories, and

A People's Recovery From COVID-19

One of the best-known bits of apocrypha in the Marxist canon, attributed to Lenin (and likely paraphrased from The Chief Task of Our Day), came alive this week: “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” A flurry of rapid developments in the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the political conditions facing the American working class upside-down. Faced with an impending recession that deepens with every passing day of bleak Coronavirus news, a troubled nation has quickly thrown decades of neoliberal consensus right out the window. The Trump administration has offered up over a trillion dollars—with a ‘t’—in short-term loans to financial institutions, and any positive impact on the stock market was instantly wiped away. A profound economic crisis, long thought to be looming on the horizon, has arrived in full force, and brought an exceedingly deadly pandemic with it.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has shown just how much damage has been done to America’s public institutions, not just over the past three years of the Trump administration but the last forty-plus of neoliberal capitalism. The haphazard kleptocrats in charge right now may be robbing us blind