Question on the future
I read with great interest Muffy Sunde’s succinct and informative piece “Rise of the robots: Disappearing jobs” [Vol. 38, No. 2].
I’m glad to see the Freedom Socialist tackling the subject of automation, as it’s one that has intrigued and troubled me for some time.
One related question that I’d be curious to see addressed in the paper falls under the banner of so-called “left futurism.” Namely, could it be beneficial for leftists to embrace automation — even demand full automation of the economy — while simultaneously demanding a universal basic income and other “social welfare” provisions? The outcome wouldn’t be socialism, but it might (according to thinkers like Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams) bring us closer to it.
Omar H., Los Angeles
(From an open letter on Generosity.com.)
I’m asking for your support for the “Lynne Stewart Legacy Memorial Project.”
1. Lynne understood the deficiencies in the law and its applications. She called them warts. She used her superior intellect in order to apply a tiny bit of equal justice under an unequal legal system.
2. Donate to help us perpetuate this legacy. We must continue her revolutionary struggle. Losing Lynne hurts. She fought fascism in the streets, in the courts and in prison. Everything helps. Even small donations have a big impact toward liberating our political prisoners.
3. Post to Facebook. The more people who hear about us, the more likely we are to meet our target.
4. Share with your community. Call your friends, tell your co-workers, make an announcement at your organization’s event to spread the word.
Generosity.com has zero platform fees, so your donation goes farther. Lynne presente.
Ralph Poynter, New York City
Amazon security worker speaks out
Amazon is so big, their standards and policies affect us all — workers, housing, environment and more.
As an employee of Security Industry Specialists (SIS), the contractor that protects Amazon’s headquarters, I experience the poor working conditions Amazon seems to allow.
I got a job as a security officer because my dream is to go into law enforcement. A few months in, I noticed there was a culture of fear and disrespect at SIS.
Officers are talked down to and treated like children, so everyone walks on eggshells. Some of the supervisors seem determined to catch you making a mistake.
I decided to speak up with my fellow officers who were trying to form a union. I felt my Muslim co-workers were being treated with disrespect when they asked for a place to pray on work breaks, and I thought, if we come together we can tackle this, plus we can work toward pay raises, benefits, and respect.
On May Day, I spoke out at a rally, and the next day, I was taken off my schedule. I felt this was retaliation. And it hurt financially. My coworkers and I went as a delegation to SIS and I got some of my hours back. But now it’s hard to go to work, because some of my supervisors have stopped talking to me for being active with the union.
Still, I’ll continue to speak up. I know that when workers talk to each other, we come to care about each other’s problems. We start to see how it’s all related. And then we can really build some power here.
Betiel Desta, Seattle
The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@mindspring.com.
Correction to April-May FS: The tribute to Lynne Stewart stated in error that she had endorsed Freedom Socialist Party electoral candidates.