With Labor Day right around the corner we here at The Blowhard thought it’d be great to highlight some great pieces, both fiction and non, about the Power of Labor and/or the Evils of Capitalism (The Blowhard’s official stance is that Unions Are Good and Corporations Are Bad). With neoliberal economic policies creating an ever worsening wealth gap, promoting the moral corruption of international labor policies, placing power in political and economic power in the hands of fewer and fewer hereditary oligarchs, and threatening to create a neo-feudalistic United States, it’s always important to remember that Labor Day isn’t just a day after which not to wear white, but a celebration of the blood sweat and tears that laborers had to shed just to get the modest protections we had today. Unite, organize, and foment unrest comrades.
Thee Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte – Karl Marx
A Marx classic. And much more readable than Das Kapital.
The Iron Council – China Mieville
A work of fiction that looks at the power of united labor in the face of overwhelming capital.
A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
The classic. Though woe be upon you if this is the only thing you read on the subject and you become an insufferable college freshman in the process.
Why Unions Matter – Michael Yates
A very readable economic work, which are hard to come by.
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
A prescient look at what could happen when tech companies and conglomerates are given too much power.
No Man's Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor – Cindy Hahamovitch
Winner of the 2012 Philip Taft Labor History Award.
An International look at some developing unions by the NY Times.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century – Thomas Piketty
A NY Times Bestseller on the development of the wage gap.
Freedom and Necessity – Emma Bull and Steven Brust
Brust, most known for his Vlad Taltos series, is an avowed Trotskyite and he and Bull came together for a great pro-labor read.
Pretty much anything by Octavia Butler or Philip K. Dick.
Both authors deal very heavily in the politics of labor, race, and economic equality. Try Kindred by Butler first.
There are of course thousands of more works on the subject. But this is a good enough start. Go forth by brothers and sisters and on free yourself from the shackles of your wagemasters on this Labor Day!