Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Interview With Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of workers' rights classics Nickel And Dimed and Bait And Switch, now has her own blog. Recent entries discuss Enron, the ostracism faced by laid off white collar workers, and how the sterility of the modern office environment impoverishes the central nervous system. In a recent interview, she turns her sharp eye and even sharper tongue on the rising gap between rich and poor and the fact that even managers and professionals can lose their jobs at any moment. She recounts that her British publisher told her that Britons have a hard time understanding that anyone can be fired or laid off for no reason. They cannot conceive of the American notion of "employment at will". The fact is, says Ehrenreich, that in the United States "you can be fired for a funny expression on your face". Most of all, she laments the internalized self-hatred of all the "working" classes, whether blue collar or white collar, who are taught to blame themselves for the abuses they endure. She believes the ultimate solution for the victims of corporate decimation is to find solidarity with one another, and to organize against their common enemy. We already have a class war on our hands, she says, and we aren't the ones who started it.
Tomdispatch Interview: Ehrenreich, The Prey and the Predators