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The Working Class

Cover Art by Albert Tercero
He who was previously the money owner now strides in front as capitalist; the possessor of labor power follows as his laborer. The one with an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other hesitant, like one who is bringing his own hide to market and has nothing to expect but a hiding.
–  Karl Marx, Capital
Front Matters

Front Matters

Clocking In

Party Lines

Vivek Chibber

Labor’s Long March

The question is no longer whether the working class matters, but how it can fight back.

Struggle Session

Freddie Stuart

My Life as an Amazon Warehouse Worker

I started working at Amazon during the pandemic. I wanted to organize my workplace, but at the end of a long day, everyone just wanted to get home as fast as possible.

Friends & Foes

Hadas Thier

We Went to Work. The Next Day, the World Shut Down.

While millions of Americans worked remotely during the COVID pandemic, millions more either showed up to a deadly job site or were thrown into unemployment. What will the recovery be like for them?

Friends & Foes

The Life of a Worker in Shenzhen

I’ve worked everywhere from a coal mine to a banana plantation to a toothbrush factory. I’m a worker in a “workers’ state.”

The Many Farewells to the Working Class

Feature

David Broder

For decades, the parties of labor have been slowly replaced by the parties of the educated. A Left that doesn’t acknowledge this as a problem has already been defeated.

Illustration by Anuj Shrestha
Reading Materiel

Reading Materiel

Operator’s Manual

Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook

Canon Fodder

Chris Maisano

Disorganized Democracy

A coalition of industrial workers and small farmers underpinned democratic politics in the twentieth century. Can workers in a precarious service economy fill their shoes today?

Dossier

Anton Jäger

What Is a “Proletarian” Anyway?

With the rise of industrial capitalism and the workers’ movement it created, we created new words to explain a confounding new world.

How China Avoided a Soviet-Style Collapse

Feature

Isabella Weber
Interview by Daniel Zamora

What have three decades of market reforms meant for the world’s largest working class?

Illustration by Daniel Zender
Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital

Cheap Seats

Red Channels

Meagan Day

Fassbinder and the Red Army Faction

As his fellow West German radicals began to embrace ultraleft violence in the 1970s, legendary filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder decided to celebrate another path for emancipation: class struggle in the workplace.

Ways of Seeing

Michael Grasso

When Our Homes Went Miami Vice

As the Reagan era kicked into overdrive, Americans abandoned earthy and organic home decor to turn their residences into cold, sleek totems to upper-class aspiration.

Bass & Superstructure

Owen Hatherley

Anthem of the Commoners

Pulp’s 1995 hit “Common People” isn’t just a Britpop classic — it’s a more honest and brutal analysis of class than you’ll hear in the media today.

Bass & Superstructure

Anwen Crawford

China’s Slacker Superstar

From America’s Kurt Cobain to China’s Lelush, pop stars earn their adoration not only from performing but from refusing to perform.

Beyond a Boundary

Eileen Jones

Blue-Collar Jocks

In the 1970s, sports movies were funny, bitter comedies about working-class jocks taking aim at both the front office and the rich.

Lifestyle Environmentalism Will Never Win Over Workers

Feature

Matt Huber

And those are exactly the people we need to save the planet.

Illustration by Harry Haysom
The Tumbrel

The Tumbrel

Keying the Boss’s Car

The Worst Estate

Liza Featherstone

White-Collar Media

For most of the news media, the life and struggles of the majority class just aren’t newsworthy.

Feature

Jack Saunders

The culture of British trade union militancy in auto plants like Austin Longbridge wasn’t the “natural” result of a Golden Age of capitalism — it came from organizing.

Leftovers

Leftovers

Forced Overtime

Dustbin

Ronan Burtenshaw

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropist

Robert Tressell was a great writer whose class position meant he died without knowing the appreciation of his work.